Olamide, a lanky and dark-skinned young man, son of Chief Olawale, one of the chiefs of Amuloko village, stands beside an iroko tree in the tar night. His eyes are like a bat’s, seeing everything vividly in the dark. Night shrouds the aura with her tar and hazy countenance. Olamide wraps tobacco in a paper, lights it, and puts it in his mouth. As he does this, the smoke fills the air.

Asabi, daughter of Ayanwale, is on her way home from her grandmother’s house. Asabi perceives the smell of smoke; she notices someone is nearby.

“Who’s there?”

“Who’s there?” Her heart begins to pound.

She takes few pace towards a tree. When she gets no response, she sits under the tree, crosses her arms on her knees, and places her head on it, for she’s petrified.

Olamide’s eyes gleam with urge and he begins to run amok like a brakeless truck. He pounces on Asabi like a famished lion and takes her by force. Asabi wails and struggles to escape from Olamide’s capture, but to no avail. After satisfying his urges, he shrugs and grips Asabi’s jaw.

“Now, listen, don’t you dare utter a word to anyone about what just transpired, else—”

“You will kill me or what?” Asabi sobs.

“Why am I bothering myself?” Olamide smirks.

“I hate you. I will make sure this gets to the Kabiyesi (king). You’re a monster.”

“No one will believe you, because women don’t have a say in this village.” He laughs hysterically, stands up, and dusts off his sokoto (trousers) with his left hand.

“I have warned you, woman!” He kicks her in the butt.

Asabi lowers her head as tears gush out of her eyes. She touches her Iro (a woman’s wrapper) and feels soaked. She peers to the ground and realizes that her blood encloses her; she screams and passes out.

In Amuloko Village, women sleep with the moon and rise with the sun. They work daily like a machine; their little girls run like hares to the stream to fetch water, do all chores, and help their mothers in the kitchen. Boys are treated like eggs that mustn’t break.

Women are treated as though they’re slaves. They receive slaps for breakfast, punches for lunch, and at night, unceasing pounds for dinner. Some men sell their daughters in the name of collecting bride-prices like they mean nothing. The belly of the village is engulfed with ruthless predators as men.


Asabi blinks her eyes as the sun pierces through the window. She opens her eyes, yawns, and stretches her hands.

How did I get here? Who brought me home? she thought.

“Mami, Bami.”

She gets no response, stands up, and falls back on the bed.


She takes her dad’s wooden walking stick beside the bed to support her pace. She trudges ‘til she gets outside and sits in-between her parents.

“Mami, Bami, I was calling but no response, how did I get home?”

Her dad lowers his head as he clenches his fist, his eyes turn red.

Her mother gasps as tears gush down her eyes.

“Asabi, your father and his friend Odewale brought you home. You were in a very horrific state when they saw you; your dad got worried when you didn’t arrive early from your grandmother’s house. He went to his friend’s house to ask for support because your dad has become weary and his health isn’t great, too.”

“Mami, Bami, I’m so sorry for making you worried,” Asabi sobs.

“Asabi, please tell me who dared to touch you?” Her father asks.

“Bami, he threatened me, but I’m not scared of him. Olamide, son of Chief Olawale, forced himself on me.” Her dad instantaneously stands up.

“That chief is a very corrupt and callous man; his son takes after him. I will make sure this gets to the Kabiyesi (King).”


Olamide boasts in the midst of his friends on how he took Asabi by force in the tar night amidst trees.

“Guys, I ate her strawberry, sucked her like an orange ‘til there was nothing left; at that moment, she was my horse and I was her rider.” Olamide shrugs.

His friends exclaim in awe.

“Ekun (Lion), ahn ahn, you’re indeed a man,” Tobi giggles.

“Ola, is she a virgin?” Dapo asks.

“I’m her first; see, that girl is sweeter than honey. I will love to have her more than a thousand times.” A vicious smile curves on his lips.

“But Ola, she will tell her parents about it.”

