WAR LORD (Ogunjimi)
Proverbial Royal Attendant (Shodimu)
Village Thug (Dikudi).
– Other characters or casts may be added in the cause of the story too.
(****Curtains reveals him****) Salutation to all; villagers of Moroyin. Dwellers beneath the hills, blessed by Eledumare; with vegetation, games and fishes. Look and see, something comes upon us, see it emerges with filt and beauty. Call Shodimu to go spread the news, and on his way back to the palace, bid Ifatoki to pay a visit. Its no time to sleep when the roof is set ablaze with a great inferno. (Leave)
(stage reveals the King seated on the throne, and Shodimu behind him blowing a gentle breeze with a big raffia fan as Ifatoki walks in)
IFATOKI: Kabiyesi o, your royal highness, the mighty lion with mane of golden fleece, may I know why I; Ifatoki, the eyes of the oracle, the great seer of Moroyin kingdom was called to your noble grace, because we all know fireflies only dazzles at night? (Bows in homage)
KING ADEFERANMI: (sigh) The crown head greets you too Ifatoki (adjusted well on his seat) I am worried, I am sad. It is the joy of a farmer to see his plantations bearing fruits, yet my one and only tree has refuses to shelter me. Adeshewa is ripe in age yet refuses to marry. (frowns) she turned all suitors down, even noble men from great kingdoms far and near. imagine, who will ever not wish for the prince of great Ilaporu for an inlaw, can’t describe how she insulted them when they came asking for her hand in marriage. (his countenance sag all of a sudden) please Ifatoki, help me. Consult the god of all knowing, and perhaps our eyes might be pointed towards a direction (rest his back on the throne seat, looking sick)
IFATOKI: Your highness, you have indeed acted wise to seek Orunmilla’s divination, (founded himself a seat and brought out his calories and his divination tray. he began consultation.) Your highness, Ifa has spoken here is the deal “Oh great King of Moroyin hear what the divinity of our ancestor says; for the treasure will be lost, subjected under a mighty hand that deprives the night of rest, but it will be found again. Let the crown temper mercy with justice, for only then will two heart be joined on the day when the sun marries the moon”, this is what your seer have seen and heard, this is what I; Ifatoki receive of the gods for your highness, nevertheless I will request that we send for Princess Adeshewa, the gods have few words for her. (Bows in homage)
KING ADEFERANMI: (puzzle by what Ifatoki just said) the gods speaks in parables and they never stops to amaze me. How, tell me Ifatoki, how can the sun marry the moon, who else in this land has the wit to subject a treasure than I; King Adeferanmi? You speaks the possibility of things so uncertain, or rather so impossible. what could you be insinuating by all this things? (look behind at Shodimu who was fanning him in slow rhythmic manner) Shodimu; the proverbial cock! what have you to say to this that Ifatoki thus speaks?
SHODIMU: Kabiyesi! Long may you live to rule this kingdom (Bows). Of what you ask, who am I to give words before your supremacy. Fine is this head on my neck, never so good for the royal blade. (Bows again) If yet I may speak however, Your Highness, the eyes that see tomorrow tell of a coming rain today. Who is yesterday to raise voice in objection? The gods direct on paths unknown, who is mortal man to refuse to follow? Orunmila thus gives us his wisdom, only our patience and trust is needed, sunlight shall soon cast upon the shadow of the night. Let’s take heed Kabiyesi, and tread with caution. Orunmila has never failed us. Ifatoki the great seer has also never lied to us. Permit me to call upon Princess Adeshewa. The gods have a word for her (bows yet again and leaves the King’s presence.)
KING ADEFERANMI: (sighs) hmmmmmmm! indeed wisdom is welled up in you, settled like a fresh palmwine in a calabash. what you speak holds truth in it, please hurry, call my belove Adeshewa (watching Shodimu take his leave) tell her the Chief Priest have few words for her from the gods. (Shodimu rush out beaming with smiles. The King faces Ifatoki) Great Seer! truly your words holds mystery, but we will be cautious in approach and watch out for signs you speak of. May the gods of Moroyin help us all. Nevertheless, I still want Adeshewa to marry as soon as possible, I don’t have eternity at my beck and call (shakes his body)
IFATOKI: Your Majesty, the supreme commander of Moroyin kingdom, the great ruler whose reign grace the land with abundant peace, I beg you honour the wisdom of your lowly servant; Shodimu, he has indeed advised you most wisely. Orunmila helps those who help themselves, and blesses those who trust and listens to him. So I plead your highness heeds to the divination and honour ifa’s proclamations. I will plead that we offer a sacrifice of clear vision and understanding, of a white ram, palm oil, wine and bitter kola to Orunmila to appease for utter favours (bows) Kabiyesi ooooo! (Princess Adeshewa walks in, the aura that accompany her is of grandeur and elegance. She is a rare beauty; charming and absolutely beautiful. But Shodimu was nowhere to be found).
