Short story | African folktale | Folktale

The Story of Omalinze

There was once a king who married many wives. He loved three but hated one.

None of his wives gave birth to a male issue who would be his successor as a result of atrocities committed by his father against many poor people.

In the event of finding a solution to the problem, he was advised to return to the poor, all that his father had wickedly collected from them.

After the restitution, he was told by the dibia consulted to give each of the wives a specie of palm fruit called Akwu Ojukwu Mmuo which they were to use for cooking. He did so with the exclusion of the wife that he hated.

As fate would have it, a lizard carried one of the nuts presumed to be rotten by one of the other wives to the wife that was hated.

She took it, used it to cook and thereafter, became pregnant along with the other wives.

As her source of pregnancy was a surprise, so also her delivery of a male child, named Omalinze, among all the wives.

Consequent upon her status, the maid who took charge of the delivery was afraid to narrate the incidence of her delivering a male child threw the baby boy and mother inside a river.

However, they were rescued by an old woman, who took care of them.

The boy was left in the custody of the old woman. On the day of his delivery, the palace dog was a witness.

So, every day the dog would go visiting and kiss the feet of the boy.

Meanwhile, the boy has heard that he was the son of the king. Each time the dog visited him; the boy would sing:

Song                                                                                                  Chorus

Nkita Eze sa a o                                                                              Nnyaa Nnyaako

Nkita Eze sa a o                                                                              Nnyaa Nnyaako

Nna m Eze nyere iwu                                                                    Nnyaa Nnyaako

O muru nwoke kpolata                                                                Nnyaa Nnyaako

O muru nwaanyi tufuo                                                                 Nnyaa Nnyaako

Odibo Eze onye iwe                                                                       Nnyaa Nnyaako

E wee muta mu tufuo                                                                   Nnyaa Nnyaako

On one occasion, there was a palm wine tapper who saw the boy and the king’s dog and heard the song. He reported to the king who confirmed the report as true.

The confusion then was, “who the mother was”, as all the wives laid claim to him.

The conflict was resolved by the guidance of the trumpeter who directed him to the despised wife (his mother).

The despised wife was restored to royalty.

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