STOLEN BY THE VAIN
OLOMU OGHANRANDUKUN ORITSEWEYINMI
For the westernized Africans, who to my shame are far too many.
For all the lovers of African culture
This is a drama that tends to science fiction and the supernatural. It is imbued with fantasy, so it can only be performed at night, where light effects can be used to achieve stage stunts. A cine camera will be needed to achieve the so called ‘Okundugbo’ phenomenon of the open-heavens.
All other stage protocall will be adhered to.
Act 1 (Introduction)
At creation’s dawn, so Itsekiri say,
Grand creatures: manlike, rich and fine held sway
Those divine beings mingled well with earthmen
Unbound in Eriokun, they wore their mien –
That mien unknown to Okotomu’s fold,
Stood strange; removed as Northern star and bold.
Earthmen, like ants around pure honey flocked
About a happy town; Seamen then rocked
The jolly tides inventing myriad towns
While Okotomu’s heads had many crowns
Act 1 scene 1(A room in the palace of Umale-Okun: Omagboye, well clad in ethereal beads, recites the canticle of the gods)
Omagboye : At first, there was blind dark .
So, chaos like king then reigned
With little grace, but doom.
The light – the ray of truth,
Forth sprang; unsung from Night.
From deep and strange and rank
Confusion ‘Lokun, rose
And watery world was wrought
(There is the sound of approach she stops. Two figures – Omajuwa and Omagbitse her sisters – materialize from thin air in a flash of light)
Omagboye : Kabo! how have you been faring?
Omagbitse: We’ve not had much of a faring, but we’ve had much of thinking – much of contemplation.
Omagboye : (turning to Omajuwa) What is it that troubles you so?
By the look of your visage, I interprete signs of great distress.
How have you dragged our superior nature so humanly hollow?
Omajuwa (rubbing her thighs with her hands): I have not slept for quite a time; I have thought, and I am still thinking seriously of seeing the ‘Vain’.
Omagbitse : And the contemplation of the land of the ‘Vain’, occupies my brain with worrisome thoughts.
Omajuwa (elated): I am glad; I am not alone in these thoughts.
(There is a spell of silence – a solemn silence – so tense as to deafen even their ethereal ears)
Omagboye( bursts forth):
I will sojourn their dreamy world
To know its orb, its men and beasts,
To puzzle-pun the strange earthmen
And on their royal songs, play rhymes
Every day and now; every now and then,
We tend to spend suiting solemn sound sleeps,
On dreaming dreary demons damned with death;
Earthmen’s strange wiles to us must pose
Omagbitse : I can’t speak in rhetorics. I know Ode-Okotomu is a place to be; even ighoro can scarce contain its folkloric wonders.
Acts 1 Scene II
The ighoro, the beauteous magic glass,
Wise box of time, that gives all pictures pass.
The gorgeous girls aside it, sit to view
Its matchless splendid ways with awe anew.
Proud mansions, roads singing and comely beings,
Delighting maidens sprite as deeds with means,
Ode-Aja is seen on daily chore.
Strange men, in jolly garbs move shore to shore.
Akpofi sizes one in wrestling match,
The game the girls desire to sing and watch.
Many, the wily Akpofi has thrown,
Several, defeat’s rough thorny path he’s shown.
The ugbado, the ugbado
Instant undimmed, like light at Night
This plain of truth we shall now leave
For men of earth’s unwonted place
Omajuwa: Since Ighoro has shown the pictures, we have known Ode-Okotomu. It will be foolhardy to adventure into a dangerous terrain we know too well.
Omagboye : Ighoro shows the pictures not the substance – an ounce of reality is worth a million pictures.
Omagbitse (her ethereal eyes open with a note of conviction): You talk about the Ugbado. You talk about the instantaneous move to the world of the Vain. Have you considered that we, of the waters, operate a time continuum different from those of the mortals – ‘the Vain’?
Omagboye: Really! I little considered that.
Omagbitse: Yes; earth is indeed a hard place. But the hands of Ira – the time god – can be backward turned. Each day will as an hour seems, and each year will become a day, so as to tune our time continuum to suit that of the mortals.
(The girls all hold their hands forming a circle; they stood in the Ugbado, a silvery saucer shaped ethereal craft. They chant.):
“To the land of the ‘Vain’
Across shadows hills and rain,
Ugbado shall forth
To the land of the ‘Vain’
Across shadows hills and rain,
Our task will be wrought”.
Act 1 Scene III
(Umale – Okun approaches the palace with Adumu and oshiri. Umale-Okun is said to be invisible and the only deity with Oritse, the supreme being at the beginning , before the creation of the heavens and the earth. Umale-Okun sometimes interacts with his children – the water beings – assuming the shape of a comely Negro).
Where are my daughters, triune?
My lovely daughters, sweet.
They’ve gone the outer world,
To seek its hateful beats.
What shall these brats I do,
Courting love with my foe?
Adumu (trying to comfort Umale-Okun): Patience father, father, patience, as the night tracking the day; flying birds must come to roost.
Oshiri: Yes father, why must you allow distress to mock your divinity? Have you not existed before all things? Are we not but a spark of your sempiternality? Remember the sweet years of yore; remember when the unruly sons of your ethereal body have not disobeyed to form the damned land race – the ‘Vain’
Umale-Okun (Pacing around and speaking with an air of dignified authority).
