African Spiritualityopinion

The Owner of The House Made Stranger in His House

A people honoring the ways of strangers for the sake of peace might soon become strangers to peace

A family once accommodated two nomads; a man and his wife, into their house in Olùkù; a community that is so vast in wealth.  “Please take us in, we shall leave by the dawn next day.” Because of the Olùkùs’ culture of kindness, they vacated their bedroom for these visitors.  However, on the day that the visitors ought to leave, they pleaded for two more days. The landlord approved the request of these travelers. “We must be kind to them that need our help,” he told his wife. The visiting couple usually hand over a pack of chocolate to the children after retiring back to their host every evening. 

Because chocolate was alien to the people living in this community, they were oblivion of the fact that it was made from the fruit of cocoa trees, which is as abundant as the grass of the field in their community. 

On the second day during a visit to a man’s farm, the strangers asked the farmer “what do you do with these cocoa seeds?” The farmer responded, “We chew them raw because the seed is medicinal”. The male stranger then deeps his hand into his pouch and brought out two chocolates, giving one to his wife who was beside him, they started licking without offering the farmer a share of their chocolate. “What is that dark thing you’re licking?” The farmer asked. “Have it and tell us what it tastes like.” The strangers offered. The farmer in excitement replied after the first bite “It tastes good, can I have one more.” “I will give you seven scores of it every month in exchange for your farmland plus whatever is underneath and above it.” Says the stranger. “Dozen, what am I going to do with that?” The farmer inquired further. “Sell it, it will make you the richest man in your entire community.” the stranger convincingly assured him.

After the two days requested by the strangers expired, the children of the hosts went to their parents on behalf of these foreigners “Please allow these people to stay more for some days, they always share their chocolate with us; that sweet brownish thing that does wonder in our belly, let’s return their kindness by allowing them to stay for two more moons.” The children requested. “That’s much, we don’t have the resources to care for them for two months” The father replied. “Well, they don’t eat our food, they only need a place to stay.” The children retorted. The man asked his children “But are you aware your mother and I have been sleeping in the shack in the backyard? We don’t even know these people, yet we have staked our all for them” “Yes dad, “we don’t know them, but they’ve been kind to us. Moreover, it’s just going to be for two months, these people are already teaching us their language and their beliefs. We love the ways of these strangers.” Though he was hesitant, he did as his children bade him. 

Obviously, the children were only aware of what these guests were giving them, but they were in the dark about what the visitors were about to take from them. 

The guests didn’t bother to wait for two months, unknowingly to the host, the kind visitors’ mission is to spy on the resources of the community. Both spiritual resources, mineral resources, and human resources. 

Upon their return to their country, these nomads reported to their principal the level of wealth they saw in the ‘new land’,  but defined the people they met there with awful words such as gullible for what ought to be accommodating. Primitive and savagery for what ought to be originality, courage, and depth.

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Art Institute of Chicago Headdress for Gelede (Igi)
Attributed to Idowu Olalaiye
(active early/mid-20th century)
Yoruba Ota, Awori region, Nigeria Coastal West Africa

With adequate preparation, the nomads returned back to the community with more people now to commit the greatest act of wickedness ever committed against the human race; conditioning the children to hate all they have, and teaching them to embrace all that is foreign: Uprooting them away from the soul of their humanity:

Your language is vernacular don’t speak it in school, your spirituality is diabolical and it won’t get you to ‘heaven’. Your kindness and your sincerity are gullibility, you must understand logic, smartness is making wrong appear good, and falsehood, truth. The children of this community bought into the worldview of nomads and became worse than those who have enslaved their souls. 

Such is our plight as a people. 

When people use the words fundamental human rights, I wonder what they talk about when traditional believers are still perceived as unfit for public benefits, which both Christians and Muslims are enjoying.  Will African Traditional Believers too be seen as equal in the realm of faith, even though he/she is superior in the real sense? Will they ever be entitled to have a public holiday for the honor of gross or one of their pantheon(s), even though they are more apt in granting the request of their devotees? And will their right to swear with their Diety be upheld for public duties? 

A people honoring the ways of strangers for the sake of peace might soon become strangers to peace. As the acient wisdom of Yoruba says “bí ọ́mọdé bá ṣubú á wo iwájú; bí àgbà bá ṣubú á wo ẹ̀yìn.” Meaning, Upon falling, a youngster looks ahead (for help); an elder looks back (for the cause).  Prevention is better than cure; it is good to look for help after a fall, but better to prevent a recurrence by seeking the cause.

'PELUMI A. Pelumi-Folarin

Hi, I'm OLUWANBEPELUMI Pelumi-Folarin, a filmmaker with fifteen years of experience in project and organizational management. I'm passionate about the art and craft of filmmaking and have a proven track record in publication, team building and organisational leadership. I'm currently working at AfroFilm Herald Times Ltd. where I currently serve as the creative team lead. In my free time, I enjoy watching good films/playing the piano/guitar/listening to audiobooks. Feel free to connect with me!

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  1. Beautiful piece of story. This to me is an allegory. It highlights the behavioral pattern of a crop of people. Particularly of folks who think they can delay the course of natural justice. Typically, the very vengeful crop always assume they can hasten justice along its course. They perennially cry for justice because they lack the mental wherewithal to recognize they have postured themselves in opposition to the course of natural justice. Though occupying a “boundless” geographical location on the face of this earth, these are prisoners who can’t appreciate the term of their sentence. As a matter of fact, the nature of the term of their sentence is that they suffer from a loss of their memory. So, they roam the face of the earth bereft of their faculties. They are trapped inside a mental facility of their own construction.

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