Exactly one year ago today, my father, the venerated Yoruba writer, Oladejo Okediji, joined the ancestors. His transition proved to me the truth in the saying that death is an illusion.
One does not die.
I still see him in the house,
discuss with him in my studio,
drink with him in my parlor,
just as I used to.
I will therefore take this occasion of the first anniversary of his ageing in Ọ̀run, the source, to speak of the living, not the dead.
I will, therefore, speak instead of my sister, Mojisola, who is now my new father.
Moji, in calendar terms, is only three years older than me.
In actual terms, however, she is generations older than me.
She is the first child of the family, and I am the second.
She is (fe)male and I am male.
But she is much more Man than I am.
She places a question mark on the matter of gender.
Moji is a Prefect Gentleman.
She taught me, since I was a baby,
to respect and celebrate
what people call “woman.”
A woman is not a queen.
A woman is a goddess—much more than a king—a metaphysical entity.
A woman is a spirit that is beyond knowing. A woman cannot be described by words because a woman created the word that we speak and call energy. A woman is the mother of the earth, the eye of the sky, the turbine that moves the air we breathe. Without a woman, there is nothing with a name, or substance, or matter.
Moji took me by the hand, taught me to walk, and has led me through life.
She taught me how to be a person, a human.
She made me an Òòṣà.
Moji is not one person.
She is several people rolled into one body.
Moji is more beautiful than life. She is wonder incarnate.
She reflects to me what existence means.
The grace with which she walks through the passage of time reminds us of gliding, as an eagle surveying the land.
Moji is the curator who has given form to this person I have become.
My father, Oladejo, joined the ancestors.
And Moji, my sister, is now my father.
(NB: Look at the picture here. Do you see the way all the gentlemen look at her, the way all the heads turn, as she glides by? She is beyond catcalls. She is spectacle, an everlasting experience).
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