: Enough! Masturbating my ego or making a mockery of my eternality will solve not this problem. Go for Wolowolo at once! Let him announce to the other children. When the roof is on fire, we chase no crabs. Be gone! (Adumu and Oshiri dematerialize. Light off on stage)
Act2 Scene I
(Along a street at Ode-okotomu)
(Alero with only wrapper across her chest meets Anino dressed in similar fashion. They carry decorated beautiful clay pots with water on their heads).
A backround sond is heard:
Agboluweri oo (osa ma woo ) 2ice
Uja few a aja 2ice
E agboluweri (osa ma woo ) 2ice
Ipi fe wa aja 2ice ( the song rings from the sky, and the girls show expression of surprise before contining on their journey)
Alero (excited): Anino, have you been broken of the news.
Anino: Speak forth: what is it that the wind blows?
Alero : Something strange, stranger than a fish riding on horse back. (Her eyes widened). Three of the daughters of those condemned to be rich have been captured by Akpofi.
Anino (fearful surprise written all over her face): We are doomed, those condemned to be rich damns us soon. My heart is in my mouth, and my wit has melted into phlegm.
(As they proceed, Temisan, a beautiful girl, meets them on the way. She is carrying a bag on her left shoulder, dressed as the other girls. They exchange pleasantries)
Temisan : May you gain the morning
Alero and Anino : May you gain the morning, even unto the evening.
Temisan : It is the evening gain that we eat.
Alero (To Temisan): Have you heard?
Temisan (resigned to fate and fear): I have heard offspring of our mothers. Never before has such a thing occurred. Akpofi – the brave – made prisoners of three maids and seized them against their wish.
Alero : Against his wit I dare say
Anino: But more importantly, against his will, for he has no will enough to run his wits
Temisan : Therefore am I afraid; the son of senseless wit, will by his will destroy Okotomu against our wish.
Alero: Fear not! But trust. The race of the extremely rich never wages a war of blame.
Anino: How can they be blamed for rescuing three of their own?
Temisan: Really, they may be justified remember, the people of Eriokun, by their nature never wages a war. When their citizens drift to ode-okotomu, they always negotiate.
Anino: To drag their patience too far is to tamper the cord of their endurance. I am afraid such a practice might snap at its elastic limit.
Alero : Oh beautiful race! What wondrous wiles they use in initiating their way from the aqueous terrain. The ‘waterians’ really are a marvel to behold.
Temisan: And such a race bedecked with all semblance of civility, adorned with the whole amour of manners, and accoutered with the finest of fine traits shall not and shall never dream of waging a war on Ode-Okotomu.
Anino : Let us to Akpofi’s.
(All 3 burst into a song):
‘We know not what shall be’,
Let us the daughters see.
We know not what shall be
We pray the maids to see.
Act II Scene II
(The girls at Akpofi’s cell)
Like the moon ever changing phases,
So, we women change our faces.
We have so worn our hearts inside out
And partook the journey of a scout.
In all our wanton painful travails,
At this rude cell, sit us with the ails
Terra firma is not good with us;
All our deeds ending in a true fuss
We’ve been subject to the deeds of man,
And to the rank wiles of an earthman.
Omajuwa : A gush of emotion may lead to a flow of tears. A basin of tears will not free us from this undesirable condition. Let us send telepathic messages to our father and he will send us help.
Omajuwa: Messages are useless for now. Do you not know the state of mind in which we are? Telepathic messages are worthwhile when the mind is at ease. Yet, we don’t have the peace of mind.
Omajuwa: A long time ago, so I was told. Three of our race were so imprisoned. They died here in the land of the ‘Vain’ and they mastered their life. They even refused to come back to Atlantis after they were freed from prison.
Omagboye: I can recall. That was during the war between Arone and Adumu. That was when the first crops of the pure race emerged by binary fission from the body of the Pure One.
Omagbitse: And yes, that war in verity was caused by Arone. The war of supremacy between the earth and the seas, monitored by the skies.
Omagboye: Yet, the seas prevailed not (A thin girl with a plate of ‘epuru’ approaches the cell. She looks disdainfully and spitefully at the girls. The girls are already emaciated from hunger. Hurriedly, the girl leaves the cell to escape the ethereal presence of the unearthly maidens. Quickly, soberly and hesitantly, the girls eat the food. As they eat Omagboye remembers their supernatural menu in Atlantis).
Omagboye: What a hell of a dish,
Like a piece of sour fish.
Omajuwa: Never has this ‘Vain’ race seen the dish of our superior nature.
Omagbitse : How we feed on rays and connect our life stream to the ethereal currents that we enjoyed using ‘eje’, a device too sublime for earthmen to comprehend. Here we are to feed on this substance – tasteless, undelicious and offensive to our nostrils.
Elastic throat as serpent’s is our lot.
Rude hands have soiled our pride with dross unknown.
By locks and chains, we feel their wicked plot.
As swift as boa swallowing timid fawn,
They stuff our bodies, hearts and perhaps more,
With deeds as deep as death and dread as doom.
Now, pained and troubled, we our sorrows pour.
Some evil ditties crowd about their moon.
Unearthly charm will free our pride from them.
Our torch of truth shall be their new twilight,
Rousing new truths to hunt their selfish mien.
When truth has reigned and love shine forth and bright,
Their world, our orb, shall be filled with some fun,
Their moon, our doom, shall be shone with our sun.