PRINCESS ADESHEWA: ( Approach from the rare in her majesty, coming from inside the royal chamber. She has beads of various shapes and sizes adorning her gorgeous person from the crown of her head to the toes of her feet; beaming with smile fairer than the early morning sun rise). Greetings the great seer; the eyes that sees beyond this realm, carrier of messages, bearer of the gods tidings, I greet!. (Walk up to the king, went down on both knees, hands locked together and twisted around in a manner of bearing a gift). I greet you Kabiyesi, may your reign be long and favoured by the gods, May your time suit all; native and aliens alike. Father, Shodimu said you have a word, here I am your majesty (bows to pay a homage and then took her rightful place beside the king to the left, on a seat lower but adorned with fine fabrics).
KING ADEFERANMI: (beaming with smiles) Oh Adeshewa! No one praises better, how soft and comfort filled are the words from your petal lips, you bliss the heart with gladness. Welcome my beautiful Adeshewa (watch her took her seat beside him) Indeed Shodimu is right (look about for him, but he was nowhere to be found) and where in the gods name has he gone to? (turn to face Adeshewa) Anyway, dear daughter, Ifatoki have words to say to you from the gods, you have a message from them. (smiles)
IFATOKI: Welcome Princess Adeshewa, fairest of all damsel in Moroyin, your beauty marvels the stand of men. Welcome! The gods bid their greetings as well (smiles, and re-arrange tools), pardon my insisting you must be called upon, Ifa insist a message must grace your royal ears.
PRINCESS ADESHEWA: (chuckles) oh great seer! Speak on, it pleases me so to be favoured with a message from the gods, am honoured to have been a thought on their minds. What would they have me listen to, I can’t wait, speak great orator of the gods, speak quickly, Adeshewa can no longer wait (she brilliantly say, beaming with smiles)
(Shodimu stormed into the palace, sweating profusely as if an evil spirit is after his live. He was panting and cannot find words to express his ordeal, not before his breathe can give him the Privilege, an hefty man; bare chest and three-quarter buba (a yoruba native style) short bounce in looking scary and filled with anger. Shodimu did not wait to say anything, find refuge behind the King quickly)
KING ADEFERANMI: (angry) What disrespect is this Shodimu? You think you can just pounce in on us as it pleases you(look towards the door) and who is this arrogant son of a woman that’s after your heels?
PRINCESS ADESHEWA: Never have I seen a man so bless in words and sword, you cut both ways. You’re such a man of dignity and honour, am glad you made it back from the battle. How did it go?
OGUNJIMI: Won’t it be well than I return? Of-course it ended in our victory, you’d have heard the drums and songs of victory if not that I order that they remain at the entrance of Moroyin while I hurry down to bear the King the good tiding (smiles) Warriors of Moroyin fought relentlessly, it was their bravery and skills that won us the war, although we sustained casualties and injuries, but we make sure they also return home bearing deep wounds of war; our token to them. Am sure they won’t dare raise eyes towards Moroyin for a long while (laugh)
PRINCESS ADESHEWA: I wonder what garment of confidence Jogbo Kingdom adorned themselves with to so believe they can win us in battle, have they forgotten that a frog who chooses to be like a cow will explode before the very eyes of shame? (Giggles) Men of Moroyin are not sucklings like them, am sure we earned their respect. I’ll bear your message to the King immediately, you can return and lead the men in, take the royal entertainers with you to usher our warriors into the kingdom. We must celebrate their services to this great kingdom (turn to walk away)
OGUNJIMI: (bow) Royal Princess! Your soothen words fall upon my listening heart, but I plead that you share your troubles with me, I saw the look of your face, they bear the distorted expression of a damsel in distress, of a maiden who seek a way on a lost path. If this lowly servant won’t be asking too much, please let me serve you by sharing in your troubles (bow yet again)
PRINCESS ADESHEWA: Oh Ogunjimi! You’re such a very interesting man. I appreciate your concerns and I respect your person, when the need for your assistance surface, I won’t hesitate to call to you (look into his eyes) am sure my answer did not still your tempest heart, then I’ll ask of you only this question. Tell me, how far would I have to go, to see seven rivers and seven mountains? (Moves closer to him)
OGUNJIMI: (raise eye brow) Seven rivers and seven mountains?! Why will my royal Princess ask for such, do you intend to make a journey? (Confuse yet) is there any problem I need to know of as regard the affair of the Kingdom?
