“The Messenger of Chaos” (The Story of the Yoruba Slave)

The Yorubas say, “Omode gbon agba gbon l’afi da Ile-Ife”. It is a cultural and a standard belief that the young and the old are wise; therefore, both parties are expected to exhibit a level of wisdom. It is therefore surprising when a situation arises that contradicts general cultural beliefs, the masterminds of these scenes and episodes will never escape its consequences. Despite the values that our culture imbibes in us from generation-to-generation, the values, morals and beliefs that have been proven and certified right over ages which made our parents and forefathers not to be selfish in transferring them either by talk or flog, the question to ask is ‘what can make a man go against his core cultural values and morals to undertake an undaring task?, what is he possibly falling back on?, is it money, position, materials or spiritual assurance?. Even if these have been promised, if he truly absorbed good morals, it should not appeal to him. The Yorubas say, “Aja ti o ba fe sonu, kii gbo fere ode”. One can force a horse to the river but cannot force it to drink; no one can force a child to accept good morals, it is left for him to decide in his closet. Yoruba parents echo, “Omo yii ma pami ma pami, ti o ba ya a di ma p’ara e”. On the other hand, the sender of a chaotic message is probably suffering from the same moral deafness because birds of the same feather always flock together; stripe-to-stripe, spot-to-spot and plain animals to plain animals. If good morals were fully imbibed, the messenger would have his way of communicating to his master his unwillingness to deliver a chaotic message or remind his master of his roots and routes. There is a limit to how the blame for moral decadence can be shared. The gravity of a dangerous message can lead to a whole lot of chaos and those who stand up for righteousness are forcefully made to pay for it. The wicked have forgotten that “Ti iro ba lo fun ogun odun, otito a ba n’jo kan”. The day the bitter truth is widely known, the gnashing of the wicked begins and the saddest fact is that it would never end until amends are made and as they postpone the day of restitution, further days of calamity draws near. For reckoning to waver, there is need for both parties to realize their wrong, stir the air clear and plea for amnesty; it will work because “Oro tutu, iwa pele ni” and “Eni ti o ba da omi si iwaju a te ile tutu”.


Bolu Michael-Biyi

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