Act II Scene III
(Inside the house of Akpofi. A well polished clay house with designs and curios Akpofi, clad with a loin cloth around his waist with a thin bead necklet on his neck. He wears a winning grin).
Akpofi bursts forth:
I have attained my heart’s desire
The scions of ‘Malokun are mine
And knowing them sets me afire
By stature great! The girls are fine.
(Emaye,the wife of Akpofi, with a Loin cloth strapped on her breast. A thin necklet of bead is on her. She wears a worried and envious looks)
- Emaye : My lord, are you not tired of the recurring battles. Only a few days ago, you engaged more than fifty of the race damned to be rich, of course you prevailed! But how long will you prevail with a race whose foolishness is higher than the best of our intelligence”.
Akpofi (laughing derisively): You’ve said it all. If their foolishness is superior to our intelligence, it shows our wisdom will be superior to the best of their wit. I have the daughters to enjoy myself with. I will not let them go.
Emaye: But even if you must possess them, do you have space and comfort enough to house the triune daughters of Umale-Okun; how can you meet the ethereal tastes so accustomed of their ways?
Akpofi : I can see; you smack of jealously. You are afraid that your position as my egheyo (my favourite) wife will be threatened by these three.
(Enter Akitikori, worry written all over his face)
Akitikori: This is no time to hail and call appellations.
Akpofi (laughing) Okay, what time is this?
Akitikori (his countenance changing from worry to anger): It is time for serious business; grave business!
Akpofi – Okay, do I offer kola nuts?
Akitikori – Kola nuts? Kola nuts be damned!
(He looks Akpofi in the face) We are tired of these fights. It is a fool that commits the same blunder thrice. Enough of this! You must respect the voice of Ifa, let the maidens be.
Akpofi (to Emaye) : be gone!
Emaye – (she gets up and weeps, while chanting the verse of sour love)
: “That which entwines souls; is always true,
But I don’t love.
That which engulfs hearts; is ever fast,
But I don’t love.
That which purrs at my mind and giggles at my being
Is very voice; yet, I love not.”
(Emaye cries and exits; both men are surprised at her rebellion)
Akpofi : Forget her. You see, if a man gives his all, in order to acquire some stake, he will let go it easily.
Akitikori: But the season shows ill fate: after fighting with fifty gods, I am afraid; they might use more destructive measures
Akpofi : Never! I will not let them go.
Akitikori (surprised at Akpofi’s audacity) : Why?
Akpofi – I know them well. Our term of settlement is this: should they produce a man that can throw me, I will release the daughters. Since none of such exists among them, I can enjoy the daughters. The water, water race will not go contrary to its word.
Akitikori: Damn the agreement; I only pray you don’t drag disaster to Ode-Okotomu (he gets up from the stool and moves towards the door)
I will be gone” (he moves out without exchanging the usual pleasantries. (Akpofi opens his mouth in surprise as he watches his friend going).
Act III Scene1 (the assembly of the gods, Umale-Okun Inama, Ausar, Oshiri, Sami, Wolowolo, etc.)
Wolowolo : I have gone with the going out of the tides. Now I have returned with its incoming. In the first meeting we’ve accepted the challenge of Akpofi. Fifty of our men were thrown by that ‘vain’ man. Father, I am afraid, this is getting too much for us.
Ausar : Tough times come, strong times stay; only hard men endure and prevail. Forget about his initial victory: we shall overcome him.
Oshiri : I tried my best. I invoked the thunder. I conjured the sharp violent winds of the Northeast. The magic of Akpofi is strong. It reminds me of the battle which took place so long ago, when Arone, the master of vegetation, and Ale-Aja the god of the underworld defeated Adumu in the battle to retrieve some of your primordial daughters. (He pays obeisance to Umale-Okun)
Sami (Wearing an aura of confidence and clenching his fist as a sign of authority): The vain Akpofi cannot and will never keep the daughters forever. Although he defeated me in the first encounter, there must be a way we must retrieve our daughters from him. There must be a way!
Adumu (addressing Oshiri): Oh my! That battle! you’ve brought evil memories to my remembrance. Akpofi has defied my whirlwind and the earth current he conjured can scarcely be contained by my frame.
(Umale-Okun In a pensive mood His mind was brought back to the battles. Stage is rearranged to show some three or four wrestling matches between Akpofi and the waterians):
I have heard your lamentations. Who then will go against Akpofi to rescue my daughters? Never! The masculine pole between earthly thighs will no longer savour the feminine Atlantean juice of joy. My daughters must be redeemed!
Adumu : Akpofi is deadly.
Oshiri: His punches are terrific
Inama : His magic is beyond description
Oshiri, Sami – We shall not challenge him, he will kill us.
Umale-Okun (He bows his head and contemplates).: Have you considered my son Ipi? When the going is tough and rugged, Ipi is sure to find a way.
(The assembly of the Gods looks astonished. Each looks quizzically at the other).
Adumu : But Ipi is a vagabond.
Oshiri : Even a vandal or a vagabond may save us this disgrace
Ausar : Yes Ipi, how true the saying ‘hunger disciplines an earth child to remember the food previously thrown away’.
Sami : When a distant foe poses a threat, the near enemy becomes the best of friends.
Umale-okun : Enough! The deliberation is over. Go for him!
