Soyombo Ayomikun: Myths our ancestors mixed for us

by Soyombo Ayomikun

 

‘Don’t whistle child

While it is night

As doing so will invite the snakes

From deep within the wild…’

One day

As the moon shone brightly

I whistled

No snake(s) showed!

 

‘Don’t you dare

Cut your nails at night

Because the mother of

Whoever does that

Before dawn

Would be dead…’

I didn’t dare

As I feared the worst.

But shortly I saw another

Who cut his nails

At night-

He’s still alive breathing

Together with his

Mother!

 

‘Whenever it’s raining

With the sun shining bright

Concurrently,

The lionesses in the wilderness

Go into labour and deliver…’

This I believed

Till I could read

Then I learnt from the books

That lionesses deliver whenever

The water

Breaks!

 

‘While it is raining

Don’t drink directly

From the rain water

With cupped

Hands.

If you should do

And it thunders at the same time

Then death

Will be the result…’

One day it rained

And I was playing

In it

The water felt cold to my skin

My throat longed

For sips

I opened my mouth

Gently

And swallowed

From my cupped

Hands.

Immediately thunder sounded,

With shock I opened my mouth

Again

And more water

Flowed in-

I saw

The next day!

 

‘On the mortar

You must never sit

Otherwise your buttocks

Will swell & become

Very painful…’

The day came

When the family was seated

Outside the house

Gisting.

I needed to sit

As my legs ached.

Damning the consequences

I sank

On the mortar-

Afterwards

My buttocks remained

Small, and round

And painless!

 

‘Don’t beat a boy

With a broom,

Else his penis

Would shrink

Forever…’

Out of anger

I was struck

With a broom

By a teacher

Who should know more.

I felt my penis

Shrink.

On rushing to check

In the toilet

I met it the same!

 

Also we were told

That singing

To the doves

We would see our nails

Transformed into white.

For years

I sang the song

To doves

Flying by:

‘L’eke l’eke

Bami l’eke

Eye Adaba

Bami l’eke.’

My nails

Adamantly refused to

Turn white.

Despite all

I still revere

Our elders.

Their magic contained us

For decades!


Soyombo Ayomikun tweets from @alabaster85

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