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Novel Women Of Owu By Femi Osofisan ( Chapter 1)

Discussion in 'Women Of Owu By Femi Osofisan' started by lectportal, May 8, 2019.

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  1. lectportal

    lectportal Administrator Staff Member Administrator User

    Femi Is of is has written over fifty plays, which have been performed in various parts of the world, and some of which were commissioned by theatres in Europe and America.

    Anlugbua: Tell me, dear women
    You seem to come from there
    What's the name of the city I see
    Smoldering over there?

    Woman: Strange, you don't know? Look at my tears! That was once the proud city of Own, reduced to ruin

    Anlugbua: Ah! Just as I feared!
    Woman: Those soldiers you see revelling in camps over there (points)
    Dancing and drinking to their victory
    And may Anlugbua choke them with it!
    They were the ones who came yesterday and scattered our lives into potsherds...

    Anlugbua: Yesterday!
    Woman: Yesterday, old man!
    For seven years we had held them off,
    These invaders from ijebu and Ife, together with mercenaries from Oyo fleeing south from the Fulani forces. They said our Oba was a despot, that they came to free us
    From his cruel yoke!
    So for seven years they camped
    Outside our walls, but we're unable to enter until yesterday, when a terrible fire engulfed the city and forced us to
    Open our gates. That was how
    They finally gained entry and swooped on us...

    Anlugbua: I don't understand:
    You said all this happened only yesterday?

    Woman: Yes, and I'd advise you to hurry away as fast as you can, old man
    For if they catch you
    Your life won't be worth a beetle. They are not sparing the life of any male that falls into their hands, whether old or young.
    Yesterday on the orders of their leader,
    Okunade ,the Maye,
    And before our very eyes here,
    They rounded up all our husbands and
    Brothers, and sons, and slau__
    (stops, chocked by emotion.)

    Woman: They slaughtered them! All!

    Anlugbua: All?

    Woman: Not one was spared! Not a single male left now
    In Owu, except those who escaped the night before With our king, oba Akinjobi.

    Woman: And shame, oh shame! Our
    Women were sized and shared out to the blood-splattered troops to spend
    The night. Only some of us - we two,
    And the women you see over there
    Were spared, those of us from the noble houses and others whose beauty struck their eyes:
    We are being reserved, they say, for the Generals.

    Anlugbua: But your priests! Your chief! Your diviners! Why didn't anybody call me?

    Woman: Call you?

    Anlugbua: My words were clear enough, I thought!
    Whenever any grave danger threatens the town, I said! Whenever some misfortune arrives
    Too huge for you to handle, run
    To my hill and pull my chain!
    How was it that no one remembered?
    Woman: You... you... Who are you?

    Anlugbua: Three times, I said! Call my
    Name three times, and I shall be back,
    Sword in hand, to defend you!

    Woman: Sword! That would have served little purpose
    This time, I tell you! Because--- eh! Yeh!. Yeh!
    What did you say? You... You.. . Mo gbe!. ..
    Is it you. .? Have I stumbled upon...
    Impossible! My eyes have not seen a... No! Impossible!

    Anlugbua: Calm yourself, my dear women. You have nothing to fear!

    Woman: It not you, is it? Let me not
    Go blind today! It's not you, Orisa Anlugbua?
    Not our ancestors they talk so much about?

    Anlugbua: I said__

    Woman: But (screams) So it true, eh?
    Help! Help! The god is here!
    Anlugbua is here! Come and see!

    Anlugbua: (Hard):
    Sh! Quiet, I said! Calm yourself,
    I don't want to be announced! Not yet! You hear!

    Woman: (cowed) Yes... Yes...

    Anlugbua: So go on, tell me all that happened here.

    Women: (Whimpering with fright)
    Ah...ah. ..

    Anlugbua: (softening).
    Listen, this city was very dear to me
    I was there when your grand parents
    Built up the little old old village of my father into a fortress, and called it Owu.
    I Anlugbua,
    Great grandson of Oduduwa, progenitor of
    The Yoruba race.
    Together with my great uncles
    Obatala the god of creativity
    Orunmila the god of wisdom
    And Ogun the god of metallic ore,
    We came down from our house in heaven and lent our silent energies
    To the Labour of the workmen. Unseen, of course.
    The Esu bore our wishes up to Eledumare,
    The almighty Father and
    Slowly the bricks and the stones and the clay grew into a city enclosed within two walls
    And a moat around it like a girdle: owu
    The safest place in the entire Yorubaland.
    But now I return to see the unimaginable!
    How did this happen?

    Woman: Ancestral father, the armies of Ijebu, Oyo and Ife, who call themselves the allied forces,
    Under the command of that demon
    Maye Okunade,
    Caused this havoc.

    Anlugbua: Okunade? Not the man I knew? Gbenagbena Okunade, the one endowed by Obatala with the gift of creativity, to shape wood and Stone into new forms?
    The fabled artist
    Who also dreamed those arresting patterns on Virgin cloth?

    Woman: The very one! But when his favorite wife, Iyunloye, was captured and brought here, and given as Wife to one of our princes, Okunade became bitter and swore to get her back. Shamed and disgraced, he abandoned his tools and took to arms. And so fierce was his passion for killing, that he rose rapidly through ranks, and soon became the Maye
    an artist? He is a butcher now!

    Anlugbua: How sad! How really sad!

    Woman: Thats the latest sign of his new calling now, that ruin you are looking at anlugbua!
    All your shrines drenched in blood of your worshippers,
    All your sacred symbols wiped out by fire!
    Right up to the grove of your mother,
    Lawumi, whom we have always venerated, Anlugbua, Maye and his men pursued their victims and cut off their heads.
    Then they stuck them on stakes which they carried triumphantly
    Dance off to their camp, over there.

    Anlugbua: Even my mother's shrine!

    Woman: All night long and all of today
    The invaders have been looting our city,
    Turning it into a wreck, violating our sacred shrines and groves. Now, they are back in their camp, each of these pirates to sort out the plunder, and allot
    Our city's riches to their soldiers and servants.

    Woman: Meanwhile they make us wait here in abject terror, expecting the worst, and Unable even to mourn our sons and husbands.

    Anlugbua: No more: I understand:
    It's the law of victory, the law
    Of defeat.
    to be continued. ..

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