Wolowolo: I of the tide and waves. I am he, who goes out with the going out of the tide; and I am he, who comes in with its incoming. I will traverse the great watery expanse that separates our world from that of Ode-Ipi, where the baldheads dwell. Have I not ordained three tides of forty two days for the hunting of ‘ilebe’ for the citizens of Okotumu? Did I not ordain three tides of twenty one days for the same people to make a feast of ‘ide’. I will be gone on my way . I, Osabibi and Osawiwo will be on my journey to the baldheads. (He dematerializes to a watery substance and disappears. Light out on stage.)
Act III Scene II
(In the palace of Ipi, in the city, Ode-Ipi, in a section of the legendary kingdom of Atlantis a group of extra mundane vandals comes to Ipi to report its spoils)
In days of yore ‘Malokun called his seeds,
To pay some homage songs and seal their needs.
Ipi the great, baldhead, war prince refused.
‘Malokun frowned, his mind with war induced.
Like dews of fire and rains of blood, they rent
The air in crowny clash of regal bent.
Unwont, unsung, outdone, great Ipi fell.
His fall resounding bold like pill of bell.
A fifth his own, came crashing quite the same.
To shame they came and blamed with suchlike name.
From Eriokun, like stone cruel hurled,they left,
And hid themselves in regions much bereft.
1st baldhead: I besieged Ode-Adumu, here are some corals for you
Olaja-Ipi (a boisterous laugh of joy): Good gracious! You’ve not goofed. You’re a guy in a gathering of guest. Drop the goods!
(The 1st baldhead drops the corals and pays obeisance)
2nd baldhead: Your imperial majesty, I besieged Ode-Ausar and made away with his chest of gold. The whole of their security forces could not withstand my bravado.
Olaja-Ipi (He puts on a winning grin): Faint fellows; feverish foes, phoney phantoms: they shall feel the full flavour of my monstrous strength.
(He pays obeisance and drops the bag of gold)
3rd Baldhead: Your imperial majesty, memories dies with the withering of the brain; diamonds endure eternally in the waters of time. I besieged Ode-Sámi and absconded with this chest of diamonds (He opens the chest, offers it to Olaja-Ipi and pays obeisance)
Olaja-Ipi (He nods his head in approval):
These indeed are beautiful songs.
These soft songs of swallows soften my soul,
Rousing splendid picture of heroic deeds,
Deeds that echo greatness from pole to pole,
Beautiful as garlands of coral beads:
Bright beautiful beads, beaming blue with love,
As the emblem of the cute Peaceful Dove.
(He stops and looks at the direction of the door): “One of those puerile punks with potty plot is at the portal, planning to play pranks.
(Scene fades to show Wolowolo at the gate. He materializes into his manlike form before the baldhead guards of Olaja-ipi.)
1st guard: Oh my! In the name of the Lord Ipi; what have you to do with us?
Wolowolo: Tell the master; our house is afire. The race of the vain has rained insults on the race of the divine.
2nd guard: Has that got anything to do with us?
Wolowolo: It has a lot to do with you. We shall not fold our hands and watch our daughters desecrated by a damned race.
3rd guard: What is it you really want? You are the people branding us, especially our Lord, as vagabond and vandal.
Wolowolo: I come in all humility as an envoy of the gods to seek the help of Ipi.
(The guards look at one another and the third and second guards with facial signals, order the first guard to go for him).
1st guard: Let me go for him. (He enters the palace and returns after a while): He says he will not come. Concerning Umale-Okun he says; “the grief of Umale-Okum is so graven in his visage, too grievous to gratify his guilty grudge”. (The terrible humming of Ipi is heard continuously in the background)
Wolowolo : I see! He watched the father through his Ighoro. Really Umale-Okun is guilty of chasing away your boss after the war of the beginning (to the1st guard) take this bag to him and plead with him that he should please save our disgrace.
1st guard (Re-entering the palace and returning after a while)
: The master says, a pack of cowries will not cajole his divinity to leave.
Wolowolo (Standing defeated for a while, materializes a bag from thin air)
(light going off and on will be used to achieve this effect)
: Now take this bag; and go to him. Tell him the whole legion of Umale-Okun needs his assistance. Ausar has tried, Oshiri has tried, will he leave us to this disgrace? Will he allow lustful human flesh to enjoy the daughters of the father, those daughters of unsurpassed beauty?
(The guard takes the bag and goes inside, returning after a while)
1st guard: He said not for the pack of gold. He will go to put an end to the disgrace. He insists you should give him the garbing of the gods rather than dressing him in loaned apparels. (Ipi’s humming at the background)
Wolowolo – I know Ipi is my brother; Ipi is our brother. Truly one who has an energetic brother as an enemy cannot be beaten by a distant foe. We were enemies, yes! But this day, because of a far fiend we have reconciled as friends and brothers (to the first guard): Give this bag to him (the guard goes inside in a moment. Ipi comes out with him.
Ipi : Brother, (he stretches a hand and they shake hands) though for long we have lived the lives of foes! Although you are my brothers! You, my blood, bruised my brains and banished me beyond the brinish barriers to this abode of mine
Wolowolo : I am sorry brother. Malice between brothers must surely be rectified. Today is our day of re-union (They embraced amid tears of joy and he gives back the bag of cowries: Wolowolo looks with amazement).
Ipi : I have forgiven all. But know this; ruins shall rain from the skies, and reign upon Okotomu – my reins of regality shall rain upon their realm let us to the abode of Umale-Okun (they held hands, light out on stage)
Act III Scene 111
(They materialized in the palace of Umale-Okun)
Umale-Okun- Thank goodness! You’ve agreed to come at last. This is three moons according to the calculation of the people of Ode-Okotomuu that our daughters have been stolen.
