a sction of the akodi orisa



The doctor is Seyi Ogunjobi, an artist in residence at the Obafemi Awolowo University’s Center for Cultural Studies. He has been assisting me to build the ÀKÒDÌ ÒRÌṢÀ. At the exact time the police was storming the construction site of the ÀKÒDÌ ÒRÌṢÀ, Ogunjobi, a Leeds doctorate in creative arts, was moderating a discussion in the lecture theater of the Center for Cultural Studies, at the Obafemi Awolowo University campus. Part of the seminar series of the center where Ogunjobi works, his duties include hosting the seminar series, at which invited guests presents on a regular basis. Yesterday, Ogunjobi was moderating a seminar that I presented, titled, “Invisible Canvas: Painting as Performance in Ile Ife.” The small seminar room was packed to capacity and I was enjoying the talk that I was giving when Ogunjobi’s phone rang. I was distracted and irritated, but Ogunjobi ran out of the room to take the call. I continued to give the talk.

Moments later, Ogunjobi returned to the auditorium, still clasping the phone to his ears, and made straight to the podium where I was speaking. He looked worried. I stopped talking as he spoke into my ears: “The police have arrested Baba Ila. He is calling at the police station. He asks to speak with you.”

I carefully placed the loud speaker on the podium and whispered to Ogujobi’s ears, “End the call. Tell him we will come to get him after this event,”

He did. He returned to his seat. I continued with the talk. I was discussing the stories behind the building whose mason was being arrested (as I spoke} with the crime of helping to construct the building, a conspiracy, perhaps? The scope of the lecture grew substantially as I introduced the breaking news concerning the police raid and arrest at the building site, and the detention of the head worker at the police station. The only condition for his bail was my presence at the police station.

At the conclusion of the lecture, an entire roomful of listeners stood ready to go with me to the police station to answer the invitation from the state authorities.

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