PRINCESS ADESHEWA: (motion that he’ll be quiet) There is nothing to fear or panic over, am just gathering facts and figures so I can understand some vital issues beyond the borders of Moroyin, who knows, they might be of help at any point in time. So, tell me if you know of what I ask of you (smiles)
OGUNJIMI: (clears throat) Very well then your Highness, from the border of
OGUNJIMI: (sighs) what a beauty! Am sure the gods envy her. I’ve never been so moved by any other, she always bliss me calmly with her gorgeous presence, she is all I think to survive through all battle (shake head) if only eyes can see through the fibers of my heart, if the moon can penetrate the cocoon of my mind, you’ll see how much I yearn and desire (look towards where she walk away into the chamber) Princess Adeshewa! My heart beat (walk out in slow steps and lost in thought)
Weakness of a mighty man
The envying competitor of the gods
From kukubi to Asiribi’s clan
No damsel in record matches even to your toes
Of the poison in your heart, we know-
Of the sadness that rage within, we know-
You have it all, but not all, what’s left, we know-
But the answer to the puzzle, time will tell
We also know you also don’t know
Beat the wild drum
Let’s sing and hum
Tame the wild heart
Make a new start Adeshewa!
Orekelewa! Adeshewa! Arewa! (Beautiful)
Dudu osun (black bleach),
Adun’maradan (glittering ebony)
Adeshewa! Ireti Moroyin! (Hope of Moroyin)
O hear this tale of a damsel,
who is Fragile like the fowl’s egg,
The one beneath a village hill,
Her bossom she forbid all but one,
The one who lives in her night dreams,
This fearful thought beset her mind,
O damsel down a village hill,
When will that man of your dream come?
One to rule Moroyin’s Kingdom
One to rule your most precious heart
ACT 2, Scene 1
Light falls on…
*****A seat away at a corner on a long huge log of palm tree, a gouge of palm wine sits like an idol on the floor before Shodimu who was seating on the log as he sip drink from a small calabash in his hand. Three or more logs where seen around, heap of small calabash unwashed lie at a side as flies merry about around it, and at a far end, closer to where Shodimu sat was a busy lady in a rafia tent, she must be the owner of the inn*****
SHODIMU: (sips and belch out loud) what a good day to challenge the god of wine to a duo, sure me to win (sips) are there better palm wine in the world than that of this inn, Moroyin is known also not for her beauty and precious gems, but also for wine and pretty maidens (laugh sarcastically) bring more pal…pa…palm wi…win…(Belch) palm wine
INN OWNER: (from within the tent) will you seize from belching so loud, don’t you think its so disgusting? (Hiss) on such a sunny afternoon, must you add the irritating tremor from the stinking small round hole in your shapeless head to it, even my nose can perceive how it stinks (spit out from inside the tent)
SHODIMU: (laugh) your beauty and wine compliments each other so much that not even your hordes of insult haul at me will matter (belch again) I belch so loud that I even disturb the gods, but what will they do? (Laugh) I can’t die now, no, not yet, even death knows that for sure (sips) enough dying for today, am here to drain my bitterness in this gouge of wine, so your whip of insult can be tolerated (sips, turn towards the inn) Moroyin needs no death to pay us a visit by itself, Dikudi has chosen to do its bidden (turn head away and sip some more, driving flies away from perching on his calabash) not even the King is safe anymore (sigh)
(Entering is the proverbial’s drunkard, staggering here and there, hardly can he maintain a steady balance. A gouge in his hand from which he drinks his palm wine. Tattered and smelling, flies follow from behind and he careless what they gossip behind him as they buzz about)
TOMORI: (wave his hand behind him) why are my entourage so noisy today? Can’t you all gossip silently anymore? (Turn towards the tent) my bethroted, will I still your suitor be today or perhaps you might consider me for a spouse? (Smiles)
INN OWNER: (smile) definitely not today, may be you should try your luck again tomorrow (mocks him)