Adumu- Ira, the god of time is great; he has made all things relative to one another. We have our beats and tunes; the gods from the sky have theirs; the people of Ode-Okotomu have theirs (he looks submissively at Ira and with a bow) Ira, you are great.
Ira (He gives a smile of triumph):
Some ponder much the golden sun of Morn,
Some wonder how his beams could sweep the sky,
Unfolding day with beauty bright and high.
Some wonder how Day is by Night outdone;
With light of Day by Night’s calm dark outrun.
How comes the Rains with bloom of singing Rye,
And Dries unwind their shadows far and nigh?
The Night devours the Morn and Noon in Mourn!
With zest and might, I rock the boat of Day,
From tides of fear immured in face of Night.
With rides so dear, I sail the boat of Life,
Unmasking Day for beasts and men to play,
Resolving Day and Night from bloody fight,
While Rains and Dries unlatch the stress of strife.
(Umale-Okun is taken aback by Ira’s oration)
Umale-Okun (to Ipi):
Welcome my son. Although Akpofi has played the foul with the daughters, you’ve come just in time to rescue the three.
Ipi: Thank you father, thank you my brothers. I am happy to be part mf my fold once more.
Umale-Okun: That native of Okotomu, the notorious Akpofi, has beaten my sons – Adamu, Sami, Oshiri, Inama, Ausar Oki, – etc. I have discovered that you alone can save us from this disgrace.
Ipi (anger written all over him): Mere man, mortal, mischievous morally mannerless, unmade him I must. (He exposes his sword from his skirt, the legion of the gods nod their heads in approval)
Umale-Okun: Now is the time to do justice on Akpofi, be gone!
Ipi : I shall wind the waves; wheel the watery worlds of wanton waste , to wage the wayward wards of worrisome ways in war. (Light effects, to show a cloud of dark descends on him and he is seen no more)
Act 4 scene 1
(A crowded street, Ekpanbo Akpalugogo is dancing in a jolly mood and singing)
Gentle, gentle, knavish men
Deeds great, ruthless you have done
How you wore your stupid mien
Like some big fools from the sun.
Sun like waters burning deep,
Rash in body fair to soul.
How I like your rays to keep
Like a big frog in a hole
Noble, noble holy crooks
Fair to poor men in the game
Killing them with vicious hooks,
Like some strange beasts all the same.
(As he is singing the heavens burst open: the usual Okundugbo phenomenon is taking place , the children of heaven commence a comedy of manners. a soft music at the background a cine camera on the ceiling, will act as the open heavens. The scene should be taped previously)
Agin – okun madugbo oo
ogheye owun ote wa oo
agin okun madugbo oo
ogheye won re ren oo
Eyebira tseje tere
Ogobe kpitse o ee
Imereghe tseje tere
Ogobe kpitse o ee
(Enter Desire, Faith, Love and Wealth)
Desire (with a heavenly dance to the stage):
Morn on youthful dreams,
When doubt’s lies are drowned in whims,
Joy is found in tears.
Faith (with a heavenly dance to the stage):
The dreams of yore we loved, with green morn’s breath,
Will heighten passion pure for prime rebirth.
Love (with a heavenly dance to the stage):
Bright with morn’s radiance,
When Sire’s hopes are crowned with faith
Pinpoint rays of joy.
Wealth (with a heavenly dance to the stage):
At noon of life,
When inflows surpass outflows
Good is gained in grace
Ekpanbo Akpalugogp (looking at the open heavens, the Okundugbo phenomenon):
Oh sky, the calabash, the equal lid that covers the calabash of the earth and of the deep sea, bear us witness. You, the children of the sky; you three maidens, people of Ode-Okotomu, there will be a great game among the earth and the sea and the sky will arbiter.
(He gestures at the water maidens)
You waterians, that pass not waste through your hind-side, but it peters from your sweat pores, kindred to the vegetable kingdom, you’ve been defiled by Akpofi’s lascivious fleshy pole (He gesture with his hands) You stand sullied with earth blood.
(The crowd takes time looking at the Okundugbo phenomenon and at Ekpanbo. The three maidens try as much as possible to ignore him)
People of Ode-Okotomu, when the sea dwellers deal with you, you will fart with your mouth, and talk with your hind sides.
(Suddenly an Umale-Oluna (flying saucer) from the open heavens flies very near him in a jocose manner.[balloons of a sort thrown from a vantage point from the ceiling will represent the flying saucer on stage]. He runs, and docks, his dirty, tawny almost brownish material nearly drops from his waist. He holds his dirty loin cloth with his right hand. The natives of Ode-Okotomu laughs at him, as they know the sky people never meant any harm, but only toying with him. As he docks and runs he rains abuses at the sky people.
Suddenly, the Okondugbo - the open heavens - become normal. The three maidens, now wife of Akpofi, continue their movement from the stream, carrying decorated pots).
Omagbitse: At first, I couldn’t eat their food. Now, I no longer desire to return to our father.
Omagboye: How shall we return to that monotonous life- that life where the taste buds are not activated that useless life where the life current peters into the body so lazily.
Omajuwa- Not for the entire world, will I return to the life of poisoned luxury. We had the comfort for sure: A life where even the gods dare not woo us. We now have human feelings; we can live happily and as freely as the wind.
