Fiction: THE TRAGEDY OF AFOGUNRAN

Kamarudeen Mustapha

- Kamarudeen Mustapha

He was startled awake. He looked all about like he expected to see a thousand demons. The room he was in was dimly lit by weak penetrating rays of early dawn. He could see faintly, very faintly a silhouette of a person with an arm upraised, holding a big headed cutlass known as Jarimode. The cutlass was trained at him, its big head a gleaming doom.

He tried to jump clean off the bed, but his hands and legs were held back tenaciously. Pain shot through his arms from his wrists. It dawned on him that he had been tied by his wrists to the sides of the bed. He struggled to break loose, but breaking loose was  impossible. The more he tried, the more the sharp twines cut into his flesh. His feet also were likewise immobilized. They too had been held down by the merciless rounds of twine.

The jarimode hovered in the air, above him; its heavy head was glistening. It protruded forward at the topmost edge. It looked menacing. He imagined the contact of the protruded edge with his exposed forehead. A certain death! His flesh churned. His blood boiled. He wanted to yell.

He wanted to yell. He wanted to cry out, perhaps for help, but he felt his mouth stuffed full with rags. A stretch of twine ran over the rags and bit at the sides of his gagged mouth, coiled around his cheeks,  and then tied at the nape. Getting help was unimaginable in this situation. He knew he was a goner.

He focused his eye. His eyeballs popped out as if they would jump out of their sockets. They had become fireballs. He realised that the threatening Jarimode cutlass was held by his father. His own father? He was aghast.

“What’s this?” his fear brimmed eyes asked the agitated question.

The father leered at him, fire of anger burnt in his eyes.

“You’ll die today, Akimu. You’ll die today!”

“Why?” he asked in his throat, it didn't reached his mouth but his father could hear him. It was etched in his contorted face, glaringly.

"You know the reason, don’t you? You know you are a disgrace to this family.  You know how you plunged the noble face of this clan into mud. You know all the evil things you have committed. What bad thing have you not been? A thief? A murderer? A conman? A ritualist? A yahoo boy and a prisoner? You were supposed to have been killed long ago. The judge should have sentenced you to an ignoble death. Your sins were far more brutal than the seven year imprisonment you were given, and of which you are now free...”

"Akimu, the judge gave you seven years – I gave you death penalty the first day you were paraded on the television, and all the newsmen of the whole world talked about your many crimes – and called you Mr. Afogunran."

"You Akimu! You soiled Afogunran’s name. Afogunran the noble! Afogunran the saviour of his people…. Afogunran the philanthropist."

“They didn’t call you mere Akimu; they called you Afogunran. You!  Nooo! You were not supposed to be an Afogunran. You are not supposed to be, therefore, you die today. Even now, as you murdered our noble name. Your brothers are no longer called Afogunran in their schools; they are ashamed to bear the besmirched tag. You’ve cast utter shame on the name. they now bear Adetoro, the name of my own father for surname. Adetoro – a common name  - that is what they bear now. There are a million Adetoros, but there is only one Afogunran in the whole universe and you! You banished that name to hell with your lewdness, your laziness, your lust, your cruelty and animalistic relish. I have killed you in my heart long ago and you shall die today."

The man was shaking and fuming. A volcano raging, erupting lava and lava of molten anger, submerging every hope of redemption in the condemned young man’s chest. His bare biceps were bursting. His eyes were burning. His nostrils were flaring. His breathing came out loud and thumping. He was covered in heated sweat. His body was glistening; his anger was monumental and unquenchable.

The condemned young man, lying variously tethered to the bed was still pleading with his bulging eyes, struggling at the same time to break loose. He knew he had erred. The father, now the death looming dangerously over him had spent all he had to educate him. And he was a bright one when in secondary school. People had rightly predicated that he was going to become a celebrity – a guru of whatever good thing he had chosen to be. He was then all good things rolled into one like honey blended with milk. He was handsome like a white rock, dashing and dazzling like an ornamented stallion readied for an emir on the day of an eid.

