By Juliet Rogers
It was a cold season, a period of dry wind that normally blew across Africa, certainly from desert zones. Communities and traditional households sometimes gathered around log fires early in the morning or night to narrate stories. The stories were based on past heroes of their land, brave men that made indelible marks to liberate their land from ambitious territorial expertionists and slave masters; sometimes the stories included their ancestors and few folklores, myths, and legends. It was such a night when the family of Pa Bundukai had gathered to amuse themselves with storytelling in the Mid-northern valley village of Bandanbu.
Pa Bundukai married seven wives. One was dead, and she was the woman he loved most. She actually died while giving birth to her only daughter, Seditu. Seditu herself nearly died, but chance made her to survive. Owing to this strange existence, the father lavished all the love on her, much to the displeasure of his other wives and children. Once Pa Bundukai was away, Seditu was regularly under constant suppression from her step mothers.
It happened that at storytelling sessions, everyone was obliged to narrate one story, and failure will lead to stiff punishment, let alone for Seditu who was a direct object of hatred in Pa Bundukai’s household. Of course no one had fallen victim. They prayed that Seditu should fall victim so that they would have their turn on her, certainly by slapping her jaw until the teeth either gave way or became weak.
That very night was not only windy and dry, but it was also extremely cold, in a way that the breeze hit them as if they were enveloped in icy garments. “Narrate us a story. It’s your turn tonight,” Ndeyia sharply demanded with hostile looks. But Seditu had no story to go through that night – no, not one that she could remember. She quickly advised herself to enter their hut with the pretext of going to the toilet to stay there. That did not work. Thinking that the worst will be her fate, tears stood out in her fretful eyes. Suddenly she saw an image like a lump of air just before her weary eyes. Trying to shout, her voice did not support her to produce the required sound, a voice from that invisible figure said: “Dont run and don’t be afraid. I’m your mother.” While Seditu stood there like a statue, the voice continued: “I’ve been with you in all your troubles in this home and I’ve come to help you and the black continent of Africa. Go and tell them you have just seen a vision, a vision that will be sweeter, humorous and thrilling than any story anyone could tell. “How is this possible, and how do I go about it?” She enquired in a trembling voice! “Go, I’ll be with you, question no further. I’ll be whispering to you what to say. No one will be seeing me though you will feel my presence throughout your narration. Goo, goo, goo, gooo…” As she moved back to join that hostile gathering at the log fire, the voice continued to instruct her to go.
Returning back to the gathering at last, she sat down with uneasy calm. Her spirit mother sat by her. “My story is a vision, and the story has to do with animals in the entire animal world – if Africa picks it up, a wonderful united Africa it will be. Africa would do great things more than Europe, Asia, United States of America; the vision revealed to me,” she started to deliver her vision with the help of her mother in spirit. In a vision, I saw the animals, all animals, divided into five kingdoms. Suddenly, a strange spirit led me into a kingdom of wild animals, where I saw fearful animals. In real life situations, these are animals that will send you into flight. Still standing in amazement, terribly afraid, I saw different kinds of animals: king lion, tiger, gorilla, hippopotamus, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard and chimpanzee. There were smaller animals I could not tell their names. In that fretful mood, the lion which I presumed was the king in the Jungle Kingdom spoke to me and said: “Daughter of the superior world, fear not, for it is good you are here. Your coming is not accidental, but an ordinance ordained by divine nature. We have just concluded a very important meeting. Life is not pleasant for us; smaller animals fear us, and we cannot help ourselves. Elements of the superior world, that is, your world, hunt us and we fall victims because we are divided like our hearts and minds. With all our massive structure and dangerous expositions. We want to come together, all animals of the world – all five kingdoms that rule the animal world; therefore, kindly bear our message to the Kingdom of Oceania. Approach their Queen, tell her we have sent you – say its king, the lion from the animal Kingdom of Jungolia. Waste no time. Don’t stand here to ask – Goo – Goo – Goo!”