Omagboye: And free as the tide, we can ebb with the passions of our sweet human sensations.
Omagbitse: How so nice is it to savour the sweet fleshly pole of Akpofi.
Omagboye- Think also of the delicious dishes, I shall not return to Eri-Okun for the entire world.
(As they approach Akpofi’s house Temisan and Alero meet them)
Temisan and Alero- Ere Oson.
The maidens: May you also gain and have the blessings of the noon.
Omagboye: Why these pantings?
Temisan- “There is bad news” (She almost spits the sentence)
Alero- Even Ipi has arrived Okotomu to battle Akpofi, and retrieve the three of you to Eri-Okun.
Omajuwa- He will not prevail.
Omagbitse- We mustn’t return to Eri- Okun.
Omagbiye-(Resignedly) - Rubbish! You two don’t know the might of Ipi. Ipi never ventures a fight without winning. We should take all our petty belongings and prepare to go back to Eri-Okun.
The end has come; we are to return to that luxurious, lazy life of the liquid domain
Temisan: The town is shaky and we are afraid of the bald-head vagabond prince.
Alero: it will be wise if he allows Ipi to take the girls without a fight.
Temisan and Alero- Odabo (They greet as they cornered at the cross-roads)
ACT IV SCENE II
(Akitikori with his two children, together with Alero, Anino and Temisan who came to listen to the fables of Akitikori)
Buwa: Papa, tell us a story.
Misan: Yes, a story.
(Alero, Anino and T emisan grin with excitement and wink at one another.)
Akitikori (He clears his throat): What story am I to tell?
Alero, Anino: Ekeregbe
Temisan- (protesting) Okanrobe, Okanrobe.
Akitikori (He ponders for sometime): In that case, I will tell the two stories! (He pours libation before starting the story.) Our fathers and mothers, I am about to relay the stories, as I heard from the mouth of my parents; grant that my mind will remember the stories and that my tongue also will not fail. So that after telling the stories, your children gathered here will pass accurate knowledge to their own children, so that the ancestors may be glorified, and that in the fulness of time, I will become a good ancestral saint in the here after.
(All the children wear happy faces)
Akitikori: Ita yee
Akitikori- My story is falling, falling and it has fallen on the heads of goats. In those days all animals were called “Ekere”.
A very long time ago, long before the birth of my great grand father’s great grand father, Amugri-Kpagri, the people of Ode-Okotomu decided to indulge themselves in a big feast. The elders of Ode-Okotomu in that dim past decided to sacrifice one “Ekere” for the magnificient feast.
The palmy shows like tunes of music agog in the air, as plenteous as the good deeds that indwelt the body of the Oritse-Udeji (the God-made man) when he ascended to the heavens, as the citizens of Ode-Okotomu were trying to derail from the original good news of truth.
But there was confusion still, as to what Ekere would be used for the sacrifice. One group of elders agreed on one Ekere, another group agreed on another “Ekere”.
Most Ekeres: hens, monkeys, dogs, antelopes, sheep etc- were rejected for the feast.
In the midst of the confusion, the people decided to use a particular Ekere (the modern goat). The argument lingered even for days; the slaughtered goat got rotten. So, a new one was killed for the sacrifice. Since that day, the goat is always remembered as the animal (Ekere) that became rotten (gbe). Thus the goat till this day is known as Ekeregbe.
That is the end of my story. May the ancestors forgive the part I forget and accept the part I can recall in the story.
Alero- But, the chorus?
Akitikori: Oh! It almost escaped me.
(The whole children joined in the chorus; while Misan and Buwa danced comically, the three girls danced normally to the song)
-“ Kere nugbe Kere nugbe
Buko wag be wo, Kere nugbe
Buko wag be wo, Kere nugbe.
Akitikori- (rests for a while and takes a sip of water. He also pours more libation)
Akitikori: Ita yee
Akitikori: I have diligently recounted a story today, now my story has fallen on the head of Okra plant
In those days, nobody in this city of Okotomu (Ode-Okotomu) cook slimy soup. All the natives were wont to cook soups that weren’t slimy. But there was one particular man, Atigbiofor, who was wont to cooking slimy soup. His soup was quite tasty. Whenever the natives of Ode-Okotomu visited him they ate their food with relish and even use their tongue to lick their plates like dogs.
Once, the people of Ode-Okotomu sent emissaries to him, to find out how he cooked so wonderfully. They went with many kegs of wine and other goodly things to enquire the secret of his cooking. The man, Atigbiofor, agreed to their pleadings. He sent his wife, Orode, to go get the strange plant to the people. The wife went to the garden behind their house and brought samples of the plant.
As Atogbiofor gave them the plants, he was telling each one: “even one is enough for soup” (Okan ro-obe). He later took the men and showed them the full specimen of the plant and they were elated. When the men of Okotomu went home they cooked with the plant and their sauce became tastier. All of them agreed in one accord that one of such plants, the Okra is enough for sauce. Till this day everybody in Ode-Okotomu call this plant Okanrobe which was later abbreviated to karanbo (one is enough for soup).
ACT IV SCENE III
(At Akpofi’s residence, Akitokori came to exchange pleasantries)
Akitikori: Amugri-Kpagri, you great and unsurpassed in mock battle, it is you I greet.
(Akpofi smiles in the triumph, he goes into his inner room and presents a keg of palm wine with two beautifully adorned gourds.) :
Drink wine my friend and have some obi and ata for the sake of your psyche
Akitikori: Ata and Obi, what a metaphysical combination. Ata is the hottening spice of the fairies; while Obi is the instrument for warding off the evil machination of Eshu.
