THE SACRIFICE | Episode 6


Continues from where the immediate previous post, THE SACRIFICE | Episode 5 (in Category >Drama and Sub >>The Sacrifice) stops.

ACT THREE | Scene 1

 

[Day III: Morning]

 

Royal drumming before curtain opens, which stops after.

 

The throne room of Ogunsola in his royal palace. He is seated on the throne. Right by his right hand is a carved stool unoccupied. Then, there is a line of four seats each to his right hand and to his left in front of him. Seated on those seats are the chiefs, elderly. The Chief immediately seated on the king’s right hand he calls ‘Ọtun’ while the one immediately seated on his left he calls ‘Osi’. BALOGUN is seated next to OTUN. And a female chief, who seats at the tail end of the king’s right hand, is called the ‘Iyalode’. And there are the remaining chiefs. A young man dressed only in kẹmbẹ trousers, his head cleanly shaven, fans OGUNSOLA with a broad banana leaf from behind. An oral poet, dressed in ẹṣiki and kẹmbẹ, sits at a corner behind OGUNSOLA.

 

OGUNSOLA:

Now, having said all these, my chiefs, I shall desire your responses of opinions and comments; of observations and suggestions and of critical evaluation.

OTUN:

[prostrating himself.] Kabiyesi o!

OGUNSOLA:

[waving his royal horsetail in approval.] Rise up, Otun.

OTUN:

[gets up and sits down.] Your majesty, the matter we are discussing, namely, the annual sacrifice cum festival of this great land, which is four days hence—the matter is not what we should take with any triviality. The young tiger is a cub but is no little cat. [Murmurs of agreement, and soon subsides.] Your Royal Majesty, as we all know and as is traditional of this annual religious ceremony, the night of the first day is for the spiritual sacrifice, and that is till dawn, as we know; and the midday of the following day is for the public festival. Now, permit me to say, Your Royal Highness, that we are not as much prepared for the festivities as we have braced ourselves for the spiritual sacrifice.

OGUNSOLA:

Thank you, Otun; I see your point. It is true; but I myself am not folding my hands—I am working very much at that. The farmer does not see the sprouting cotyledon on time when the earth over it is high. The fowl of me really does sweat, only the feathers will not betray it. You all know that my prince Aderopo, has the duty of yearly making a journey two days before the night of the sacrifice to make preparations for the day of public festival and he usually comes back a day before the night of the sacrifice. He has never failed on that two-day journey assignment. Remember, he also went to Ọyọ just of recent to remind the chief priest of Ogun of this year’s sacrifice that he is wont to offer on our behalf here in Adáiyélabálà yearly. It was around the time of our host together with those of Ọyọ-Alaafin and a few other alleys went with Ogunmola’s warriors of Ibadan against Kurunmi’s Ijaiye and recently came back, that Arẹmọ Aderopo was sent to deliver our message to the chief priest of Ogun in Ọyọ.

 

OSI:

[prostrating himself.] Kabiyesi o!

OGUNSOLA:

[waving his royal horsetail to him.] Rise up, Osi.

OSI:

[gets up and sits down.] Your Majesty, mine is a suggestion.

OGUNSOLA:

Let us hear it, Chief Osi.

OSI:

Thank you, Your Majesty. Erm, I want to suggest, Your Majesty, that since the Prince is going on the errand for the final preparation of the day of the public festival, why not let us have him combine it with getting to Ọyọ first, to remind the Chief Priest again about the yearly sacrifice?

ALL CHIEFS:

[surprised.] Howu!!!

OSI:

Wait all of you; let me explain myself. We all know that the Chief Priest of Ogun is now much stricken with age. I suggest that the Prince, in this two-day journey of his, go first of all to Ọyọ to get ready the aged minister of Ogun, and then he can go on to the other part of his errand.

OGUNSOLA:

Ah, shall he be able to cover it in three days anymore? Don’t you think it shall take a little bit longer time? At least, he shall not be able to return a day before the day of the rituals, just as he normally returns a day before. Or don’t you think so?

IYALODE:

[on her hands and knees.] Kabiyesi o!

OGUNSOLA:

[waves his royal horsetail to her.] Rise up, Iyalode.

IYALODE:

[gets up and sits down.] Thank you, Your Majesty. Now, the banana plant is not up to what a man confronts with a machete: this matter is not as difficult as we take it to be. Howu! Does the Prince have a role playing in the ritual that he must return before the day of the ritual? He should still combine the two errands, and he shall return, at the most, the night of the ritual or at the early dawn of the following day—the day of the public festival. It is as simple as that! [Murmurs of approval and agreement among the chiefs.]

OGUNSOLA:

[gesturing for quietness.] All right. It is all right. I think Iyalode is right. So, that settled, I presume we have said all that is needed to be said. [Chiefs nod.] All right, good day, my chiefs; and greet your wives and your children at home.

