Ifeyinwa (My Love, My Warrior)
Ifeoma Isabella Silver .O. Ozoemene
Long time ago before white men found their way into Africa. In the abode of the gods, all the gods came together to bid their friend, Ahobinagu (Ahobinagu Is the Igbo Deity Of The Forest) their goodbyes.
Amadioha (god of Thunder and Lightning. It is similar to the god Shango in the Yoruba religion, who is also considered as the god of Thunder and Lightning, and also Sokogba (Nupe) Ogiuwu (Edo); Eto, Itiri, Egba (Urhobo). Amadioha is considered the “Owner of the Sky.” Whenever lightning kills a person or strikes an object, the event is often considered a sign or message from Amadioha.)
Ikenga (god of Strength. He is a warrior god)
Agwu Nsi (The god of Divination and Healing. Agwu Nsi is a trickster god like the Esu of Yoruba and Ananse of Akan people. It is a basic concept in Igbo traditional religion that helps the Igbo to explain the phenomenon of good and evil, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, fortune and misfortune.)
Anyanwu ( The god of the Sun or the Sun god, who is referred to as the eye of the light.)
Ahiajioku Ji (The god of Agriculture According to Uzukwu (1988), Eri is the father of all Nri and tradition has it that he came from ChukwuOkike. During a severe famine, to provide food, he prayed to ChukwuOkike who demanded that he should sacrifice his first son Ahiajioku and Ada, his daughter to him so as to save the other children from starvation. After they were killed, their flesh was cut into pieces and buried in several different mounds. A few days after the sacrifice and burial of his son and daughter, yam and palm tree began to grow out of the places where the flesh of his son was buried, while vegetables and cocoyam grew out of the places where he buried Ada’s flesh. If yam germinated from where Ahiajoku, Eri’s first son was buried, it means that yam is the symbol of Ahiajoku, and since it was given to man to sustain life, it is regarded as life itself. Since then, the spirit of Ahiajoku became the god of Yam.)
“Are you sure you want to dwell with the mortals? You know once you dwell with them, your powers will be gone.” Amadioha asks his friend, reminding me him of the consequence of his decision.
“I am sure my dearest friend. And with the permission of ChukwuOkike who granted me to live amongst the mortals with my powers being taken away, I am sure he shall protect me when trouble arises and with the aid of all of you here to watch over me, I am unstoppable.” Ahobinagu replied to him. “And apart from my powers, my fists are strong.” He added.
“Okay then, just know we have your back.” Ikenga told him.
Ahobinagu finally left the abode of the gods and went down to the mortal world to dwell.
Ahobinagu, who was walking on a bushy path, stopped when he saw some people who had gathered in a large open place. Besides them were trees of various sizes, including iroko trees.
He also noticed they were crying and walked up to meet them.
“What is going on?” Ahobinagu asked one of them, an old man.
“Are you new in this kingdom that you don’t know what today is?” The old man replied.
“This is my first time of coming here, old one.” Ahobinagu answered.
“Hmm, if you must know, today is the day of the Giants.” The old man told him.
“Giants?” Ahobinagu said.
“Yes, giants. On every eke market day, the Giants would come here and pick any of us to eat.” The old man told him.
“Then why can’t the able young men amongst you join forces to fight and kill the Giants?” He asked the old man.
“Our strength cannot be compared to that of the Giants. We tried to do that once but ended up paying dearly with our lives, they are unkillable.” The old man explained. “The Giants show no Mercy and we learned our lesson in a hard way. So we gather here so that they would pick anyone of their choices to eat.” He added and couldn’t control his tears as they came pouring out from his eyes.
“Do you have a sword?” Ahobinagu asked suddenly.
“A sword? What do you want to use the sword for? I just told you that the Giants can’t be killed, no sword can periered their bodies.”
Ahobinagu left the old man and went to stand in front of everyone.
“Do any one of you have a sword or something very sharp so that I can use it to kill any of the Giants that touches any one of you.” Ahobinagu said loudly, attracting the attention of everyone to him.
Some cleaned their eyes to get a clear view of Ahobinagu.
“Do you want everyone of us to die? If you engage them in a fight, they will kill you and kill us.” An old woman told him. “Just pray to the gods that they shouldn’t choose you.” She added sorrowfully.
“I am assuring you all, no one is leaving here. Just give me a sword or something sharp.”
“We don’t have any sword or sharp objects.” A middle aged woman told him.
“Okay.” Ahobinagu said and went to where the trees are.
To the surprise and shock of the onlookers staring at the man before them. He lifted up the Iroko tree with ease and his next step left them all with an open mouth.
He broke the Iroko tree into two with his hands.
“Do any of you have a sword or anything sharp I would use to sharpen this tree?” Ahobinagu asked as he ignored the stares he was receiving.
This time around, a young man came out to meet Ahobinagu and gave him his small sharp knife.
“Thank you.” Ahobinagu said, taking the knife from the young man and proceeding to sharpen the two half Iroko tree edges.
“What is your name mighty warrior?” The young man asked.
Ahobinagu paused in his tracks and thought of a name. “You can call me Ezedike.”
To Be Continued…
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©️ Ifeoma Isabella Silver .O. Ozoemene.