He was admitted to read computer science at the university. His father wanted the best for him because he was obviously cast in the mould of the best. The father, even thought, he was the noble Afogunran, his great grandfather who had come back to life.
And whenever they said Akimu Akinkunmi Afogunran had done this feat or that, when he was in secondary school, the father would nod his head with a most generous smile festered on his lips. “Yes, Afogunran – the very Afogunran, the owner of the heirloom has returned, not only to rule this sleepy town, but the whole nation. He deserved it once, he shall have it now. The offspring of the elephant is known for its magnificent sway”.

But the joy had retreated like a snail into its shell - the prospect dimmed, the hope died prematurely. Akimu had joined a secret cult group at the university, and no sooner than he became one of their henchmen. A great decision maker and its prime errand of doom – a harbinger of sorrow wherever he showed his handsome face. His innate brilliance and leadership acumen had seen him through. He transferred all his given ingenuity into his avowed criminality, and the activities of his obnoxious group became omnipresent on the campus. It was larger than life, and it soon became synonymous with Akimu Akinkunmi Afogunran, aka Triple A. he had become very famous for his various infamies.

Some people said the reason for his warlike disposition was because of the surname which he flaunted like a prize medal: Afogunran – the one sent to do battle. Akinkunmi, the other name also means – the Valiant one has come to compliment me. These unpaid professionals of name meanings and implications said: “When valour is dispersed in the ways of negativity, infamies are the fruits of its womb. No wonder the valiant hero became the reckless villain.

And they were not very far off the point. Akimu was a saint throughout his secondary school days. He loved been a saint. He believed his intelligence would get him all he wanted as it was doing for him then. He was loved because he was bright.

The teachers loved him and fellow students worshipped him. He had the monopoly of Motola, the most beautiful girl in the school, a daughter of one of the richest businessmen in the town, right from, when they were in form three. No other boy in their school or in the neighbouring ones dared woo her: she was Akimu Afogunran’s girl.

They went to the university together. And whenever they had no lectures, they kept each other’s company. They became more confident of their future together. Motola would in four year time become Mrs. Afogunran. They would become rich and educated elites. They would live in Lagos or Abuja, or if things went very well they might migrate to United States. Happy future, happy life…..”

But before the year ran out, a top member of a formidable secret cult group in the campus became obsessed with Motola. He was the one who always got what he wanted against all odds, and the only odd against him getting Motola was Akimu Afogunran.

The cult strong man must have Motola, therefore Akimu was abducted. He was given an ultimatum: Let go of Motola now. She is meant for better guys, powerful guys and not geeks like you. And that determined him. An Afogunran should not be a push over. His father told him his great great grandfather, the first Afogunran was no push over. He was a warrior of Ibadan extraction, and fought gallantly in many Yoruba internecine wars. He did a lot to checkmate the Fulani jihadists’ incursion into the heart of Yorubaland. How could he be Akimu Akinkunmi Afogunran and lived in perpetual fear of others? No, he changed from being a saintly intellectual to a fighter. A hardy fighter. And very soon, a formidable cultist, who had his way by force and manipulations.

And the rest was history. He went from conquests to conquests. He was always the intimidator – never the intimidated again. The oppressor and never again the oppressed. He hurt people; he maimed people, he even killed. He split blood and made people spill tears, and he detested the easy going ones like he once was, with utmost passion.

And then the waterloo. He was caught after a monumental arson in which ten undergraduates were killed and properties worthy billions of naira were destroyed. It was masterminded and captained by him. After a protracted legal tussle, and the ingenuity of a seasoned advocate, who believed his immense talents could still be steered towards things positive, he was given a seven year prison term. He was released the previous week, and had spent just a night in his father’s house. His father had been so kind and patronizing to him the night before. He had even bought him two bottles of beer - probably laced with sleep inducing substance. And now this!

His father braced himself, raised the broad headed Jarimade cutlass, brandished it in the air and brought it down on him, ten times, hundred times, thousand times; shouting as each deadly stroke sank deep into the glistering heap of flash.

“You are a disgrace! A disgrace! A disgrace! A disgrace! A disgrace! A disgrace! Until Akimu Akinkunmi Afogunran aka triple A, was no longer him, but a horrible slush of red meat and blood and blood and blood.

1 comment :

  1. plot is excellent, telling too. Father is enraged with the ways his highly capable son. Clan's name is above everything, even a son's life may be sacrificed to keep its sanctity. Thank you for this beautiful story.

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