OTHER SHORT STORIES
The collection of 15 short stories in 'Semimotu and other stories' are based on the rich tradition of the myths and legends of the Yoruba people of West Africa. Peopled with characters from the author’s imagination and from the history and mythology of the Yoruba people, the style is a crisp and modern prose with some lyrical passages that hack back to the European short story writing of the nineteenth century. Many are stories of myth and superstition like ‘Esigie and the sea-goddess,’ ‘Obari and Aarin in the forest of generations,’ ‘Agbako’ and ‘Semimotu,’ while some offer snippets of Yoruba history as in ‘Odumosu finds a wife,’ ‘An icon for the ages,’ ‘A token of peace’ and ‘The old photograph.’ ‘Oyoyo and the witch-wife’ is a brilliant digression that tells us how the ‘highlife’ music of the 1960s’ was created by the famous Nigerian musicians, Bobby Benson, Roy Chicago and Fela
'SEMIMOTU AND OTHER STORIES' IS A BOOK OF 15 STORIES BASED ON THE CHARACTERS FROM THE HISTORICAL NOVEL TRILOGY, 'ITAN - LEGENDS OF THE GOLDEN AGE' BY OLADELE OLUSANYA. THE DATE OF RELEASE WILL BE PUBLISHED AT A LATER DATE ON THIS WEBSITE. LIKE THE OTHER BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR, IT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN HARDCOVER, SOFTCOVER AND E-BOOK FORMAT FROM AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLES AND OTHER ONLINE STORES AND BY BOOKSELLERS WORLDWIDE.
"Reading through the short story, 'Oyoyo and the witch-wife' I couldn’t resist the excitement in the prose. It was a very enjoyable read indeed. The fiction thinly disguises the exploration of the music. Quite frankly, I almost imagine the conversation with Roy Chicago as real. It had that feel. I enjoyed the piece on 'Easy Motion Tourist. I have written about the several versions of the song. The most authentic version might be that Seni Tejuosho who was part of the trio with JO Araba and Fatai Rolling Dollar did write the song about his personal experience. I imagine the earlier version of the song was recorded by the trio before they all did it differently. My favorite version of the song is King Sunny Ade’s rendition on his 1998 Odu album. I enjoyed the reference to the likes of Kokoro, the etymology of the juju name and even the mention of IK Dairo. I found out in my research that Ayinde Bakare did introduce the guitar to juju music. Dairo was Ojoge Daniel’s apprentice. Tunde King was essential the pioneer who set juju music as the music of early Yoruba elites. We all need to thank the author for sharing his wealth of memories with us."
- Dami Ajayi, award winning poet, Lagos, Nigeria
EXCERPT FROM SHORT STORY: 'ESIGIE AND THE SEA-GODESS'
The author digresses from his stories of Yoruba history to visit the ancient Benin Empire in this short story about the emperor Esigie and his parents, King Ozolua and Queen Idiah.
‘It was then that I saw a lone figure walking towards me. As it came nearer, I saw it was a female, clad in a thin translucent white robe that clung to her body. She was the most beautiful maiden I had ever seen. I talked to her but she did not say a word. Yet she seemed to understand everything I said. Miraculously, although her lips did not move, I understood what she was saying to me, what she was asking me to do. She asked me to follow her, and I did. She took me to her home in a cave hidden among the rocks. I laid with her on a bed of soft leaves that was as soft as dew. And what a night it was. Her body was as soft as the wax that women of the royal household of Bini burn in their lamps at night. Her caresses made me swoon, such was the pleasure of her embrace. I made love to her with a strength and a tenderness I never thought I had. A god possessed me and gave me knowledge of skills on how to please this maiden that were beyond my understanding and experience. A great strength possessed my loins taking me and my lover to the limits that pleasure and desire could ever hope to reach. My heart pounded in my chest as if it would burst as waves of passion passed over me, subsided and came again of their own accord. We were both transported into a land of bliss, and then all was peace and quiet as the sound of the sea waves could now be heard outside the cave.
‘How many hours we spent in this way I could not tell, but I was not exhausted, just fulfilled in a strange, almost spiritual sense. A voice in my head said to me, “You have seen the light of the birth of the world. All secrets of life and birth and death, and the love of the ageless women for the sons of men are revealed to you.” As my passion quietened and I tried to still the pounding of my heart as it slowly paced itself back to normal, I lay awake and could not sleep. Yes, indeed I had been enlightened. And what a light of knowledge and understanding it was! The strange maiden who had been the means of my transport and enlightenment moaned and held tight to me as she lay naked in my embrace. Her voice came to me like the sea waves crashing over the rocks outside, although she did not talk or move her lips. She told me without speaking that she would give me all I desired. But when I woke up in the morning, she was gone. I was alone. I could see the early sun shooting its golden rays into the cave where I lay. Then I saw her out by the edge of the sea, and it was a sight that gave me a shock.
‘My beautiful maiden of the night languished on a rock that jutted out of that smooth, sandy sea shore not far from the entrance of our cave. Her face was even more beautiful than I had remembered from the previous night, silhouetted in the morning light with the sun against her back. Her skin was luminous like the color of beaten copper, her eyes as large as those of the fairest goddess ever sculpted by you, Osamoyore. Her bared breasts were two ripe fruits waiting to be plucked. They swayed from side to side ever so lightly as she moved. But from the waist down, she had the body of a fish, with smooth silvery scales that shone and shimmered in the early morning sun, and a tail that curled up and flapped whenever she moved. My lover was a mermaid. I stood up startled. Not ashamed of my nakeness, I approached her. Despite my shock and amazement, I made to talk. But she already knew what I was going to say. She held up her hand and motioned me to stop.
‘“I am Yemoja,” she said, “goddess of this mighty sea. I am the guardian of this shore that stetches from the land of the Fom to that of the Kalabaris, past the swampy marsh land where mangrove trees grow and many rivers empty into the sea. I am immortal, forever young, daughter of the great goddess Olokun. I will always be beautiful and desirable. I am a maiden who understands the wants of men and gratify their desires. I give my favors to those I choose. If they do not please me, they have to die. But if they do, I reward them with treasures and gifts of immeasurable value.'
COPYRIGHT 2018 OLADELE OLUSANYA.
NO PART OF THIS EXCERPT OR ANY OTHER EXCERPT ON THIS WEBPAGE OR ANY OTHER SOURCE CONTAINING ANY PARTS OF THE 'ITAN - LEGENDS OF THE GOLDEN BOOK' TRILOGY MAY BE COPIED, TRANSMITTED, REPRODUCED OR PUBLISHED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF DR OLADELE OLUSANYA, WHO IS THE OWNER OF THE COPYRIGHTS THEREOF.