Who am I?
The question echoes across the cave of this life and the lives before it. Ahm-eye-ahm-eye, the universe echoes back. Close your eyes, my countrymen and listen. Hear the chorus of the dissenting voices reply as they rise in crescendo. Listen to the beat of the Gangan, it is not innocuous in its deep bellows. In the ambient noise as with a thousand Altoes, hear them slip through the cracks and go inward. Inward, into you. Down, down the rabbit hole. Come my people, in this dissonance find your melody; and in our chaos bourne from the wings of the innocent laba-laba find your peace.
You are a bastard
An appellation borne out of a heart smeared with hate, your declaration comes. I don’t disagree with you. However, I see in the looking glass, the face of my father, and his father before him. Every feature is a deja vu; from that nose, royal in its bent but born into paucity to the legs, endless as an Igunnu at full glory. I sway to the drum beat of the song of my origin and dance on this red earth like my ancestors before. Asunkungbade; the one who acquires the throne with the instrument of tears. Ajifotiwebiagbaraojo; the one who bathes in alcohol like children in a torrential downpour. It is me, there is none other.
You are the best
Your countenances breathes appreciation and contentment. Even in the positivity of that, and the warmth it spreads across my chest, I know. I know that isn’t who I am. I strive for it, pray for it. But it’s not me; not yet. We will get there.
Your voices, though strong like buttocks of the Inaki, and steeped in conviction like the calls of the midnight owl, are not enough to sway me. I am the Iroko and your intended castes like the gentle afternoon breeze. I will not conform. The corn and the millet are easily moved but I cannot. I am the one whose roots delve deep into the earth and shakes hands with the gods of the land. I refuse to bow. I refuse to let you define me. Good or bad, I am who I say I am. I am a lover first. The one who has loved without remorse and lost it all with repose and then gained it all again like nothing was lost.
I am the beacon; the light giver. I do not tower over my peers for nothing. There is a reason the light house points its lone finger to the sky. In a world where individuality is all but gone and we’ve lost our souls on the bandwagon without a GPS, I am the one.
Good, bad, love me or hate me;
I am ‘Jibola