I seem to mind my business a lot but somehow tatafo still finds its way to my table. Who am I to refuse the offering of the gods? So, do you want to hear the story I have for you today? Don’t bother replying. Your answer is yes. This is the story:
Story story, story! Once upon a time, time time!
There lived a group of people in a big dark forest. One day, due to the encroachment of villagers from other tribes and wild animals from neighboring bushes, they decided to appoint a hunter who will serve as their Chief Guard. Everyone was happy that the raids and theft would stop. When the hunter was appointed the Chief Guard, he selected some strong member from diverse clans within this forest to help him carry out this task. However, some people were not happy. They said ‘Look at Okonta o!’ Okonta is devouring more antelopes under the guise of guarding our forest. Infact, Okonta is a clueless guard! Look at the poor man we are helping. A boy who had just one rifle when he was given this position. Now he has ten rifles! Okonta is a thief! Infact, our children working with Okonta have been initiated into Okonta’s coven. We wee nor takeet!’
This same group went around the forest square spreading perceived malicious deeds that Okonta had done. They convinced the youths to kick out Okonta and select one of the elders of the forest to take up the task that Okonta was doing. The youths said to the elders: ‘Don’t worry, we will organize a festival and when everyone is dancing at the festival, we will spread these allegations against Okonta. Don’t worry. The deed is as good as done. On the day of the festival, different singers chanted war songs and the ladies shook their waists to the fascination of the crowd. The crowd cheered and the youths sang and called Amadioha to strike Okonta dead. Finally, the mission against was accomplished and the crowd gnashed their teeth at the perceived wickedness of a man they made a Chief Guard so many moons ago.
During the next forest meeting, Okonta was called to once again defend his position as the Chief Guard However, the youths said that they did not want Okonta again. They promised to start a mayhem if Okonta did not leave their forest for them. Okonta and his cabinet pleaded with them and told them that a war was coming and skilled hunters needed to be on standby instead of feeble elders. They refused and said they wanted a feeble elder. Okonta then picked up his hunting bags and moved to another village while the youths cheered and installed the elder they wanted. Other members of Okonta’s hunting party were chased out of the village and they sought refuge in neighboring cities.
There was rejoicing for the first few market days as the elder was installed. The hailed their elder and said he had delivered them from the hands of a weak hunter. Two moons later, war struck. Different animals invaded the forest while the elder was sleeping. These animals and foreigners ravaged the forest like never before. The youths lost their livelihood and could not go to the farm. They shouted for Okonta to help them but Okonta was already in another village. Livestock, crops and lives were lost and the elder was helpless. In a short while, he lost the love of the people.
The youths gathered again and said ´We wee nor takeet! Ha, this elder lied to us. He deceived us. He told us that he would guard our village more than Okonta and we believed him’. The youth leader burst into a song: Okonta, you are our African king…The hunter of our dreams…You take us where we have never been… you make our lives go linga linga ling…
The youth leader wailed for his previous acts and tried to gather the forest people to kick the elder out. However, a woman spoke up ‘Our able youth leader, what calamity are we kicking the elder out for? Is it because our children are dying? OR because we can no longer farm? Is it that our barns have been raided or because we are no longer secure in this forest? Are we kicking him out because he can no longer secure our homes or because nobody will collect our kwashiokored yams in the general market? What are we kicking him out for? Individual or collective calamities?’
My dear tatafo lovers, I have not gotten the answer to the woman’s questions o! They postponed the forest meeting till next week. Let’s see how it goes.