TOMORI: (sips) A man who seeks a treasure from the rock most be heedless to the wailing sound of the anguished looking axe. I’ll try more persuasion tomorrow (sips) heyy! You (pointing at Shodimu) I heard you mention that the King is not safe because of Diku…diku… (Peep in the direction of the four cardinal point) let me be sure am safe before calling the name of fear (sips and sat beside Shodimu) you know who I mean. Tell your plight, a little drop of water in turn, makes a mighty ocean, will you do me the honour of telling me what’s happening? (stare at him)
SHODIMU: (turn to look at who disturbs his moment of enjoyment) ah! Its you Tomori, useless drunk ever to live (squeeze his face) be gone from here and let peace stain the troubled ground (sip his drink)
TOMORI: aw! Its really you my friend (tries to hug him)
SHODIMU: (shove him away) get away from me you rejected piece of stinking rag (slaps his hand away) who in Moroyin’s pride is your friend? Are you so losing your mind to wine that you really don’t recognize or have respect for a royal person?
TOMORI: (looks around in a fearful gesture) I hope you are not referring to yourself as been royal? (Burst into laughter) Errand fool like you, the wine must have made you start day-dreaming, its true that when a leaf stays long in the bossom of a bleach; it ultimately becomes a bleach, Shodimu! Its a shame to see you behaving like the blurry-white coloured liquid in your hand (drinks his wine) I am better than you oh messenger! Atleast am free to roam where I chose, is it same for you? Is it not from an errand you so return? (Laugh)
INN OWNER: Can you both stop behaving like ladies and talk like men, I count my earnings and I need full concentration to do so (hiss) trouble no trouble else you get it double
TOMORI: What news have you of the Okuta mountain and its saga? (Sits to face Shodimu) What has Dikudi done this time again?
SHODIMU: I saw it with my own two naked eyes how he tear through them like a raging storm, none of the royal guards could withstand him and his cohorts (sip wine) they were swift and fast, with just wooden clubs against spears and swords. All the royal treasure diggers ran for their dear lives (a man run pass where they sat) see! See! That should be one of the workers, I know them from the way they dress
TOMORI: Oh! The gods bless your sight, yet I hope some day like treasure they won’t demand the same (sip wine) you alone unlike most of us who dwell in Moroyin is priviledge enough to see the mountain, except for Dikudi who is violating the royal decree all in the name of ancestral heritage. I envy you Shodimu, you must have seen enough precious stones to build an empire of fortune (move closer to him and whisper) or have you been able to take some while you visit the end of the rainbow? (Smiles)
SHODIMU: Are you out of your senses? What if someone over heard your implicating accusation, don’t you know my head may lose its neck for it? (Push him away)
TOMORI: Haba! It was just but a sincere question. It is only a killer who quickly hide himself away at the sight of a cutlass, it is only he who have tasted sleeping that can describe the sweetness of death, why feel guilty of the crime you did not commit? (Clears throat mockingly)
SHODIMU: May all this your proverb not put you to trouble someday, let me be! I come here to ease my sight and heart of the horror I saw today, and yet you’ve come here with your own war of proverbs (drinks all that’s left of the palm wine in his bowl) my time to leave this hell for my paradise is come atlast (stand but staggered back in his seat)
INN OWNER: Shodimu! I heard that o. My own inn has suddenly become your hell after you’ve exhausted your miserable moment on my sweet palm wine, thought you said there’s no better inn in Moroyin aside this one? Indeed you are a double mouthed man so very unstable, its better you take your leave now
SHODIMU: You don’t have to tell or chase me, I’ll leave your inn for you (drop some cowries inside the bowl) here is your payment for service, am leaving for my paradise, to the palace my feet may now come to (stands again and struggle to maintain balance) to my home I go, onward to my haven of rest
TOMORI: Pitiful person like you know not grave from bed. (Shakes head) between the King and Dikudi we will see how it will all end, and am so sure that we will hear the tales from your mouth (laugh)
(Shodimu staggers out as Tomori mockingly laugh him)
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