Continues from where the immediate previous post, THE SACRIFICE | Episode 2 (in Category >Drama and Sub >>The Sacrifice) stops.
Do not worry, my son. The gods shall back you up and grant you success in it. They shall inspire your sweet nothings with life and make your heart flame anew with love. [Pauses, and then solemnly, as a lone flute begins to play softly…]
I have an intuition that your ways
are now being guided by a greater force,
say providence, or fate!
the spirits accompany you—
and fulfil in you
what you are born to be! [Exit.]
Aṣẹ! Aṣẹ!! [Pauses, and then solemnly…]
Ah! I fear, as I venture
on this journey on this fatefully day!
For I have a premonition
of some twist of fate
borne in the womb
to be born
in the morrow.
I seem to see Ọjọ-Akunlẹyan, that Day
when before leaving the gate of heaven
to come into the world I chose
while on my knees
before the Almighty.
Yet now, Amọna-Ẹda,
you who knows the direction
of mortals’ pathways,
pray guide me
in my way!
[Enters SOWANDE the servant. ADEROPO speaks to him quietly, and then exits. SOWANDE goes to the young lady.]
[Songs, dance and mime: The village women hitherto crossing the stage with pots come together now and dance and sing traditional Yoruba songs of mirth. SOWANDE, miming, woos ENIAFE for ADEROPO. ABEKE stands aloof to the whole show. ENIAFE, miming, then asks to see the man who she is to be engaged to, but SOWANDE refuses her request. She insists but he demurs still. The former’s look is now unwelcoming and the latter is now becoming impatient.
Then the music takes a sudden, beautiful turn as ADEROPO re-enter and SOWANDE with some action points to him. ENIAFE puts her pot down and, in slow motion, runs to him. ADEROPO and ENIAFE are now spotlighted as they play love, while the song goes on.
Songs begin to fade as everybody exits, leaving only ADEROPO, ENIAFE and ABEKE on stage.]
Fair Maiden, arẹwa of the
whole Adáiyélabálà land!
Overwhelming is the passion
that sprang from the bowel of
my soul the moment I sighted you.
Irresistible are the feelings that
surged through the whole of being
the instant I set my eyes on you.
Ah, overpowering is the love
that is born in this very me
this time my eyes meet with yours.
So, maiden of beauty so exceptional,
an marvellous creation so unique,
let me know your sweet name;
let me know where you dwell:
for I have lost my heart to you,
I have lost my whole heart to you.
Aderopo is my own name—
in case you don’t know—
please, tell me yours too, my dear.
I swear it by the gods, your name
is like birdsong to my ears, Aderopo;
the same like the first sight of you—
I swear it by the gods.
Eniafe is my own name.
And where I live—
where I live… [hesitates.]
No, fairest amongst the daughters
do not fear your abode to disclose,
even if meanness it shows,
and however so humble too;
for I am disposed to love you,
not minding your background
or lineage, or birth—
however mean they may be.
[Sweetly.] Eniafe, I sincerely love you so well:
please, tell me where you dwell!
[By this time, ABEKE is becoming very restless and impatient obviously due to jealously.]
oh I stay with
Yes, I live
in his great house!
[frowns.]Uh? With the Balogun!
[Aside.] Oh, I see!
the younger sisters
of Balogun’s youngest wife
just recently came to visit him.
Ah, what added honour that it should be
from Balogun’s relations
I take a wife!
But Aderopo my dearest,
permit me to ask:
do you actually love me,
with such deep love, and true,
that does not die down
with backgrounds that appear…
that appear most mean?
Yes, of course, Eniafe
my uncrowned queen of beauty!
I love you. I say I really love you—
yes, with love inexpressible,
the depths of which is measureless;
the dimensions of which is boundless;
and the extent of which is,
as a matter of fact,
beyond fathoming out!
My Eniafe, even if you have
the meanest of backgrounds,
I still love you! Believe me, Eniafe!
[ABEKE, who has become unbearably impatient, shouts.]
Howu, Eniafe! Let’s go and fetch the water we’ve been sent to fetch! Is this the place we’re sent to?
[Shouts.] Enough, Abeke! Don’t shout at me; I’m almost through!
Whether or not you are through—I am going!
Eniafe, let me not keep you behind as I can see you’re sent on an errand. [He holds ENIAFE’s hands in his and looks into her eyes. ABEKE, out of jealousy, hisses again and again. ADEROPO speaks so softly.]