Henceforth, this mystic combination will be presented to all important guests, till the close of time!
Amugri-Kpagri (he hails Akpofi)
Akpofi: Kada! You’ve brought childhood memories to my remembrance. I can’t remember the full text of how obi came to become a metaphysical plant
Akitikori: I can remember every detail of the story. Those stories are children’s stuff; the important thing is the practice of the traditions.
Apkofi: I may still hear it!
Akitikori: Hear it “Many eons ago, the citizens of our city Ode-Okotomu were purer in heart. The children of Umale-Okun were wont to coming here more often. The people of Okotomu were able to move in and out of water whenever they felt like.
It was not the situation of going to see the children of Umale-Okun at Eriokun at death, or only by great priest and mystics. Even the children of the sky come here and transport people to their palatial cities in the heavenly world. The Umale-Oluna were all over the place transporting people to different parts of the vast universe of God.
The earth (Ode-Okotomu) the sea (Eriokun) and the sky (Orifi) were friends and in one accord. When God saw the unity of all things in this creation, he became incarnate and descended in the clime of Ode-Okotomu.
In those days some scions of God revolted, they weren’t happy with the harmony and generally accord of the whole universe that sings in the dewy morn of creation with the honeyed fragrance of exotic flowers. The head of the reviling Angels created a negative paradise as a place of torture to beings that cannot learn, but by suffering. Their head, Eshu, descended. When he came to Okotomu he was mostly found at Itametas (cross-roads) in those days whoever is accompanied to Itametas normally disappear without trace.
Thus, the elders of the time sought the help of Ifa. Ifa’s revelation was;
“Use this fruit (he lifts up the Obi, kolanut) to make elaborate sacrifice and Eshu with all his bad angels will be exorcised from Ode-Okotomu”. So, the sacrifice was made; and Eshu with his bad angels was banished.
Ever since this fruit is called “Obi”, ‘the warder of evil’
Akpofi : I see! You’ve got an eidetic memory; I am glad to remember this story.
(Oshoff rushes inside; they turn and face him)
Akpofi: Why do you rush into my house, are all the invisible force in Ode-Okotomu after you; and your pants?
Oshoff (between pants): It is more than just invisible forces. This is a tangible force, a bald-head figure from the kingdom of Atlantis. A cup of water please!
Akpofi : Roli! (One of his younger wives comes from one of the rooms. She kneels abruptly beside Akpofi)
Akpofi : Kada
Roli : Osimimi
Akpofi: Enough! Go get a cup of water
Oshoff: Where is Emaye, your Egheyo
Akpofi – She’s made for the market
(Roli soon returns with water. She kneels and offers the water to Oshoff. Oshoff gulps the water, licks his lips and hands the decorated cup to Roli. She genuflects, receives the cup and leaves the room)
Akpofi : Now speak, what is chasing you?
Oshoff (annoyed): Chasing me? No, chasing you.
Akpofi (surprised) Me, Amugri-kpagri?
Oshoff: You of course, even Ipi is at the Ode-Aja, with intent to retrieve Umale-Okun’s daughters from you.
Akpofi (with a confident smile) – He has failed; change the topic
Akitikori (cuts in) What you are doing as an individual might become a curse to the whole clan of Okotomu. Consider all the quarters of Okotomu-Ode- Aja, Ode-Obon and so on; release the maidens.
Akpofi (to Akitikori) : You display a lot of cowardice (to Oshoff) please, tell me more.
Oshoof – Ipi is standing in the air at Ode-Aja, swearing at everyone, and vowing to throw you in a wrestling match and retrieve the daughters.
Akpofi – I will meet that bald coconut head of a man and give him his final disgrace (he rushes into his room and soon returns with his charmed leather skirt and another talisman tied around his waist. He rushes out for the fight.)
Akitikori and Oshoff : Return, return! Don’t go! (Akpofi continues to accelerate towards the Ode-Aja. Akitikori and Oshoff get up from their chairs).
Oshoff(shaking his head disdainfully): Some one who the king will kill always gets fat at the neck.
Akitikori : It is so my brother. (The two men walk out of the house, their faces filled with apprehension).
Act V Scene I
(Ekpanbo Akpalugogo walking a quite street and chanting)
Ekpanbo Akplugogo :
“Gentle men are evil.
Men, kind are ruthless.
Ugly words are true.
Words fine, are worthless.”
(As he chants he comes to an old man who is taken aback by the deep philosophy of the seemingly mad man. The old man is on his last journey to Eriokun as Okotomu’s men are not wont to die, but to dematerialize into the ethereal world under the sea. The man burst into his own ejaculation).
Old man –
Truth in forms odd always sings
Lie in shapes fair ever clings.
Contrasts great are rare to find.
Malice small is sort of kind.
(Ekpanbo Akpalugogo moves along the lonely road chanting and repeating his verse until he meets three boys in a mock battle).
1st child – Ekpanbo
2nd child – Obo
1st child – Ekpanbo
2nd and 3rd child – Obo
All 3( burst into a song) –
Akpalugogo niko da gbieyi wade,
Oh niko da gbieyi wade”.
(As the children sing and dance with both his names, Akpalugogo Ekpanbo becomes erratic, chases and swears at the children).
