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Yoruba Folktale – Mo…ni…ni

There lived a drummer whose name was Ayanda alias Minimini. He was called so as his drumming was nice to the ears. He was marvellous at drumming, he was good looking and was the choice of many ladies, he therefore, was a womanizer. He was prosperous and popular, all these were because he had always done what an Orisa-Idile called ‘Monini’ had asked him to do, for some years, Monini had asked him to provide Ipese-ebo which he would quickly do, the previous year, Monini asked him not to search for a new lover, which was difficult for him but he heeded albeit many temptations surfaced. The subsequent year was when the Orisa-Idile only asked him not to travel over the river Olooye, he found that very easy to attain but that year, a festival was to hold at the neighbouring village of Imetu-Oye for drummers, this was an opportunity for him to win more laurels and also to win more women especially when he had no new ones from last years. So he thought of how to circumvent the issue of not travelling. There was no other ways of getting to Imetu-Oye other than over the river Olooye. He pondered for many days as he was hellbent on attending the festival yet, very cautious of its nemesis.


So, he thought he had a plan, he believed he had hacked it. What did he do? He disguised himself and boarded a canoe which successfully conveyed him to Imetu-Oye. On alighting, he became so thirsty that he could drink his urine. He ran back towards the river, he found an elderly woman drinking from a large cup and asked for a drink, the elderly one refused, he proceeded to drinking directly from the river but the old woman cautioned him that the water on this side was poisonous to drink from and that he would have to add a few leaves of Iyete to it, allow it thaw before drinking. Ayande begged one more time for water to drink, the elderly woman again refused. He became furious and cursed her to have bowed arms and legs like those of chameleon’s limbs thereafter, he left Imetu-Oye for his village. Upon arrival, he developed one bowed leg and arms.


For several days, he was taken to many spiritualists but to no avail, they all asked him to confess what he had done. One night, he woke up, walked attentively, he approached Monini and began to sing

Monini, Monini

Mo losi Imetu-Oye

Moba arugbo kan l’odo

Moni ko bunmi l’omi mu

Olo hun ko bunmi l’omi mu

Moni o sapa kelenge

Moni o se se kelege

Bi ikako Agemo

Monini replied: Minimini kayi ko (and his second leg too bowed).

Source & Written By: Bola Olalekan



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