The third odu, Ofun Oyeku (aka Ofun Ajitena), came with the message of ire aya or blessing of spousal companionship. When I informed Solagbade about it as I used to whenever I d’ifa until I fled from him, he responded with a lie about the message. He said Ifa was telling me that at that period of my life I could only marry a woman who was either a divorcee or a single mother or both and certainly older than me. He added that I could marry a childless spinster afterward but my first wife must be as he had described. This conversation took place in the evening with Segun beside him, both seated on chairs. He then stretched out his hand for a handshake, telling me “congrats” as I responded, and Segun did likewise.
I was shell-shocked and wondered how Ifa could say something like that. Nevertheless, I immediately reminded him of Ifa’s Ofun Oyeku message about meeting two women at the same time, one of whom I would marry, but he urged me to ignore it and added that what he had just told me had superseded it I pondered and pondered. From my brief experience, the trend I had noticed with previous Ifa dida messages seemed somewhat cumulative with the next being supported and validated by the previous one, as if leading to a destiny-fulfilling destination. Clyde who was still around was aware of how it befuddled me. You see, I had always expected to get married to none but a childless (but fertile) spinster. So I also inquired separately from Bankole and Ifagbemileke if they were aware of the existence of such a message in Ofun Oyeku and they shook their heads to say no. And I did my own investigations and didn’t come across such.
My instincts were prodding me to doubt him and reject it outright, but I rationalized otherwise based on three factors. The first was power – priestly, kingly and legitimate – that Ifa had elevated him to the position of wielding not just in Odewale but globally. The second was the synopsis of my odu which he compiled and gave me upon my itefa and in which he noted that a taboo of Otura Irete is that I “must never reward a good turn with ingratitude – to avoid unconsummated fortune.” He had been acting kndly tome, with a straight face and looking into my eyes. I had also been trying to emulate Obaluaye in thinking evil of nobody which seemed a lot to be in conflict with my perhaps inborn high level of skepticism.
I kept pondering till she arrived exactly a week later, some days after the return of Clyde to the US. She is Tayo omo Esther aka Iya Daniel, a divorcee and mother of two children in primary school named Daniel and Felicia. A trader at Oshodi, she is short and looks light-skinned from skin bleaching. She and Adeola omo Felicia have been best friends since childhood and the latter brought her there.
They sat together with two men and two of Solagbade’s daughters known as Dolapo (aka Iya Nifemi) and Iya Bangela, all drinking. These women then began asking me, as is done with little children, if I fancied her enough for marriage.
That day, she had arrived allegedly at the instance of either Adeola omo Felicia or Iya Nifemi or both to d’ifa about her trade. She said she had been given a quit notice to vacate her rented shop at Oshodi. Ifa responded with the odu Otura Ogbe of which a message was that enemies had been speaking and planning evil against someone with a good heart. Then, I didn’t grasp this until weeks later and fully did as at June 2016 when drafting this. Solagbade and his goons had been conspiring to no end against me but all their traps had not fully worked and I had been going there with an open mind and she was to be the arrowhead of their latest evil scheme. So, when those women asked me if I fancied her, they were acting out their plans which Ifa had just revealed earlier that day. But the Ifa dida was at the instance of the client whom I had never before then set my eyes on, so I didn’t see any reason to relate it to me. Rather, I considered what Ifa had told me about Ofun Oyeku
In the two weeks that followed, Solagbade urged me many times to marry her quickly. On one particular day we had a one-to-one talk about this and he told me he was willing to give me all his support as he had taken me as not just one of his sons but a favourite due to my gentle, upright and ethical character which stood out from the rest of the camp. He added that the marriage ceremony would be done in my compound and I would have to stop consuming alcohol for the marriage to work. All lies!
According to Otura Irete, the daily consumption of alcohol is vital to my being. This is what I was told during my itefa, and he had given e two associated stanzas – anybody familiar with this odu is aware of this fact. Prior to that tie and even before Olodumare drew me to Ifa in 2011 to 2012, I had avoided alcohol and suffered. However, I did have an inkling of thisone evening in December 2009 when I consumed five or six glasses of red and white wine during a fellowship award dinner at a graduate university I was then attending in California. I had been having lupus symptoms including arthritis and a terrible “brain fog” that had resulted in a severe difficulty in studying and analyzing texts and situations. I had also been experiencing a peculiar headache that felt limited to the surface of my brain and got me wondering if this surface lining was inflamed and if the reason for the ache was due to the movement of my brain in this condition relative to my skull whenever I moved my head. Within a few minutes of consuming the wine, probably not more than ten, the headache was gone and my head felt clearer than it had been in years. So I wondered if I needed to be consuming alcohol as I knew that the effect of the wine would have worn off in a couple of hours and it did. But I didn’t want to be speculative and didn’t know where to obtain confirmation and the appropriate dosage if positively confirmed. Hence I avoided it thereafter. Ignorance certainly isn’t bliss. If only I could have asked Ifa. If only I had trusted my instincts. I had also had a history of arthritis which became quite severe in both knees when I had this brain fog. According to this odu, my body is prone to this and the solution is a particular ebo and daily alcohol consumption which have been totally effective as treatment and prophylactic. So, upon recalling and considering all these while Solagbade was still talking, I also decided to disobey his advice against alcohol.
Within these two weeks this marriage matter became the talk of his compound, which felt discomforting. Why did this become everybody’s business? Why did they suddenly begin to care about my private affairs, given that I minded my own business and never interfered with theirs? What was it about me that they suddenly became caring and matchmakers? Intuitively, it felt spooky and I knew it wouldn’t end well, but I tried to fight this feeling by trying to expel any skeptical thought about the situation, thus deluding myself. I could have inquired myself from about Tayo but I felt I might be too biased and also consequently not ask the right questions. However, during a visit to Bankole’s home in Itoki, Iya Ajewole did help me ask, and, according to her, Ifa’s response was that marrying Tayo would be good.
Either she lied or I was destined to go through it and Ifa responded in that direction or both or something else. I should have done it myself.
Within that period she arrived again, wearing a short rainbow-striped dress with a matching head-tie. Gbenga Aluko aka Ekun wasted no time in purchasing some biscuits and a malt drink for her. What were his intentions?
Her choice of that outfit was probably part of the plot against me as my fascination with Oshumare the Rainbow Spirit was well known there. They wanted me to see it as divinely inspired, and I succumbed to this fiendish suggestion. We later sat together near the Ile Ifa to talk and try to get to know each other better. Jokotifa then sent for us and we went to see her in her room.
She prayed for us and urged her to see me as one with very good prospects and not as poor and needy, recounting how Solagbade had at a similar age endured similar hardship, and that she should be ready to help, clothe and boost me. All the while I thought of this sudden interest and show of care from Jokotifa as unusual and therefore suspicious.