(Fiction Based on Fact; Irons In The Fire, George H. Ashiru)
Prince Jagunmolu was thus blessed with a good life. His family of wife and three kids; two girls and a boy brought him immense joy, and so did his uncountable admirers the world over. For half a century, he had lived a life of service and actualisation. He lectured me on the Path, and the ultimate fulfillment, for all those driven to become.
But God had planned another task for him, for which he had no natural desire or inclination. The Prince mused over his choice, to replace the translated Olisa of Ijebu Ode; a title reserved exclusively for his Royal Gbelebuwa family. My cousin was a man who challenged tradition and dogma all of his life, and now that selfsame tradition beckoned to him as a duty he must perform. This tradition, that was conferred on his forbears by the Awujale Obanta himself, and even beyond, by the force of the ancient Nubian Pharaohs that came out of lower Egypt’s Dynasties.
The Olisa is the second in command to the Awujale and is the only hereditary title in Ijebuland, reserved for the Gbelebuwas. My Prince had omitted, in all of his adherence to his Golden Path, to consider the traditional institution to which he was born. The people of Ososa asked for him, and he was also the favoured of the age-ing Awujale. But the Prince took all of one year to consider this duty, which would consume him for the rest of his life. While musing, he crystallised his thoughts and experiences into a memoir that was published by Merlin Books in England. The book was of great interest to so many, that it went through many printings in a short period. That was when he went on his round of promoting his book; to Africans, European, Americans and Asians. The words and deeds of a paragon of excellence were inspiration to many, and that helped my cousin to choose his path for the remainder of life.
Prince Jagunmolu returned home, to his native ancient city of Ijebu Ode. There he met with the Awujale, the Olotu Ifore and the Pampas. To be or not to be? That was the question. It was not to be. The Prince sacrificed a much sought after kingship for the dictates of the Golden Path, that required that he become what God truly blessed him for. The diplomat for Africans in the diaspora. He wanted to be king of all our hearts, not that of the dust of his inheritance. He rejected the kingship, because he did not have to work for it – it came with his birth. It was a sad day for many people of the city, and even moreso for the few powerful enemies who had hoped to reduce his international repute by the constraints of tradition. A tradition that would have stifled and then destroyed the man. Somehow, in his ‘peniel’ eyes, he knew that it was not his path.
I remembered the many battles of the past, which he relayed to me, and those that I saw for myself. The enemies who tried to reduce his influence with blackmail. Those that digged into his past, looking for the errors and misdeeds which could bring down this towering energy. But the people loved him for being him, with all of his imperfections. The Prince also taught me his principle of the Golden Path, and that was the inspiration for mine. After a distinguished and yet troubling time at the Senate, he had retired early to grow with nature. To bond in a newly defined understanding of the future, for the next few decades of his existence. But there was simply no way out. Fate had silhouetted a great divine shadow of service in every atom of his being. And service hurtled at him at speeds approaching that of light. Unfortunately, ‘anointing’ comes with trouble, and it was this trouble that Prince Jagunmolu grew weary of, after fifty years of surviving same, in pursuit of the face of God.
Some years later, a new man became popular choice as President in Nigeria, and he sought an accomplished partner as Vice. The Prince was requested for. And while he mused about this, God was still at work. For the aging Awujale had died, and it had come full circle for the Gbelebuwas to once again ascend the throne. The Oracle picked my Prince. Now, there were two great choices for this most blessed man. Such was the magnitude of the propositions before this man, that Newsweek International put him on its’ cover. Never before has a man had the choice of becoming a king or a President, after already being famous for personal achievements on the world stage. Many stories were written, and many books were written. Some made movies and others wrote plays. But no one could write of any man so blessed, alive, and still beset with options of cosmic proportions.
My Prince looked at me at the twilight hour of his decision, and knelt to pray to the Lord. Thankful for so many gifts, once bestowed to King Solomon. When he arose, his face shone, like Moses’ must have done when he knew the presence of the Lord. The next day my Prince gave a speech that finally announced where his heart lay. I punched that speech on the electronic pages. The eloquence of his delivery, and the poignancy of the moment caused permanent mesmerism, and it was not merely mine to behold. But that of the world, searching for a new hero.
“ I was born into this world in the age of free love - almost a mistake, nonetheless privileged to be a divinely accepted birth. I carried within myself the memories of a distant past, and the visions of the future which I now behold. It was, it seemed, that I was destined to suffer the Divine Discontent. To become footloose and fancy-free. The early demise of my father, whether in actual fact or by reason of his protracted absence, had created a whirlpool of dis-consonant feelings within me. I had then felt rejected and sought to be loved, by embarking in creative enterprises. Unfortunately, I was reviled rather than revered. Then I knowingly embarked on a campaign of rearranging my life, with negative impetus, hoping to then be revered. Still, it was unacceptable; and God gave me to my enemies to devour.
Then I found the Golden Path, the Ultimate Gold, and God forgave me, and allowed me to live thirty years of this new journey. It is a path that was fraught with many dangers, living a life of the humanist, selflessly and ceaselessly. And this carried itself out like a Prince Gautama instinct, to find and to nurture, perpetually, the offsprings of God’s garden. These words are especially designed for the anointed, who may see the hidden meanings of the nature of our journey through life – of which I am only a partaker.
Thus it happened, that I made the Lord my refuge and fortress, my Father, who guided me from within. Conscience was my guide and peace my sanctuary. I have bitter-sweet memories of the events of my past, that may have straight-jacketed me into this monstrous choice of worldly glories. I feel that whatever I did, I was compelled to do, and expected my rewards in heaven. Where many do not even possess a means to glorify God, or to provide for self, it seems mine is an unfair honour. In the power of God’s wisdom, He touched my shoulder, and He breathed service, sacrifice and strength into me. I felt the awakening of the cosmic vibrations from the depths and core of my being. I ran away from Him, and took the attention of loose women, and of deception, and of rejection. It seemed that I was deliberately doing everything to displease my Lord, as a prodigal child would. And when I suffered because my Lord let me, still He gave me the power of the overcomer, for such was His love...the Ultimate Love.
The question is thus asked, what is it that the Lord wants of me? To be priest and pastor, to be king and ruler, to apostolicise His faith, or to be a wandering voice in the wilderness of the world, forever proclaiming the coming of the Love of God? I do not know. As I do not know now what to do with the choices that I now behold. The crown of fine gold, that is seeped in tradition and that lasts a lifetime, or the crown of sapphire, at the deputy helm of the nation, which lasts for a time, but has infinite consequences in history. My head chose one way, and my heart chose the other. But I have become a creature of spirit, like Jonathan Seagull Livingstone. Thus, my heart chose for me, and it chose neither. To be asked has been more than enough; by that act I have become, and my Golden Path is complete. I chose peace - the peace of the soul, which communes with God in divine understanding.
The things of the world belong to the world. I want to be king in people’s hearts and ruler in their minds, but only after Christ is first loved and reigns supreme. That which I preach is the gospel of Christ and it lasts forever. It is this that I offer now. Please forgive me, for I do not speak with my mouth, or out of my consideration, but as I am divinely compelled to do. I seek enlightenment, and I cannot find it in any of those places that are before me. Rejoice with me, my people, for I have seen and I have heard, and my journey is more easily defined by this singular sacrifice. I have conquered ambition, and covetousness and the titles and things of the world, that is nirvana, that is the Ultimate Gold, and I have found it in Christ.”
George Honey Ashiru, 2009.
(To appreciate this Epilogue, pls read the earlier note MAN OF CONTRASTS. There is 400 pages of text between the two notes. It is still in the cocoon of God's wisdom)