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QUEEN MOREMI’S LIFE

Moremi was a beautiful

princess of Offa.
She married Oranmiyan
the then Ooni of Ile-Ife.

Bush people were
consistently invading,
carrying Ile-Ife’s inhabitants
off to their Kingdom.

The Bush people came

dressed in raffia palms,

dry grass, a weird
appearance that caused
the people of Ile-Ife
to believe they
were aliens.

Queen Moremi,
pained by the grief
of her people,
thought of how she could
rescue the kingdom,

since no one had been able
to keep the Bush people

at bay.

She decided to gather
intelligence

by letting herself

be captured.
She would gather
intelligence on defeating
the enemy.

She sought support

from her goddess, Esinmirin,

pledged her best possession

if her mission

were successful.

She let herself be captured

and was carried off
on the slave cart.
Because of her beauty,
she was given
to the Bush people’s king.
Some say she won
his heart with her beauty
and character,
and he made her his queen.

She discovered the aliens
were not aliens at all,
only people dressed
in raffia palm, dry grass.
The strange attire
which had frightened
her people
was the secret
Moremi needed.

She escaped
she fled and found
her way back to Ile-Ife,

where she orchestrated
the defense of the kingdom
by burning away
the illusion,
she taught her people

to fight the Bush people

with fire.

The Ooni reinstalled her
as his Princess Cohort.
Moremi’s daring plan
had worked.
The enemy feared fire,
were crushed,

and Ife was once
again free.

She returned to the goddess
Esinmirin,
offering sacrifices of her
possessions,
offering goats, rams, fowls
all of which
the goddess rejected.

The goddess demanded
her most prized,

her only son, Oluorogbo
(also called Ela)
as the pledged
possession.

Heartbroken, Moremi
still kept her promise
and obliged the goddess.
The people of Ife
seeing her mourning
and helplessness
and sacrifice

pledged themselves

to be her children.

This is why Moremi is

known in legend-history

as mother
of all Yoruba.

Oluwafemi Babasola‘s poems have appeared on Bravearts Africa, Praxis Magonline, Kreative Diadem, The Rising Phoenix Review, Tuck Magazine, African Writer, Parousia and Nantygreens. He lives in Benin, Nigeria. You can follow him on twitter @babasola10on10.

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