Character

IWÀ

Omórewà l’orúko tí awon obí so ó. Lóòtó omidan yí ręwà. Bí omodé ti ńfe, béè náà ni àgbà ńfe pèlú. Ohun àmúyangan ni arewa omo yí jé fun obí rè. Amó, won ní kiní kan ba àjàò jé. Apá rè gùn ju itan lo. Omórewà ni lóòtó, sùgbón kò níwà.

Bí omodé yí se ńdàgbà ló se ńpinyìnkìn si. Kòsí eni tórí omo yí tí kò fé e. Sùgbón tí ó bá la ęnu láti sòrò, èniyàn a sì mirí. Nitorí anú a se onítòhún. Àbí kíni ànfàní ęwà láìsí ìwà?

Béè, Omórewà lérò wípé tí èniyàn bá ti léwà, àbùse ti bùse
Ó wu Oba ìlú Fìwàsadé láti fi Omórewà se aya. Bó tilè jé pé baba tabí ìyá rè kò wá láti ìdílé oyè kankan. Lóòtó, baba Omórewà lówó, sùgbón kò ní ipò kankan.

Igbàkigbà tí Oba bá ránsé pe Omórewà, kàkà kó lo, omo òdò won ló ma ran lo. Omo òdò náà sì ré, o jé omo to gbèkó olé. Ó níwà tutu, ó sì n’íteríba. Gbogbo èniyàn ni oré fun, kò mo isé kò, béni kò jáfara. Kàkà kí Omórewà gbé èwù igbéraga kó, ki ó sì fa aso ìwà ìbàjé ya, ní se lo tún ní kí wón dákun dábò bá òun wá ìpèlé áti gèlè tó bamu pèlú.

Oba wá ro eéjì pèlú eéta papò ló bá wá wòròkò fi sàdá. “Bí a kò bá pa èka ìrókò, bó bá mà dàgbà tán, ebo lá ma bèrè fún kę”

Èyí ni ìrònú Oba.

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Ní nkan bí òsùpá méta léyìn ìgbà yí, Oba ránsé sí gbogbo ìlú pé kí gbogbo omidan tó ti bàlágà wá sí ibi ayęyę ojó ibí òun. Pé níbè ni òun ó tí yan ayaba.

Nígba tí Omórewà gbó, inú rè bajé gidi: “Irú arífín wo lèyí? Sé odidi emi Omórewà ni yió ma bá awon omo ti kò tómi díje àyè ayaba. Ati wípé, se bí Oba ti dęnu ifé ko mí. Kí ni àbòrò tún ma pe ìpàdé ijó fún gbogbo omidan? Mo ní láti fi òrò yí tó baba ati iyá mi létí.”

“Báa wí f’ómo eni agbó. Obí òkéré koro láwo. Se n ò wí fún o wípé iwa búrúkú owó rè yí yí ó ba nkan jé fún o? Béè, emi ati baba rè kó lo fi iwà jo. Emi o mo ibi tí o ti ri. Oniwa irèlè ni awa méjèjì. A tún wí tán, ìwo ní o kò lè díje. Ko búrúkú, se bí àwon tó bá sì le sé asì sé. Kò sí ipá nbè.” Eyí ni òrò ti Iya Omórewà so.

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Ojó pé, ojó kò. Asìkò tó fún awon omidan láti wá pidán owó won. Orísirísi òbę níjó ikú erin! Bí lepa bání oun rě, òròbò náà á ní òun kò gbéyìn. Kúkúrú sàmbe o ati eyí tó gùn, kò kúrú kò ga. Àti dúdú, àti pupa, àt’oyìnrí, àt’àfín. Gbogbo won ló pé síbi ojó ibí Kábíyèsí.

Omórewà ta kété, o ya ara rè sóto gedegbe pèlú irònú wípé òun ni o a ma mú. Kò kúkú sí omoge tó ręwà to.

Nígbà tóyá, oba dìde lorí ité, ó si nawó sí onà òdo Omórewà.
Inú Omórewà dùn “Nkò wí. Mo mo wípé kòsí eni le gba àyè mi.”

Bí ó ti sísę pé kí ó ma lo iwájú ni oba dadúró wípé òun kó ni òun npè. Omórewà wo ara rè, ó si wo eyìn. Kò rénikéni yàtò sí omo odo rè: “Bí kò bá se emi le pè Kábíyèsí, ta wá le pe o. Gégé bí e ti ri wípé emi nikan ló wà níbí.”

Oba dáhùn, ó ní: “Ìwo nikan kę, arábinrin tó wà léyin rè nkó?”

“Hábà Kábíyèsí! Sé omo odo wá wà lára eni ta lè kà kún wa ni?”