Ekpanbo :You mad people, don’t you have respect for your superiors? It is people like you that open your eyes after greeting and forget to shut them until a fly perches inside.
1st child: It is the mouth you talk with not your eyes.
2nd child: You are so dull Akpalugogo.
Ekpanbo (pointing to the first child)
How come, your head suddenly changes to that of a crocodile? (Pointing to the second child) you terrify me. Please walk upright; your head on the floor is like that of a sickly old woman’s.
3rd child (to second child): Really
Akpalugogo is out of his mind
Ekpanbo (swearing at the children)
You decrepit old women, goats will eat your flesh; your bones will be buried in the sky where eagles cannot dig them, but rabbits will fly and devour them in the cotton wool sands of heaven. You (pointing to the children) your stomachs on your backs are all hunched. Your mother’s testicles will produce only liquid white ova; and your fathers’ vulvae will . . .
(Suddenly the heavens and the earth became electrified. All the grasses stood on edge. The heavens open up. The sky became very opened, no cloud – nothing. An appartion of Akpofi and Olaja – Ipi appears At the beginning Akpofi is winning the fight, later Ipi compresses Akpofi and swallows him. As that is done, the stature of Ipi increases. The heaven and the apparition gradually disappear and the children, together with Ekpanbo Akpalugogo flee. Like in the previous okundugbo scenes, a cine camera on the ceiling will be used to achieve the okundugbo phenomenon).
Act V Scene II
(at the ode-aja Ipi stands in the air, bald and menacing, with only a string of chain resting on his neck.
Akpofi speeds towards him and also stands in the air. Both of them are in leather skirts, with no shirts to cover their upper bodies. [The stage organizer will indicate by speech that the giants are levitating])
Akpofi breaks the silence.
Akpofi: I heard you come for me
Oloja-Ipi : Yes; not to curry for corals; to be candid with cohorts and clowns like you, but to kowtow you to let go the girls.
Akpofi: The girls, my jewel, with me, must stay for life.
Olaja-Ipi : Provoke not my powers to pounce on you, puny pest!
Akpofi : Me, puny pest? You will learn how to respect superior powers.
(Akpofi invokes the wind of the south-west. It dazes Olaja-Ipi and he falls to the ground. No sooner he falls, than he levitates again and invokes the wind of the North-east to regain his balance. The people of Okotomu cheer up
Akpofi – they are confident that Akpofi, their hero, will win the fight.
With the majestic clarity of thunder, in the swift of the tropical clime, Olaja-Ipi brokes the silence.
Olaja-Ipi – Braggarts are bought with brinish broth, although they be brazen with bereft bravery. Plenteous people pace with pretentious pride, yet their palmy personalities are easily pierced with pins of plain power.
Akpofi – A naughty knave you are. I will crack nuts on your numb skull.
Each giant neutralizes the charm of levitation of the other. They descend to earth. Entangled in a great wrestling match – they stretch and stretch to breaking point, Akpofi throws Olaja-Ipi. Ipi feels on his knees to the ground.[he exclaims “ewo”] He rises soon again. He throws Akpofi. He stands on his feet.[he exclaims ‘ama’] The people of okotomu cheer him up.
With this song[agbarigban ma ba oloko ,oloko eberu uja oo]
They embrace again, Akpofi throws Ipi. Just before he touches the floor, he turns and pins Akpofi with his back flat on the ground. The whole of Okotomu are panic-stricken; they flee. Their hero, Akpofi, has been defeated. The three maidens submissively give themselves to Ipi. Ipi holds them and disappears the disappearing act is displayed with light effect. The light goes off).
Act V Scene 3
The Okundugbo phenomenon, the heavens open. The people of Okotomu appear . Iyakun, the heavenly mother of being; Olaja-Ipi, the extra mundane vandal; and Akpofi, stained with the concomitants of concupiscence a song at the background, the popular okundugbo song)
Agin okun madugbo oo
ogheye owun ote wa oo
agin okun madugbo oo
ogheye won re ren oo
Eyebira tseje tere
Ogobe kpitse o ee
Imereghe tseje tere
Ogobe kpitse o ee
Iyakun (to Ipi) why do you choose to become an extra mundane vandal?
Olaja-Ipi – I was a better breed. My brothers banished me from the brackish waters to the bronze – brass base away from my ‘betters’.
Iyakun (to Ipi) you have taken the path of revenge. Revenge is a blind fool. He pays back more than he ever receives. So, you have to pay back more than you can ever receive. You shall continue to live in the outside of civilization in a remote part of Eriokun for 300 rains and dries according to the calculation of Okotomu’s folk.
Iyakun (to Akpofi): Why have you decided to yield to the concomitants of concupiscence?
Akpofi : It is by deep introspection that a cat nibs the fish. I examined the girls – they are goodly and I took all three to myself.
Iyakun – A man lives by the desires of his heart and dies by the passions in his soul. You shall be banished to the land of the inhumans – between earth and the heavenly worlds – where you can enjoy the full flavour of your concupiscence for 300 rains and dries according to the calculation of the people of Okotomu.
The apparition of Olaja-Ipi and Akpofi disappear; the people of Okotomu are shocked and many start leaving Okotomu to populate the un-peopled parts of the planet.
Most of the people settled in the land of Kam. They established their religion in the land of Kam (Egypt). There is great jubilation in Atlantis over the reclaim of the three daughters.
Umale-Okun picks his bronze cup amid the jubilation and says “Cheers!”