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Olatunji’s Fictional Tale Of Global Concern

By Margaret Mwantok
10 January 2016   |   1:52 am
Rose of Numen (IFNG Publishing Inc., Australia; 2015), written by Biola Olatunde is a sequel to Numen Yeye, and continues Ife’s journey as she exhibits the spirit of Numen Yeye, a princess of light.

NUMEN

Rose of Numen (IFNG Publishing Inc., Australia; 2015), written by Biola Olatunde is a sequel to Numen Yeye, and continues Ife’s journey as she exhibits the spirit of Numen Yeye, a princess of light.

Rose of Numen portrays the rich Yoruba traditional and cultural practices. Though presented in a fantasy manner, the actions are real and pull the reader into its world. Ife’s professional life as a medical doctor in the present world is fulfilling, but her mission and purpose in the supernatural has also become very clear to her, as she realisies she is Numen, and her two lives do not clash.

Beginning in the prologue, Rose of Numen gives the reader a partial view into the past and the present physical world of Ife or Numen. Numen prepares to sojourn to earth, as her mission becomes clear, then it takes the reader back to the present where Ife gets a scholarship to study medicine at the University of Ibadan.

Ife must act out her prearranged role as Numen on earth. She begins by putting up a small festival for women of childbearing age, as Yeye the priestess. She focuses on the culture and tradition of her people and at the same time performs her role as a medical doctor in charge of children’s delivery.

The fate of Babatunde, Ife’s soul mate, has also been predestined, and he is given the responsibility of protecting his people not just from sicknesses as his role as a pharmacist in the present world implies but as a king.

As Ife buries herself in her mission of reuniting broken homes, unlocking answers as to whether reincarnation is a myth or fact, clearing doubts on superstitious beliefs and so on, Babatunde also engages himself with the kinship issue. Babatunde happens to be an important part of the Ifa corpus, who had to overcome many obstacles, as he will not yield to accepting bribes by Prince Adewumi, leading to his set up and being sent to jail. Babatunde’s uprightness eventually sets him free.

When Ifa oracle attempts to choose a king for the first time, the deity declares the king to be missing. This makes Prince Adejare, a prospective king to back out while Prince Adewumi seeks support in a law court. Babatunde emerges victorious in the long run, but the story does not end there.

The State Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs asks for fresh nomination with its full supervision; this shows the clash between tradition and modernity. Babatunde then experiences an encounter with an old man who gives him insight into the tale of the first king and his missing son.

The day of the king’s selection arrives. In simple proceedings, each prince is called forward to mention his lineage and the spirit of the king of his forbears is called forth. Adewumi is first on the line, but fails to provide the necessary answers, which renders his claims false. He turns out to be an illegitimate child.

Babatunde turns out to be the missing Prince when he first journeyed to earth; he has reincarnated and has the symbol and identity of the sought-after prince and king. This narrative piece by Olatunde gives the woman a new focus, presenting unique characters and names such as Ndana, Numen, Yeye Agbo and so on. Olatunde touches some aspects of culture, bribery and corruption; the link between the physical and spiritual world, but dwelling more on incarnation and reincarnation.

The characters in this fictional narrative occasionally go into a trance-like state to connect with the world beyond, but this causes no confusion for the reader, as they are seamless with the narrative flow.

In a unique and creative style, Olatunde presents issues of world concern, such as love, joy, pain and loss. She renders a love relationship in Rose of Numen that cannot be broken or forgotten in a unique manner.