“Dapo, come on, stop it. Men are lions in this Village; no woman dares to challenge us. We can do whatever we like with women; the power is in our hands. See, just follow my footsteps, stop being afraid, you’re a man and men are not supposed to be afraid of getting any woman. I’m Olamide, son of one of the powerful chiefs in this Village, so chill; nothing will happen.”

“If you say so. It’s not like I’m afraid, but I really don’t know how or when to approach a lady. There’s one girl I like, her name is Omolewa; she’s always playing hard to get.” Dapo folds his arms.

“Ah that one, you better do what you’re supposed to do on time. That girl can’t be a virgin. I always see her with different men and she’s not married.” Olamide raises a brow.

“I will make sure I get her.” Dapo grins.

“Now you’re talking, man. We are men and we have the power to do whatever we like.” Olamide shrugs.

Chief Olawale, Olamide’s father, heard that Ayanwale, Asabi’s father, wants to report his son to the Kabiyesi (King). He sent three hefty and tall men to ambush Ayanwale on his way to the palace. They clog his way, punch his tummy, and hit him persistently on his head with a wooden stick. Ayanwale’s body slams on the ground as blood gushes down his head.

“Is he dead?” The first man.

“Yes, I’m sure he’s dead.” The second man.

“Let’s leave this place; someone might see us,” the third man says and pushes Ayanwale’s body in-between tall trees and shrubs.

It’s almost full moon; the breeze becomes cold as it lifts dust and leaves in the air. The rain begins to pour down heavily. Two men saw Ayanwale on their way home; they recognize him as a former drummer and took him to his family.

Asabi stands wide-eyed as she sees her father’s clothes soaked in blood. Her mom covers her mouth with both hands as tears begin to rush down her eyes. The men place Ayanwale on a wooden slab beside the bed.

“He’s alive; get me some local herbs and medicines. I think you have it?”

“Yes, we do.” Asabi’s mom run towards a drawer, brings out some herbs and medicines; she gives it to the man.

Asabi crouches beside her dad still wide-eyed.

The man puts some herbs on Ayanwale’s head, mouth, and stomach.

“Don’t worry, your husband will gain consciousness soon.”

“Thank you so much, sir.”

The men leave. Asabi is still in awe. She holds her father’s hand and sobs.

“Dad, who did this to you? How can they be so cruel?”

“Asabi, let’s thank God that your father is alive.” Her mom sits beside her Dad.

“I know who did this, Mami.”

“Who, my dear?”

“Chief Olawale.” Asabi clenches her fist.

“I’m sure he’s the one. He knew that my father wanted to get justice for me. That’s why he sent someone to attack Dad. He’s abusive, haughty, and ruthless. No wonder his son takes after him.”

“Asabi, you’re right. He has always been a callous chief in this village.”

“Mami, I will make sure they pay for what they’ve done to us.”

“Asabi, there’s nothing you can do for now. You’re a lady and the patriarchs don’t listen to women in this village. Let God fight for us, Asabi.”

“No,” Asabi blurts.

“Please, my dear, I know what you went through was severe, but no one will listen to us.”

“They will definitely listen to me.” Asabi stands up. “Ye,s women are vulnerable in this village, but all this patriarch nonsense must stop. I will make sure they pay.” Asabi frowns.

“Asabi, please, you are my only child, don’t do anything.”

“Mami, I lost my virginity to that monster. Mami, it’s too painful to bear. I will make sure he suffers.”

“Asabi, please don’t do anything, I beg you.”

“Mami, calm down; I believe nothing will happen to me. I will go to the palace and Kabiyesi (King) will listen to what I want to say. If they don’t let me in, I will yell till the Kabiyesi (King) let me in. This stupid patriarchy must end. A lot of girls have been abused and tortured. Mami, because we’re women, they treat us like slaves, except my father, who’s very caring. So, fret not Mami, for I will make this madness stop in this village.” Asabi kneels beside her mother and holds her palms.

