Ek’abo Ebi! (Welcome Family!)
After days of expecting the worst, Ayotunde and Temitope sighed with relief. Folami’s fever had finally broken. A tear of joy fell down Modupe’s brown face. He was too happy to be embarrassed. Modupe stayed by Folami’s side the whole time and looked almost as frail as she did. The worry that was heavy on his mind and heart had taken its toll on him. The connection that they shared was more than just love, it was spiritual. And for that reason, Modupe suffered just as much as Folami.
The people of their village rejoiced. They too had feared the worst. Everyday Folami received a visit from someone coming to wish her a speedy recovery. She was still weak, but with help she was able to sit up and feed herself the “special” broth that was made to help her regain her strength. Knowing that she was in good hands, Ayotunde and Temitope now needed to deal with more important issues.
Ayotunde was furious with herself. Once again she had failed in her duty as the oldest of the three. The High God had stressed the importance of keeping them on the right path. How their decisions would affect the future of their tribe. Already the future he foretold had become a reality. Folami not only fell in love with a human but she has lost her immortality. “She barely survived this illness. Who is to say that she will survive the next?” Ayotunde asked herself. “I feel lost. What should I do?” she wondered.
In the meanwhile, Temitope was also frustrated. It has been many moons since they met with the High God and the peril he predicted for their tribe was still unknown. The change in Folami’s life was the first omen. Temitope could feel it; a heaviness, a negativity in the air that had nothing to do with the weather. It pressed down on her. Wrapping her arms around her body, Temitope fought to regain control of her emotions. “How can I help if I don’t know what the danger is?” she demanded as she looked up towards Orun.
As the sisters battled with their inner turmoil, the danger that the High God foresaw was on its way. It would come as Confusion, Mistrust, Deception and Suspicion. It would come in the shape of other humans. It would come in the form of another tribe.
They are called the Pipinand destruction covers them like a shroud, following them wherever they go.
Their leader, Chief Kukoyi had heard of the Ina and awọn dudu and the strong kinship that held them together. He also heard of the goddesses Temitope, Ayotunde and Folami. How the High God had sent them to Aye to rebuild the tribes and strengthen their belief in him. He was aware of the crack in their foundation. The youngest of the three, Folami (according to his spies) fell in love with a human. He found this preposterous and thought her a fool. “Who would give up immortality for a human?” he asked himself. “I would kill for such a privilege!” Kukoyi bellowed out loud. “I want to live forever!”
His followers cringed, distancing themselves from him. Should you look upon him, you would think him perfectly sane. Wrapped in the majestic blue cloth of his tribe, Kukoyi walked with the carriage of a king, moved with the pride of a lion and stalked his enemies like a cheetah. His complexion was dark and smooth and his eyes were clear and direct. It is only when he speaks of immortality that one sees the cracks in his veneer. His insanity lurks below a calm surface, waiting for an opportunity to show its ugly head. Only a few knew just how broken he really was. But none were brave enough or foolish enough to confront him. There were however, attempts made by others to end his life, with no results.
Kukoyi means “death rejects this one.” No one has been so aptly named. Time and time again, he has come back from deaths door. He was attacked by a lion and survived. He was thrown in a lake as a baby. His people believed he was too small to live. The next day he was found on the shore. Bitten by a poisonous snake, Kukoyi’s body expelled the venom. Kukoyi believed he was invincible. But he did not believe that he was blessed by the High God. In fact he did not believe in him or any of the Orisa. He believed only in himself and that he was above them all.
The Pipin were only two days walk from the Ina /awọn dudutribe. Kukoyi only travelled with a small group consisting of himself, his advisors and a handful of his followers. The powerful army that he built over the years awaited his orders only a day’s ride away. Kukoyi believed that cunning and patience would lead to the Ina and awọn dudu’s downfall. He would be the blow needed to break their foundation apart.
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Mari e laipe!
See you soon!