Short Story: Adigun by Damilola Akintobi

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I didn’t understand what the fuss was all about when it came to me. I thought I was normal like every other child in Ilusinmi village. A child is born of a woman the normal way, so why the attention from everyone?

But I was told a story- my story.

I was born 10 times from different women- weird, right? My father had 4 wives and 1 concubine who lived elsewhere. I was told that I went through all the women in my dad’s life but I didn’t stay up to 7 days till the 10th time. Each wife – well, my mother so to say – gave birth to me twice. I was confused when my father related this story to me. You mean, this same me came twice by each woman? Wonderful!

“Yes, Adigun.” Said my father.

Interesting! When I decided to come through my father’s third wife, panic struck the entire household. What kind of a child is this? My father visited Ifadare. For the first time in history, Ifadare was confused. He had never heard of such before. However, he assured my father that I would stay eventually. He said my insistence on coming to the household had a purpose but the problem is that I was yet to decide which woman would be my mother. My coming was trial and error and until I come through a woman I am satisfied with, I would keep coming and going.

My father left Ifadare dejected. The question on his lips was who exactly would I prefer among his wives?

And yes, I didn’t decide to stay through any of his legally married wives. I loved the concubine more.

When she had me, shock ran through my father’s spine. This boy again!

He brazenly told his concubine to prepare for the worse so she wouldn’t be shocked. Surprisingly, the 8th day came and everyone was filled with terror and expectation. I was supposed to be named but since they expected me to say goodbye to mother earth, there was no preparation for the naming ceremony.

People whispered to one another when I still kept giggling till evening.

Ifadare visited. He told everyone I was now ready to stay that they should proceed with the naming ceremony.

I was named Adigun.

I grew up normally with every kid in the neighborhood. I was playful, cheerful, and peaceful with everyone.

But, as you grow older especially if you are a special child, you get into trouble- lots of it.

I started seeing people who were witches and what their families would do to oust them. I knew people who were chained spiritually and proffered solutions to how they would be unchained which worked.

At a point, my father had a lot of problems with the elders of the village. Some of them belonged to a coven and my presence was beginning to make them uncomfortable and sniff life out of them.

However, those with clean hands loved and protected me from any physical harm. They tried to kill me spiritually but they ended up killing themselves or one of their children. When they got tired of sacrificing their loved ones in my place, they stopped attacking me.

They transferred aggression, my father especially. It was a tug of war between them and my family. I remember a day my father stepped on a juju. Initially, we thought he just had an insect bite until the leg began to rot.

Ifadare was our savior. In the true sense of it, I healed my father with the help of Ifadare. Ifadare said I would be his pointer to the herbs he was to pick. He took me to the forest and the funny thing was that I pointed the plants to him without having foreknowledge about plants.

Isn’t it weird that a whole herbalist didn’t know the specific healing plants to pluck? But then, I was a special child. I was born with it. I didn’t learn how to be unlike Ifadare.

At a point, I felt overwhelmed. People’s expectations of me were high. I had to be everywhere every time. The more I had friends, my enemies doubled. Every traditional healer saw me as a threat to their livelihood. Those who were smart came with the offer of collaboration. But then, I was tired. I felt my energy drained out each day I took people out of spiritual bondage be it illness, disease, bad luck, name it… just name every catastrophe that could happen to humans.

But the only thing I didn’t do was to raise the dead. Without being told, I knew that (trying to raise the dead) would be my greatest undoing. When I was 15, the greatest trial of all came.

You would think it’s not an issue for someone that could oust witches and wizards, break people free from spiritual bondage, set traps for the greatest sorcerer in the village successfully, told people the dangers ahead and how to avoid them which came to pass, then what are we saying?

Aina was down with chickenpox. Her parents brought Aina to me and on seeing her, I knew she wasn’t going to make it. How do I tell her parents that their daughter wasn’t going to survive even if I tried every means possible to heal her? I couldn’t.

She was brought from a neighboring village having heard about my powers of healing and breaking loose.

I confided in my father that the girl was meant to die. He was devastated. He knew the implications of that happening in my hands. Unfortunately, I have never turned anyone back ever. Telling her parents to take her away would be embarrassing. Is there a problem too much for Adigun to handle?

I asked Eledumare to help me through. The question is how do you ask for help for someone that has been predestined to die of chickenpox?

After 5 days, Aina’s father came to me and asked if his daughter was going to survive. My heart nearly jumped out. Why did he ask me this? What did he see?

“Aina is the only daughter left. I had 9 children but unfortunately, Aina is the only one standing. She can’t die, please do everything. “I saw a man being severely punished by the gods.

I stuttered with my words of assurance which I knew were just mere words- her fate was already decided.

Two days after which made it a week, she was brought to me, I already saw it coming but I couldn’t stand it. Other members of the families were around waiting for the girl to heal. This time, people were already murmuring because the healing was taking too much time which was so unusual.

The night of the 8th day, I found myself out of the village.  She died that very night.

I couldn’t stand the shame that would be brought upon me. So, Adigun doesn’t have powers over everything?

Is it my fault? I’m not God and people do not want to understand. You either perform a miracle or live with the shame of being seen and called “dumped by the gods.” And this was far beyond a miracle. That was destiny which I dared not to alter even if I could.

Five years down the line, I realized running away was a coward thing to do. But what would my staying do? My energy was getting sapped each day and I knew Aina’s case was going to open to every other case I won’t have answers to on the long run.

It’s not fun being a special child.


Damilola Akintobi is a graduate of English and Literary Studies from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. She lives in Ibadan. She is a content creator, creative writer who has worked for individuals and brands in the past and presently. She edits, proofreads and transcribes. She works as a content creator/ ghostwriter/ creative developer/ carousel designer and a researcher. She can be contacted on



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