Topics in Literature in EnglishSummary of the gods are not to blame by Ola Rotimi
Academic Questions in Literature in English
When the frog in front falls in a pit, others behind take caution. When crocodiles eat their own eggs, what will they not do to the flesh of a frog?
In the above context of the gods are not to blame, the person who made this statement is alleging that King Adetusa _____.
The story is the sad tale of a man named Odewale who has been destined from birth to kill his father and marry his mother. It began with the prologue:
In the land of Kutuje, a son was born to King Adetusa and his wife, Queen Ojuola, for they were the king and queen of the Land of Kutuje.
The son was their first baby. In fufillment to their custom, the son was taken to the priest of Ifa to tell what the boy’s future would be. The priest of Ifa, Baba Fakunle cast his opele and said;
This child would kill his father and marry his own mother
The only way to avert this taboo was to kill the yet innocent infant.
Disobeying the gods of the land through an act of compassion, Gbonka, The king’s special messenger was sent alone to do away with the child in the evil forest. He failed in his duty and saved the life of the newly born by giving him to a stranger, Ogundele by name, who took the child to another village and served as his foster father there. He named him Odewale.
Ogundele and his wife Mobike who had no child cared for Odewale. Only few people knew that the child wasn’t theirs, but little did they know concerning whom his true parents were.
Gbonka, however went back home to continue his service as the king’s messenger.
After two years have passed, Obatala, the god of creation made the queen conceive again, and this time she gave birth to another male child which the royal family named Aderopo.
When Odewale became an adult, an uncle of his told him of his cursed destiny but would not tell him whom his real parents were.
To nullify his cursed destiny, he ran away to a distant land where he bought a farmland at Orita-meta (meaning the place where the three foot paths meet). He had worked so hard here.
One day, an old man invaded his farmland and claimed the land to be his. He insulted Odewale by calling him a thief but Odewale did nothing. Again, the old man insulted the village they both believed he had come from; but this time, Odewale would not accept such insult. They both fought using their mystical powers but the old man appeared to be more powerful. In a last attempt to save his life, Odewale killed the old man by striking him with a hoe.
Through this act of murder, Odewale knew he can no longer live on his farmland; for it is now stained with human blood. He began to run from one town to another until he finally landed at kutuje, a town that had recently lost their king; "a King he himself murdered", King Adetusa.
The enemies of kutuje (which are the people of Ikolu) seized this opportunity to attack kutuje, but Odewale championed the war by leading the people of kutuje into battle. They conquered their enemies and came out victorious. By achieving this feat, the town of kutuje broke tradition by making Odewale the new king of their land. Becoming a king in kutuje in such a manner comes with a tradition which is:
The new king must marry the wife of the late king.
Odewale married queen Ojuola who had four children for him.
After some peaceful years, a mysterious sickness struck the land and plagued the people of kutuje; of which many died from. The Oracle of Ifa at the shrine of Orunmila after consultations told Aderopo (The son of the late king Adetusa, who had come to make enquires) that the cause of sickness and death was the murderer of the late king, who now live peacefully in the land of kutuje.
However, Odewale, the new king of kutuje decided to know who killed the late king but was told that he was murdered by robbers.
Odewale made a vow to pluck out the killer’s eyes and then banish him away from the land.
Aderopo brought Baba Fakunle, the ifa priest to the palace. The ifa priest knew who the murderer was. Instead of declaring the murderer openly, he indirectly accused king Odewale by calling him a bed-sharer. Odewale became so furious, angry and distressed to an extent that even his wife, queen Ojuola was unable to calm him. In an attempt to calm the accused king, the chiefs told him Baba Fakunle was mad.
Meanwhile, king Odewale imagined a potential plot against him being overthrown by Aderopo. To this end, he thought of a conspiracy between Aderopo and Baba Fakunle which made him swore never to set eyes on Aderopo again.
Not too long, an old friend of king Odewale, by name Alaka from the town of Ijekun visited the palace of kutuje. Odewale welcomed him and they discussed about old times. Odewale narrated the story of how he killed a man who insulted the homeland he came from by calling them a bush tribe, while also attempting to steal from his farmland. Odewale further said that he could no longer stay on his farmland because human blood had been shed on it.
Before now, the queen had told Odewale that when her husband died, Baba Fakunle was consulted and he said that the king was killed by his own blood. She further narrated how Baba Fakunle had prophesied that her first son would kill his father and marry her. Finally, she stated that Gbonka was the person who witnessed King Adetusa’s death. Odewale immediately ordered men to bring Gbonka from Ipetu.
Before the arrival of Gbonka, Alaka told Odewale of his father’s death. At this, Odewale did not show any sign of sorrow because at one time, he was told by his uncle that the man he was living with was not his true father. He was disturbed and went in search of answers. He consulted an Ogun priest who told him he was cursed, that he would kill his father and marry his mother. So he ran away from his adoptor, Ogundele; the man he thought to be his father in an attempt to avert the curse.
Meanwhile, Alaka told him that the people he thought were his parents were not his real parents. Alaka also told everyone present how Odewale had been adopted by the people he thought were his parents. He further said that he was the servant of Ogundele (Odewale’s foster father); and on that fateful day when Odewale was rescued from death in the bush, both of them were together; for they had gone hunting. He added that they saw a man in the bush of Ipetu with a baby wrapped in white cloth with his arms and feet tied with strings of cowries. Ogundele had pity on the baby and adopted him.
Not too long, Gbonka (an elderly man by now) arrived the palace. Alaka clearly recognized him but he could not recognize Alaka. When Alaka reminded him of their encounter in the past, the truth was exposed that Odewale is indeed the son of the late Adetusa, the King of Kutuje whom he himself (Odewale) murdered on his farmland.
Queen Ojuola and the Ogun priest realized the truth. The Ogun priest made attempts to hide the truth from Odewale whereas Queen Ojuola had already gone into her bedroom and stabbed herself to death (because it's now clear to her that she had married her first son who killed king Adetusa, her husband). She also gave birth to four children for Odewale, her first son who had murdered his father. (The names of the children are: Adewale, Adebisi, Oyeyemi and Adeyinka).
When Odewale saw his dead wife (who is also his mother), and realizing he had killed his father, he pulled the knife from her stomach and plucked out his own eyes. One of the chiefs was with him when this happened.
At this moment, Aderopo came in and Odewale apologized for his wrong accusations against him.
Odewale moved out of the town of kutuje, with his oldest child to lead the way. Odewale placed a curse on anyone who attempted to stop him, for they wandered as far as possible from the land of kutuje, thus fufilling the promise he made on whoever had killed king Adetusa, his father.
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