“The old tends to tag the new”- Malíkwaife na imaife, maka oke omama oburokwa ako na uche.
Being born a king is normal.
It is normal too that everybody regardless of status is born. Being born is a twosome act over ‘one’s right to be born.’ There is no one who truly determines how or where one is born.
However, being born a king to an extent is never by chance. Often, it is designed, both in the past and present. More often, it takes special attention. “People and things are involved”.
Do you know birth of a king used to be ‘open show’ for the ruling king, henchmen and courtiers in some parts of the world? The courtier in charge of the Book of Births explains.
“Book of birth of kings kwa?
“Have you forgotten the King’s Annals – record book of events in the kingdom?”
There are antecedents even in sacred writings. Copiers are courtiers too and they work in the courts. They had responsibility to keep records of events. Have you not read: “Is it not written in the books of the kings?” Perhaps, keeping of such records is as old as time.
When one says books, some think only of books in current form. But books are also kept in other ways and in heads. Moreover, special committees were appointed by kings to keep records of events in this kingdom.” Onu-Obi is not known for nothing.
Before the Arabs and Europeans introduced their writing to Africa, there were other forms of writings and paintings that delivered messages. A new Iroko tree was planted at the birth or death of a king in some places. It is a kind of record. When one hears: “the Iroko has fallen”, it is not ordinary Iroko tree or a platitude as whizzed today.
Please, someone should get enlightened about old ways that defined their people.
These records were not simply how many times the cock crows before dawn.
Key events were kept both in their heads and sometimes in writing.✍️ The courtier in charge can reel out regnal chronology of this community. He employs songs, Ihu, plants, nsiko, and mnemonics to make a recall of natural events at a time to corroborate a date.
Ife anyi ji bulu ife anasie.Great things eroded before our eyes!
One wonders what is going on now in this palace.
We heard we are in a digital age with fast computers using nano seconds to recall millions of past events. That is true. But do you have such records in digital formats in your palaces?
Remember foreign king who installed our king with a symbol of authority is still keeping hand written records after a century. During special events his courtiers feature such hand written documents.
Remember too that some courtiers are impressed to service for these records to be kept. They are happy to be in charge. During important ceremonies they are dressed in funny red, black, white, scarlet and other colours. Imagine, the title The King’s Poet Laureate is so admired. Such courtiers are also part of the king’s men- idoloma oba. How many “Poet Laureates” do ‘our people’ have today? But same people are woke on social media pontificating!
Some kings nowadays have no records! Visit those communities where kingship and chieftaincy is simply Ife ikpa nga nga na ife ekwulekwu and discover there is no record – King’s Annals.
A senior courtier describes some of the kings as “Boys who call themselves ‘kings’ where there are no kingdoms. “Isi Agwu Kings” and ‘passersby’ without regnal orientation. Men bereft of royalty carriage from within and without, yet, emboldened by charlatans and vainglorious personalities displaying naked power.”Are they not worried by Ife-ufele na ife otitè?The courtier continues: When you see N-woods(movies) slyly line up such kings on unsuspecting minds, distortion wears a new garb. What you are fed is bereft of real culture or semblance of real things on this side of the river.
Of course, one remembers bearded Law Nwamama, always strutting with his unmistakable Kotuma carriage. He outperforms himself rendering free services of reading and writing letters for old people. A stick of cheap cigarette, forever in his hands is enough compensation. Always acting, yet his understanding of the English language is limited by what is known today.Never mind, he does it good enough for those he offers services. If that is done in the 1950s what about now with flood of graduates in the villages?
Truly, in all these communities there are young History and Library Studies graduates looking for meaningful things to do. They can write!
Why not invite them as a committee to handle records? A title: “Member Board of Annals, ”MBA” after a name is tempting enough to attract educated persons to serve probono. They will even fight to get a place, if not for anything but for titles and prefixes.
After all, there are titles such as The Kings Guard (KS), Member Board of Trustees.(MBOT) written after names -MBOT or Mbot? What a sound coincidence. Is that not what a goat is called? You know the king’s people love titles and epaulets. Visit communities and regale yourself with different titles.
Well, it is community service that will help generations to understand their past. Young historians can always consult such men as original source material. Please, reduce the emptiness of some of the kings by a simple action, this courtier advices.
A king is a king whether monarchical or in open kingship system enjoyed by families outside this clan. The process in each of the systems or the latter is complicated, often oblique, bogged down by envy, duplicity and intrigues.
The same is true in many places at different times.
In monarchies of this clan, the making of a king sometimes starts from a choice of a wife that will bear the next king. Very early, a lot of interests vie for recognition and acceptance. Families are consulted. The king’s Ndi Dibia are involved. In this, the ruling king and his councils prune a long list. They even cross checked the “holy messages of the spirit.” “The spirit” and the mundane often engage in tackles even refusals. This tells you there is usually more in breaking a kola nut.
One aspect of tradition – getting wives for the king is ikulu nwuyeOba. A simple statement that the king likes a daughter of the land is enough for her to be picked up as a wife. Modernity has killed that tradition which does not leave the girl with a choice!Some locals now call It kidnapping! But parents are usually happy that the king expresses his love for a daughter of the land. It was a privilege. After all, ordinary ofeke in the land can take a wife by ikwulu nwuye.
Recall, for the king to embark on ikulu nwuye, investigations would have been carried out about the bride’s genealogy. “Kings don’t just pick wives!”
The seeming random choice is never random. It is informed randomness of Oba’s wife. Oba does not get his first or second wives, through Ikulu nwuye. This is a statement of history because a king must emerge when the great Iroko tree(King) falls.
Who is the new king’s mother? Would she be the one forced to the palace? Where is the honour for tomorrow if its making is slaughtered today? Forcefully taking of wives by the king has a limit according to Anya Obi, a notable courtier.
That the making of a king starts from birth is open field for all kinds of games and confrontation:
The king must be born.”
Take it or leave it,A king is born in controversy!
Who should be? Why others should not be? What are things that must be for the king to be?
The king must be born.
The courtier relates that on some occasions when it becomes difficult for the king to be born, Ife nima eje afia, eje. “Things that are not supposed to go to the market go to the market.”
What are those things?
Do not ask me, the courtier says