The Good Chief

The Good Chief

At our village, debates erupted about who would become the next Chief as our beloved Chief passed away. Mama told me at nighttime:

‘A chief was elected to represent his people in the village. The new chief understood that he was elected to serve his people. Before he took any important decision that concerned the village he gathered the elders and asked for guidance. If a person didn’t have food to eat in the village he offered some of his reserve or invited that person to his home to have a meal. The same if the village was starving he refused that he, his wives and children should have food until people in the village have food in their hut. When a family lost a brother or sister, he suffered their loss. The good chief worked like any ordinary villager and dressed in simple manner and an outsider could never guess that he was the Chief. He was a man of the people and his people had great respect for him. He treated each member of the village with respect whether woman, child or man. He was very much loved and respected.

His people called him the ‘Great’. The children spoke proudly of their chief and told stories of his exploits. When they saw him they would ran after him and greeted him ‘Hello our chief!’ The chief rubbed each child’s head’s in a friendly manner and lifted them up. The children were in absolute awe of him. When he joined the ancestors the whole village cried him for many days. Women put charcoal on their face as a sign of their sadness.

A new chief was elected when he died. As soon as he became chief, he became arrogant. He used his gained authority to his own advantage. He mistreated his people and made them suffer and cry. He had no respect for the village elder. When he saw children, he became conceited and shouted at them. The children didn’t like him and only curtsied to him out of obligation. The Chief abused his power. He ordered that tax should be paid to him with the villagers crops of yam. He lazily laid in his hammock all day long; eating and drinking with his wives and friends.

One of his friends who secretly sought his position poisoned his drink. The Chief was sick for many days. The villagers, who had been held in bondage for many years, ignored their Chief’s sickness and celebrated. They drank palm wine praying that the chief wouldn’t make it and that they would be free. The Chief died as was their prayer requests. When he passed away not one villager including his friends, wives and children cried a single tear for him. The villagers threw him in the forest where he was his flesh was eaten by hyenas. In the day of his passing there was a celebration like there had never been in the village. The old people danced just like the children.’

Mama paused and spoke again:
‘Power isn’t to be abused.’

Harmonie Loko (Sade Farotade) Copyright 2010

10 thoughts on “The Good Chief” by sadefarotade (@sadefarotade)

  1. Hmmm…Another story with morals…Have you ever considered writing a book for children? (They will learn a lot from the morals at the end of your stories)

  2. Very wise as usual. I’ve come to expect no less from you.
    I noticed you took prior advice to heart and worked on those typos, paragraphs, etc. Good. Your work is so much better now.

  3. A good chief should not die,abi?

  4. Mercy has a point; you could help form deep-seatd beliefs.
    Nice story; ditto Lade’s comment.
    The story had a hiccup though; did not immediately know that it was the dead chief’s story Mama started out with.

  5. Mazi Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Hmmmn! dem don talk all the probs. Me, I like the leaning, and Mercy’s yarns. yeah you should consider writing for kids.

  6. awwww Power isn’t to be abused. good work and yup, you should take Mercy’s yarns seriously.

  7. Great lesson..
    I learnt..
    Well told story

  8. Meena-Adekoya (@Olajumoke-Adekoya)

    Mercy is right on…u really should consider writing for children, ur stories always have lean towards teaching a lesson…i noted that u noted the corrections in ur earlier work…good job Sade!

  9. i agree with the others,please do consider their suggestion.
    makes a lotta sense.
    your write is beautiful.

  10. folktale, i would guess, i loved the theme, it passed on the message.

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