Poetry

K’ÓMODÉ GBÓ, K’ÁGBÀ GBÓ By Adédoyin Adétutù

Written by Bada Yusuf Amoo

“ko omode gbo, kagba gbo”

The Akewi rang his bell like one assembling school children
I saw the housewives; most of them with suckling children take positions outside their homes.

“E gbo o”
He cried again in a singsong manner. One would have thought he was a part-time chanter of the Oba’s oriki.
The children gathered, abandoning their child’s play. It seemed as if the sun stood still too, awaiting what the person had to say.

“Let him who hath ears, listen to what I have to say. Let the rats at home hear and tell the ones that are at the farm. ”

The elderly people among them began to exchange whispers. The akewi was taking his time.

“They lie to you. All you have known before you were born and after are all lies”

The women looked at the man whose face and neck were decorated with beads of sweat. He was one of those they called revolutionaries.

“Let him who hangs himself with tissue anytime something goes wrong, be careful else he breaks his neck during a fall”

The women looked at each other with furrowed brows, each person’s eyes asking questions the mouth could not speak.

“The father who builds a house for the children who starve should better take heed else he buries his children in each room. Mo wi re abi mi o wi re”

The Akewi was dressed in the famous buba and soro with his fila abeti aja firmer than a nursing mother’s breasts. The children with little or no regard for what the man had to say, watched him in admiration. He looked like a god.
A god whose skin was as black as night with eyes as white as snow tainted in the middle with the stale blood of a raven. He was an adumaadan.

“He must be the one we have been expecting”

A woman in the corner whispered to anyone who cared to hear. Her eyes lit up

“Tell the truth, akewi”

She yelled. All heads turned and eyes were fixated on her like on an interesting performance before finally turning back at the one who had their attention

“Let him who has strength in his back, till the ground else the time comes and steals from him.”

The ones at the farm had begun to return.

“They lied to you. The ones they call society. They lied to you when they said weakness lies only in women. Take a thing a man loves away from him and watch him cry like a child”

An elderly man on his mat in front of his house nodded in agreement.

“They lied when they said no woman is ever too strong. They haven’t seen a woman driven by the love of what she does; determined to rise. God help you if she has a child.”

The sun seemed to be in agreement. It intensified, seeping the life out of everyone there. A child screamed in the corner, scratching on his neck. His mother hurriedly removed his buba and sprinkled little water from the bowl of water in her other hand.

“They lied to you. That only one must provide for a house made up of multiples of 2.
They lied to you when they said the one who births the child is solely responsible for the well-grooming of the child.
I have seen the truth. A big city
I have seen utopia where men and women live as one; mother and father, son and daughter, brother and sister, husband and wife.
Where boys can be like girls and girls like boys because there’s really no difference, except biologically.
Where boys can wear pink without feeling “girly” and girls can wear blue without feeling like wannabe boys.”

The crowd easily swayed by anyone who could give a speech, started an uproar. Cheering on the akewi, the maidens came out to wiggle their hips, pointing the sand beneath their feet the way they should go.
The ayangalus began to beat the drums like children needing reprimanding. Dust rose like praises to the sky. All of a sudden, the voice lowered and when the dust settled, he was gone just as he unexpectedly appeared and so was the sun. His royal blue outfit lined with wine threads laid where he had stood. The clouds became heavy with mystery, soon releasing one of the wonders of the sovereign one.
The sun was soon back, but not with him

About the author

Bada Yusuf Amoo