“Tòoò! N o mo wípé eranko ni o. O da o, eranko eyin re ni mo pè o, kìí se iwo. Sebí eranko lo peé, amó ìwà ènìyàn lo ń hù
Béè, ìwo tó jé ènìyàn lójú ara re, ìwà eranko gbáà lo ń hù. O ní ìgbéraga, o bàjé. O kò n’íteríba.”

“Ní gbogbo ìgbà tí mo bá ránsé pè ó nise lo fi mí gún lágídi tí wàá ránsé omo to pè l’éranko wá. Bí omo náà bá si dé, a kí gbogbo ènìyàn pátá. À’terú, àt’jòyè, láì yo enikeni sílè. Sùgbón iwo, hmmmm. Oro re, káfi sénu dáké ni iwa afojúdi kalè sío láyà. Kò séni to já mó nkan lójú e. Béè, iwà lewà. Kò sí bí ènìyàn ti da to láyé yí. Bí kò sí Iwà, pàbó ni gbogbo e jasi.”

Báyí ni Omórewà se padanu ipò ayaba. Okété gbàgbé ìbòsí, ó dégbá aláte, ó káwó lérí. Bí omo odo tí Omórewà pè ní ènìyàn lásán se di ayaba rèé o!
Obìnrin sòwà nù, ó lóun kò l’órí oko.

IMPORTANT: Praxis Weekly Yoruba Column


PHOTO CREDIT: Alisa Christopher

CHARACTER

Her parents named her Omorewa, which means beauty. And true to her name, she was beautiful. She was loved by young and old. She was a constant source of happiness for her parents. But…she had a but. While she was an epitome of beauty, she was lacking in terms of character.

As she grew older, her character grew worse. And while she was loved for her beauty, people shake their heads when they hear her talk because of the things she says. What is the point of beauty without an accompanying good character?

Omorewa had always believed strongly that beauty was all, so despite whatever complaints people raise about her character, she disregards them.

Because of her beauty, the King of Fiwasade set his eyes on her and resolved to marry her even though her parents were not royalty. Despite the fact that Omorewa’s father was a rich man, he had no titles and was not a chief.

When the King made his intentions known to her father and the courtship began, every time the King sent for Omorewa, rather than go herself, she would send their house help to the King. The house girl was the direct opposite of Omorewa. She was humble, respectful and a friend to all.

Instead of Omorewa’s pride and bad character to reduce as she grew older, they increased. This forced the King to sit and think. He knew something had to be done. And it had to be done fast.

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Three months later, the King sent a messenger through the village to invite all females of marriageable age to be present at his birthday celebration where he would select a bride for himself.

Omorewa was livid with rage. “What kind of insult is this? A whole me, Omorewa going to the village square to compete for the King’s attention with girls that are way below me. Besides, hasn’t the King proposed to me? What then is he still looking for?” She sighed, then stood up. “I must inform my parents and ask their advise.”

Her mother did not allow her to finish her explanation before replying her: “Did I not warn you about your character? Did you listen? I don’t know where you got the character from. Your father and I don’t have this bad attitude. And on top of it all you said you can’t compete. Well, compete, don’t compete, it’s your choice. If you can’t, those who can, will.”

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The day of the King’s celebration came. The girls were called out to be seen. Different girls in different attires emerged. Afterall, different knives probe the corpse of an elephant. Thin, fat, tall and short, black and white. The king’s birthday ceremony had them all in attendance.

Omorewa was present too. She stood aside, expecting the King to pick her. She was afterall the prettiest girl in the ceremony.

The King stood up and pointed in Omorewa’s direction. A hush fell on the whole place. Then Omorewa erupted into laughter. “I said it. I knew I would be picked. There’s no one that can take my place.”

As she made her way forward to meet the King, the King stopped her and told her he wasn’t calling her. She stopped and looked back. There was nobody behind her except their house help. “If you aren’t calling me, who then are you calling? There’s no one else but me.” She asked.

The King shook his head and answered: “You alone? What of the girl behind you?”

Omorewa looked back and pointed derisively, “Our house help? You are calling our house help one of the contestants?”

“Well, I didn’t realize she was an animal. If that’s the case, I’m calling the animal behind you, not you.” The King paused to spit out phlegm, then continued, “You see your househelp as an animal but she is not. She is more human that you have ever been. You are rude, spoilt and proud.”

“Every time I sent for you, instead of showing respect fot me and my throne, you will send the girl you think is an animal. Unlike you, when she comes, she’ll greet everyone from chiefs to slaves. But you? Nobody is anything before you. You did not learn the biggest lesson that without a good character, beauty is nothing.”

This was how Omorewa lost the opportunity to become the Queen of Fiwasade and the house help she had always disregarded became Queen in her place.

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