Eniafe, damsel so endearingly comely!
Eniafe, maiden of matchless beauty!
I wish time is a cooperative friend!
I wish we can continue without an end!
However, we must for the moment part:
And parting is so saddening and so satisfying too.
And my sweet parting words are:
[very softly] I love you… I love you!
[They embrace for a long while, till ABEKE, uncomfortable, makes a simulated loud coughing sound. ADEROPO releases her gently from the embrace and walks offstage while ENIAFE goes back to ABEKE, and looking back at ADEROPO’s retreating figure again and again.]
And what was your man saying to you?
Yes, isn’t he? He was wooing you, wasn’t he? Is that not all he’s been doing? Chatting you up with sweet, sweet nothings!
So you know; then why bother me with enquiries?
ABEKE: Eniafe, I mustn’t hide it—he’s very handsome! If only—oh if only it was me he wooed!
Will you stop all this jealousy and mind your own business!
Oh! What a handsome man! Oh, Aderopo!
[cuts in.] Uh? How d’you know his name?
What a question! You want to tell me you haven’t been hearing about him since we came into this land? That your ears haven’t been full with things about Prince Aderopo?
Prince? Is he a prince?
Howu! Will you tell me you don’t know anything about this renowned personality in Adáiyélabálà?
Please tell me, if you don’t mind.
I know you know, but I’m only going to remind you.
Can you remember the great warrior of Adáiyélabálà whose name is always talked about among the rest of us? Second to the Balogun in terms of warlord ranking, as we heard; someone who, together with the Balogun and the company of Adáiyélabálà warriors, is widely acclaimed to have conquered many scores of towns and carried many hundreds of people as captives—do you now remember?
[Recollecting.] Oho! I see! Ah, I didn’t remember the name before! Oh, I see! So, that is that widely acclaimed Prince Aderopo… Ah! What an awful situation! Ah! This is unbearably saddening! That it is this same man—this same man whose name I have hated with great passion, that I now lose my heart to and have tender passion for! Ah, this is too hard to swallow! But I have been too rash to lose my heart to him! Ah this is unfortunate! But—
But I know—
I know that the situation is not bad beyond what can be put right. O ba ni, ko tii bajẹ! I can still mend this!
Sincerely speaking, I don’t think you should regret your initial decision in giving your heart to him. He loves you and you love him too from the outset. He’s more than willing to dote upon you, I believe—shouldn’t you also—
[cuts in. Shouts.] Will you leave me alone and don’t provoke me the more!
But you know you readily fall for him at this first contact; you know you loved him from your heart until you now discover he’s the one whose name you’ve detested with a feeling of resentment, don’t you?
Uh-huh; and what about that?
Eniafe, what is important is that he loves you—it’s not the rumours we have heard about him as regarding his conquests that matters. Why, we’re talking someone ready to love you all the way! Why are you being like this, Abeke! Howu!
Stop all these, Abeke! I have taken his love off my heart, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Leave me and don’t talk about this matter to me again. If you like, be his betrothed—but not I Eniafe!
Don’t ask me! Don’t ask me!!
Anyway, it’s your decision. Who has opportunity does not appreciate it, and who lacks one is dying to have! What a pity! [Pauses, and then thoughtfully] But there’s no way I can let him know that I love him. In our culture in Yoruba land, it is not socially acceptable; nay, it is a taboo, for the female gender to woo the male gender. But I have feelings for him and there’s no way to let him know! What a pity!
[cuts in.] Get off this, Abeke! Disgusting! Nonsense! Come on, let’s go!
[suddenly.] Aha, yes! Got it! I’ve known what to do to let him know—yes, my eyes!!!
Shut up, Abeke! Have you forgotten we’re sent to the river to fetch water?
Ha! It’s true o! The day has broken! Ah! We might be chastised when we get back! And you caused it, Eniafe. If you hadn’t been talking to Prince Aderopo for that long, we should have forgotten we went out at all by now!
But what of you? You were wasting our time pondering on Prince Aderopo yourself? You caused it too, didn’t you?
But you know you caused it most!
Ha! We’re just arguing over nonsense and still wasting more time. Let’s go now or we stand the risk of—you yourself know!
Eh! We’re in trouble!
Watch out for Episode 4 | Posting Sat May 9 …
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