Immediately the spirit took me into the oceans of the world. It appeared all the oceans and lakes of the world – Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic…were one world. I met them in a similar meeting and their Queen, Queen Whale heartily welcomed me. All aquatic creatures, including the shark, crocodile, duck, iguana, water beatles and several others expressed their happiness for King Lion’s message of united animal kingdom. Wasting no time, Queen Whale assigned me to meet the King of the Kingdom of Desertnna. Questioning who their king would be, the spirit took me to the Kingdom of Desertnna. I met the Fox whom I learned was the Desertnnaean King; it was another meeting I met: zebra, cheetah, koala, octopus, panda, donkey, deer, giraffe, penguin, rabbit, kangaroo, rat and grasshopper were part of the attendance. The message of united animal kingdom remained the same. Addressing me as special guest of honour, contributing to animal unity, King Fox gave me a message of the same substance for the Kingdom of Caves. Trying to figure out how I’ll get there and whom I should meet to deliver their message, the spirit took me right in front of King Squirrel in a very big meeting too – in a very big underground cave. They were discussing how they could institute a united animal kingdom. While I stood there, almost exhausted because of the many errands I’ve ran, King Squirrel said: “Take a seat. We shall commission you to the Kings of other animal Kingdoms to inform them about our mission of a great united kingdom of animals. They were in agreement for all global animals to elect one king to run the affairs of all animals in the entire world.
The last visit inspired the spirit to take me to the Kingdom of Airison. Here, the King, King Eagle told me they had just concluded a meeting, a meeting gearing towards animal unity. “Go back to all the Kingdoms that have sent you on these errands and informed them about a grand alliance meeting that will be held on next market day,” King Eagle instructed Seditu. While wandering how she’ll do all these errands, the spirit did all for her.
On that Friday, the air was good, and the meeting of animals took place in the Kingdom of Desertnna – King Fox, their host, gave his opening remarks; As I greet you all, may I take this singular opportunity granted me to help us all to understand that we have great potentials and opportunities. But we have lost all of these to the superiority of man, the humans – this is so because we are not united. If we decide to go into Agricultural productivity, with unity, one focus, one mind, one heart, one soul, we can feed the whole world. Talking of Aircraft, no American Jombo jet can be compared to our flying ability; they have copied everything from us – but we’ve been fools to allow human technology to overtake us – all we know is naked terrorism – we terrorise our fellows for selfish ends.” As he delivered his statement, even the most powerful animals like King Lion and Queen Whale, the shark, tiger, gorilla and snake bowed their heads in shame and guilt because they are guilty of terrorism, cannibalism and the likes. “Unite, Unite, Unite,” he exclaimed. Shall we raise our right hands up if we agree on united animal kingdom with a common king or queen? – This will be rational among lesser kingdoms, while the most powerful will serve as advisers and governors,” he concluded. Even the ants who do not have hands to raise quickly climbed the legs of King Fox, Lion and Queen Whale in acceptance – the snakes, birds, lizards and other creeping animals raised their tails in concordance.
The two experimental years saw them in Agriculture. No rice producing nation – not even China and India in their heydays of rice production could challenge their yield.
As Seditu narrated her vision, her step mothers nodded their heads in awe and approval. Her father who came from the farm and had been listening attentively, gave a broad smile to his wives and children. “What could this vision stand for,” he enquired. Instead of an answer, Seditu deliberately waited for all of them to absorb the vision and possible symbolic interpretations, already given to her by the ancestral spirit of her mother. “If I can observe, this Seditu that I know, had never been so eloquent, bold and confident before us,” the father observed. “There is a mystery behind today’s event; let’s appeal to her to unravel this mystery,” he concluded. “You are correct,” Seditu slowly started in order to give the interpretation. “The ancestral spirits of Africa exposed me to this vision, and I was just relaying to you what I was told, a kind of mediator. The same spirits made me visit places where no human could have done so; they infused me with bravery – the fact is that they are annoyed with Africa and can only be appeased if Africans unite and become United States of Africa like the animals in the vision without which Africa will be doomed to Western powers.” She immediately fell asleep and did not wake up until the next day at 11:45 pm; she slept off without revealing the terrible state, punishment Africa will suffer if they fail to unite into United States of Africa. By the time Sediatu woke up, it was time to go to bed in that part of the country.
Juliet Rogers is a Societal Engineer, Life & Emotional Intelligence Coach.