Epitaph of a King

Within two days of each other, two notable Nigerians passed away to the life beyond. One was Mufutau Adio, an actor popularly known as Ajigijaga. The news of his death was received with heavy hearts from fans.  Comments left by on article about his passing show the extent Nigerians cherish memories of him, people call him talented and inspirational.  Ajigijaga died of wound sustained from Okada accident. 

Condolences to his family.

Two days prior, July 28th, Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade II joined his ancestors. Yoruba kings don’t die, the belief is that when they are no longer with us physically, they are there spiritually hence we say Oba ti w’aja (the king has gone to the attic/loft).

The news of the Oba Okunade Sijuade was on the news a few hours after he passed. As expected, comments flooded in from Nigerians. The first comment said the usual RIP to the Yoruba foremost king.

Here are the first few messages after the first one.

 “In that case…Osama Bin Laden,was a good man, we thank him for killing millions before he died”

“Thank you! Adolf hitler too and Oga Sanni Abacha – wonderful men!!”

“Hahahahahahaha! Sure if Ooni will rest in peace Osama must be snoring in paradise”

Overall 359 comments on one article, the rest of the comments were as colourful as the ones above.

My opinion of Oba Okunade Sijuade is all written on my blog posts. He is one of the reasons I started blogging as I needed an outlet to get rid of unpleasant memories.

I was just beginning to make sense of the world around me when the king was crowned in 1980 and ever since then thousands of people have lost their lives and livelihood taken from many. This war on land ownership started with king’s father, so upon getting crowned, Oba Sijuade’s most important goal was to start where his father left off – he did try, a lot.

Ooni of Ife, Olubuse II died at the age of 85. How I wish the king could stay for a bit longer to see that the world will keep getting better and he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Death is too cheap.

“What did he die of?” A friend asked

Just had to laugh that off. There is a reason folks die of the same illnesses that could have been prevented. Nature of illnesses usually are kept secret for reasons I could never understand.

In Oba Okunade Sijuade’s case – he joined the ancestors  while in a London, UK hospital. As a sign of respect to the elders, we just do not ask, even if one did ask, the truth could not be divulged to the ‘ordinary’ people.

A note to say that Ife teaching hospital is less than two miles away from the prominent king’s palace so he could have been easily treated right at home, but the inferiority complex is a much bigger issue that affects those that we have as leaders.

Thinking back about all that has happened throughout the reign of Ooni Olubuse II, this poem came to mind:

 Epitaph on a Tyrant

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after, 
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand; 
He knew human folly like the back of his hand, 
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets; 
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter, 
And when he cried the little children died in the streets. 

-W. H. Auden



Categories: A Yoruba Monarch, Nigeria

Tags: , ,

12 replies

  1. Here was one that lived. And died. Full Stop. But of course, you don’t speak ill of the dead, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just hope this means ‘Real Humane Change’ will come to the Ife realm at long last…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your poem speaks volume. Deep. Now that he is gone, do you have any sense of closure at all or dare we hope that his successor will correct the wrongs? Good day my President. Inbtw you had me reading through nearly all the 359 comments but I stopped somewhere

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha ha! I could not finish reading the comments neither, my ribs were hurting so bad… Can you believe the cat fights? LOL.

      I didn’t leave any comment as I could tell many people would prance on their computer/tablet/phone with claws to scratch my face off 🙂

      Yes, let’s hope for successor with foresight. Fingers crossed for the Cradle.

      Liked by 1 person

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