This is to be read in a dramatic Yoruba accent.
He was not made, he was created. There was marked intentionality to it. An intention to produce the unique, unprecedented. He was forged, from the finest and toughest of materials. He was heated until he sizzled, polished until he glistened, fastened until tautness.
Before he was born, while he nestled in his mother’s caul, the onifa gasped at the cowries on the mat. The gods said that this one would be enormously great, his light would scintillate. He would beam, bedazzle, bemuse. The gods never lie — the prophecies are true; sometimes delayed, but never denied.
And so he grew into an enigma. He was the child with two heads, but also the leader of the gangs. Brilliantly wondrous. Wondrously brilliant. The teachers said he was princely — that he was entitled, but also endearing, arrogant but also compelling. He gave his parents as much joy as he gave them trouble. But he learnt the important lessons.
He grew to be cultured. He knows the voice of his forefathers, their land and their ways. He sees the subtlety of his mother, the hint behind the histrionics of his father. He learnt to say his truth; he learnt that less is more, that a good name is not for sale. He goes where he is invited, there is always rice in his house. Not only rice, but yam. Yam that splits embryos, that men from the west wish to demystify. Amidst the identity crisis plaguing the modern world, he is aware of his especial qualities. He knows how he fits, what he must do, who he is.
This one is not Joe, not Donald. His name bides, trumps. They named him something meaningful, beautiful. Prophetic. They named him Ade for his head. Akin for his power. Ola for his wealth. Tunde because he returns. Femi is all they say.
Because there is magic in his touch, power in his presence, thought in his gifts, charm in his words. You see, he speaks love fluently. He listens, he nods, he empathizes. He promises and fulfills. He enthralls. He puts a spell on you, on the entire world. They seek the ingredients of his sauce. They gather utensils, but they will never cook as well. Money alone will not do it, neither will dumbbells. It is innate, intrinsic, indelible.
The children of the world misunderstand his talent. Wonder becomes fear, fear becomes contempt. But the rizz is irresistible. So they slander in the day, and desire at night. Yoruba men this and that. Yet, every night, another quivers beneath him. And every Saturday, he and his kinsmen bow before another father. He takes another daughter away. The alaga calls out, and he places wands of crisp notes on another forehead. Efemele (abi Elemefe) has got nothing on this.
His fila points to the sky, then leans to the left. As if to salute the gods — the only beings above him. He has that jiga, that Jagger in his bata. Listen, it goes ko ko ka. His beads go shaka shaka. The whiteness of his buba blinds. And when he adjusts his agbada, he binds five hundred on the left, a thousand on the right. He is the head of angels — a Cherubim. They will bring out the trumpets for his procession. They will tell tall tales, to depict his epic. Still, it will be understated.
He is mighty, unwavering, engulfing — like a storm. So, run as fast you can, you will never escape his grasp. Leap as high as you can, you will never reach these heights. Stretch your hands if you must, you will never tame his force.
Or maybe you will. For a while. He too is fallible, flawed. So he will make mistakes; he will pander to the oblique designs of the gods, the provocations of men. But whenever you witness his stumble, do well to moderate your jest. Because he will return, emerge; as dignified, glamorous, stupendous, as ever. Abracadabra. Opapaparada. Look out, here comes the Idan.