“Yes, I know the patriarchs are callous. They may try to harm you if you dare challenge them. You’re my only child, please don’t do this.” Asabi’s mom sobs.

“Mami, just pray for me. All will be well, I believe.” Asabi places her head on her mom’s leg.

“Okay, my dear, I pray it will go well.”

“Thanks, Mami.”


At the break of day, the palace is filled with sounds of birds chirping. Some palace workers are sweeping the floor. Asabi tries to enter the palace, but the guards won’t let her in. One of the Oloris (Queens) asks the guards to let her in.

“Young lady, why are you here very early in the morning?”

“Olori (Queen), pardon me, I want to talk to the Kabiyesi (King). What I want to discuss is crucial; please let me talk to him.” Asabi curtsies.

“Hmm, my dear Kabiyesi (King) is having his breakfast—will you wait?”

“Yes, ma, I will, thank you so much.”

The queen asks her to sit. When the Kabiyesi finishes his breakfast, he summons Asabi.

“Young lady what’s the matter? You know women are not allowed to discuss any matter with me.”

“Kabiyesi o.” Asabi kneels.

“I know, but what brought me here is very poignant.”

“Hmmm, tell me.”

“Kabiyesi, on my way back from my grandmother’s house the day before yesterday, Olamide, son of Chief Olawale, forced himself on me and threatened me.”

Kabiyesi’s eyes widened.

“Girl, what you accused him of is serious; are you sure you know what you’re saying?”

“Hmm, Kabiyesi, that’s not all. I’m Asabi, daughter of Ayanwale; my father was on his way to the palace yesterday when someone tried to murder him. He wanted to seek justice for me.”


“Ayanwale the former drummer is your father; no, this can’t be, your father was very kind to me.”

“Kabiyesi, please believe me. I have a suggestion for you.”

“Tell me.”

“Call Awogbemi the chief priest; let him ask the Oracle, then you’ll know the truth.”

Kabiyesi summons Awogbemi and he gets to the palace instantaneously.

“Kabiyesi o, you summoned me.”

“Yes, please help me ask the Oracle regarding the person that tried to murder Ayanwale.”

The chief priest sits beside the Kabiyesi and starts his incantation. He brings some cowries from his cow-skinned bag and tosses it on the floor. After some minutes, he stops.

“Kabiyesi, the person will come to the palace in some minutes. I asked the Oracle to summon him to the palace.”

“Okay good.”

After five minutes, Chief Olawale steps into the palace. Kabiyesi stands up wide-eyed.

“Olawale, you tried to kill Ayanwale.” Kabiyesi takes a few paces towards him and slaps him.

“Guards, bring Olamide, Olawale’s son, here instantly!”

The guards drag Olamide into the palace and toss him to the Kabiyesi’s feet.

“Boy, did you rape this young lady?”

“Kabiyesi, n…o no.”

“No what?!”

“She s…h…e seduced me.”

“Seduced you in the dark?”

“Tell me the truth now, else I will feed you to my dogs.”

“Sir, s…i…r please; it’s the work of the Devil, please forgive me.”

“Forgiveness, forgivenesss, I can’t condone such. Your father will die by hanging in the Village square and you will be beaten ‘til you give up the ghost; take them away!”

“Asabi, I’m so sorry for everything. I know sorry can’t change anything, but please accept my apologies.”

“Kabiyesi o.” Asabi kneels.

“What they did to me left a dagger in the walls of my heart, but Kabiyesi, I want to make a request, and hope that you will grant it.”

“Go on.”

“Please forgive me if what I’m about to say will offend you. Please, I want women to at least have a say in some matters; women should be treated like humans, not property. Because what Olamide did shows that he’s dauntless and believes no one will question him for what he did.”

“Hmmm, you’re right, it will be done soon. We actually followed the footsteps of our fathers; that’s why women don’t have a say. Now, they will.”

“Thank you, Kabiyesi.” Asabi kneels.

Women finally had a say, and Kabiyesi made Asabi an advisor to all the Oloris (Queens).