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I have been under pressure to stop writing and releasing my Monday-Monday write-up, in the beginning it seemed I got no choice because the rate by which people do copy-and-paste with someone else’s intellectual property these days is too alarming. Many of my articles are stolen and published on many websites, blogs and even re-posted on Facebook pages without giving the due credit titles they deserved.

One of my posts that have gone viral beyond my imagination is IPONRIKU VS OLOOLU. The post has been read around the world, and I have received testimonies from UK, Spain and US from those that knew I was the original writer of the article, but what have I gotten from it? My names were filtered out and someone else took the glory.

It’s so painful that people that do plagiarism don’t know that they are worse than murderers in real sense of the word. Some of these online vultures include: Prince Hammed Olajide and Akede-Ona Ara who had stolen and used my intellectual works without permission or given the due references.

However, I’d chosen to stop writing for you on weekly basis, but many among you have talked to me and begged me not to do so. As a result of these interventions, I am left with no option than to continue. Thank you all for your love. (Eyi ti a ti ko ni won leji, won o le gbaa eyi to wa l’opolo wa).

NOW TO ARELU

ARELU was one of the greatest from Chief Jimoh Aliu. Jimoh Aliu, no doubt was one of the pioneers and founding fathers of theatre arts in Nigeria and Africa at large. Chief Jimoh Aliu acting agility can never still be overtaken easily if the truth be told. Chief Jimoh Aliu popularly known as AWORO is always a celebrated thespian with many beautiful colours pinned on his cap.

Chief Aliu, like the likes of Hubert Ogunde, Ade Love, I-Show Pepper, Akin Ogungbe and etc., had worked tirelessly in the past to take theatre art to the level it gets nowadays and the pretty precedence they laid are still being followed till today.

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Chief Jimoh Aliu was born on November 1939 at Oke-Imesi, a city in Ekiti State southwestern Nigeria. His father, Aliu Fakoya was an Ifa priest who hailed from Oke-Imesi while his mother hailed from Iloro-Ekiti.

Jimoh Aliu began acting in 1959 when Akin Ogungbe, a Nigerian veteran dramatist visited his hometown, the same year he joined the Akin Ogungbe theatre group where he gained some experience in drama and acting. In 1966, after he spent seven years with the Ogungbe troupe, he established “Jimoh Aliu Concert Party”, a group based in Ikare in Ondo State southwest of Nigeria.

He later joined the Nigerian Army in 1967 but retired in 1975 with the aim of focusing on drama as well as promoting independent artist under the platform of Jimoh Aliu cultural group. He had produced several television drama series such as Fopomoyo that featured king Sunny Ade.

Some of his epical works include:
Iku Jare Eda,
Igba Oro,
Agbaarin,
Yanpon-Yanrin,
Ewa,
Igbo Eleje,
Irinkirindo,
Rukerudo,
Ajalu,
Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Olodumare (Adapted from D.O. Fagunwa’s book of the same title)
ARELU and etc.

ARELU was the most popular amongst all his works and it still relevant since it was released about thirty five years ago. In the late 80s when it was released and aired on BCOS Ibadan, the entire city would be dead silent every Tuesday evening between 7:30 to 8:30 pm of each week.

ARELU was a long story of love and war, twist of fate, as well as wickedness and betrayal.

PLOT

An old woman known as Osunfunke, whose husband Ogundana, was a close friend of Aworo, who had been barren for sixteen  years after her marriage, she became dejected after a neighbor’s daughter refused to run an errand for her. Osunfunke, many times had constantly been consoled and encouraged by Aworo to wait on god for fruit of the womb.

Luckily she became pregnant after a while but unfortunately her husband fell sick and died on the same day she was put to bed.

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On the eighth day Osunfunke’s baby was given a popular town-wide naming ceremony as all and sundry including the King and all his chiefs gathered to rejoice with her in celebration. Osunfunke named her baby Orisabunmi (God’s gift) amidst joyous merry-go-round in the market square.

However while the merrymaking was going on, trouble unknowingly was lurching at the border of their town, the neighboring town had waged a border war against them. Fadeyi Oloro led the Dokunu’s war to invade the land of Dopemu. At the market square where the ceremony was taken place, Fadeyi Oloro and his troops crept on the people who were in the celebration mood, with ferocious attacks from all sides, people were wounded and all of them ran to safety and left the new born baby behind. Fadeyi Oloro took the baby away to be burnt in the process of making some charm for himself.

At the other side, the ravaged town of Dopemu in minutes put its army together led by Aworo and took after Fadeyi and his troop. The newly born Orisabunmi was left crying on the floor while Aworo and Fadeyi Oloro were engaging in unruly physical combat in the forest of gnomes which attracted a gnome, Owo-otori, towards them. On sighting the gnome they both fled for their lives while Orisabunmi was picked up by Owo-otori who too had been barren in the gnome-forest where she lived, she carried the baby and showed her husband Toromogbe, and both rejoiced with the hope that the god had given them their child. But surprisingly, the couple gnomes named the found baby girl Orisabunmi, the same name her real mother gave to her because they too thought she was a free gift from god.

Aworo disappointingly returned back home without baby Orisabunmi and that threw the entire town into abject mourning. The younger brother of Aworo volunteered to look for the baby wherever she was but left against his brother’s advice not to go to risk his own life.

On the other side, Fadeyi Oloro too went back home disappointingly and ran into two friends, Odewale and Oderinde, who had earlier visited a ritualist for money ritual and told to bring a new born baby as main ingredient in money ritual recipe. Fadeyi Oloro compelled them to follow him home or be killed.

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On getting home, Fafunke, Fadeyi’s daughter announced to her father she had had a baby while he was away in the war. While Fadeyi was coldly rejoicing, a report came and announced that Fafunke’s husband had fallen from the palm tree and died on the previous night. As Fafunke was mourning her husband uncontrollably, the two friends that accompanied Fadeyi home stole the new born baby in a sack unaware and fled.

Like I had said earlier, ARELU is an epical story of endless leaps of ill-fate, tragedy and catastrophe.

Odewale and Oderinde took Fafunke’s baby to the ritualist but unfortunately for them all, the ritualist only son was found dead in his bed and that evoked the ritualist anger and warned the two friends to return or dispose the baby before he ran out of patience. The two friends left the ritualist house with Fafunke’s baby but dumped her in the bush for fear of what Fadeyi could do to them for kidnapping his grandchild.

Aworo brother saw and picked the thrown-away baby while returning from Fadeyi’s house where he had sustained injury for scaling Fadeyi’s fence looking for the baby he thought was in his custody. On returning with a baby, he was obviously half dead and gave up the ghost in the palace while the palace was rejoicing with Osunfunke with the hope that the baby was her own.  Fafunke’s baby was given to the anxious Osunfunke who later found out that the baby actually not her own, her stolen baby was female but the one Aworo’s brother brought was male. She took the baby as a providential replacement for her lost baby and named him Aderopo.

WATCH OUT FOR THE PART TWO NEXT WEEK.

Oladele Idowu Joseph

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