 

[Exeunt all except OGUNSOLA.]

 

 

ACT THREE | Scene 2

 

Enter ADEROPO from downstage. Royal drumming, and then with a sharp stop. Immediately after, the oral poet stands up, and begins a chant in praise of the prince. Immediately after the poet’s chant, OGUNSOLA chants the following couplet, holding his royal horsetail to ADEROPO…

 

OGUNSOLA:

The spirit of a stream makes it flow:

The prestige of a father gives the child an ego!

 

[And ADEROPO falls prostrate, in obeisance…]

 

ADEROPO:

Ka-bi-ye-si o!

OGUNSOLA:

O gbe ’ra n’lẹ. Rise up, rise up. [ADEROPO gets up and takes his seat at the carved stool on OGUNSOLA’s right hand.] I was just about sending for you. Now, Arẹmọ Aderopo , as you well know, our yearly festival is only four days hence, and you are to go and make the final preparation for the day of the public festival, as is in your duty to do year after year; and the assignment usually taking you two days—that is to say, you return the second night after you travel: however, now, we would have you include a second assignment in this royal errand; but in actual fact, you shall have to undertake the second first.

ADEROPO:

What is it, Your Majesty? And Olodumare shall help me to carry it out.

OGUNSOLA:

Good, my prince. We would have you go to Ọyọ first of all, even to the Chief Priest of Ogun, and there remind him again of our yearly sacrifice in which we offer a human sacrifice to appease the gods for our land. Tell him that everything regarding the sacrifice is made ready, save only the human to be used for sacrifice which he, as is his custom to do, shall pick from amongst the captive slaves by sheer leading of the gods. Tell him that that only we wait for him to do; but every other thing is made set against that day. This delivered, you can then go on with the other assignment of the preparations towards the second day, the day of the public festival.

ADEROPO:

I shall do as the king commanded: may Olodumare help me. But, Your Majesty, it shall take a bit longer time before I return, seeing that the assignment is now made twain.

OGUNSOLA:

It is all right; but make certain of being back home at the very most the morning of that day of the public festival.

ADEROPO:

Surely! Surely, I shall be back! I shall embark on the journey tomorrow then and it shall take me not more than three nights, that is to say I shall be back home the midnight of the ritual or at most the early dawn of the following day, the day of the festivities.

OGUNSOLA:

Oh, better! That’s better! So there shall be no cause for worry on the morning of the public festival, four days hence. Oh, better!

ADEROPO:

[sighs and moves closer.] Father, there is a matter I would discuss with you.

OGUNSOLA:

What is it, Son?

ADEROPO:

Father, there’s a captive slave that I love and I pray you to set her free to go back to her people.

OGUNSOLA:

[surprised.] Aw! What is this you are saying, Aderopo? Howu! When have you come to this, my Prince? Set one captive slave free – for what? Aremọ, the subject is a taboo, have you forgotten? Ah, don’t bring it up again!

ADEROPO:

[goes on one knee.] But Father, pray consider it. Please, I beg of you, do this for me!

OGUNSOLA:

[gestures.] Take your seat, Arẹmọ. [ADEROPO sits. OGUNSOLA sighs.] My son, it is not that I myself have never thought on this subject—the subject of freeing our captives; obtaining for them a ransom. I have been moved by their horrendous tortures many times; but you see, son, this is tradition—when it comes to tradition, even the hands of the king are tied! I wish we were not using human beings for sacrifice—human beings like you and I, but whom we convert to workaholic oxen – to captives; and then we take them to the altar for slaughter! I wish I could stop it; however, this is tradition – it can’t be helped. You yourself know that this ancient town Adáiyélabálà derived its significant name from these issues: ‘We came into the world only to meet lines,’ so goes the name – and yes, lines on our palms; we do not know who penned them there! Remember that is how the source Yoruba adage has it. So it is, son: these are age-long traditions that a man cannot just wake up one morning and abolish. I’m sorry son, when it comes to sacred laws by which I rule no request that is conflicting is surpassing, even though the request be from my son most beloved! I’m very sorry!

 

[ADEROPO rises slowly. A lone flute plays softly. He moves slowly, to the door behind, and when at the door he turns back and looks at OGUNSOLA. OGUNSOLA also turns and looks at him behind. Music heightens. They keep the gaze for quite a while. Then ADEROPO goes inside; and then OGUNSOLA drops his head, at the same time letting out a heavy sigh.]

 

 

[BLACK OUT.]

 

Watch out for Episode 7 | Posting  Fri May 15 …

Send private comments and enquiries to Kayode Taiwo Olla via kayodeolla@gmail.com, or simply text or put a call through him via the number +2347062280424.

[All Rights Reserved. Copyright owned by Kayode Taiwo Olla, 2014.]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s