BAYO ADEBOWALE: Lonely Days
Comment on the attitude of the people of Kufi towards superstition.
Kufi is a traditional society that is governed by a set of superstitious beliefs, which impact on the people's behavior. The belief that death, in most cases, does not occur naturally is so strong among the kufi people that they resort to practices that are humiliating and dehumanizing to ascertain the innocence of the widows of their deceased husbands. Dedewe, for instance, is made to sit alone in a dark room with the corpse of her husband. She is also compelled to con-fess sins she has not committed. Fayoyin is shaven and she becomes unrecognizable. Radeke and Yaremi also suffer similar inhumane treatment. In Kufi death is categorized into bad and good, depending on the manner in which it occurs.
A person who dies by suicide or as a result of snakebite is considered to have died disgracefully. It is also considered abominable to be crushed to death by falling walls or to be struck by lightning. Deaths that fall outside these categories are considered natural. In Kufi, there is a belief that natural elements and creatures can communicate messages to humans. The shooting star that is seen zooming across the empty sky, and the mournful song of the "go-away bird" are interpreted by Yaremi as indications of Ajumobi's acceptance by his creator. The belief that birds and animals can be used to carry out evil acts is held strongly among Kufi people. Ajumobi's death, for example, is linked to the hawk that is seen perching on his roof shortly before he dies.
Typical of the beliefs in rural communities is the concept of reincarnation. Yaremi believes she will one day see her husband. Her belief is reinforced by the information she receives from people that Ajumobi has been seen at Oyedeji. She also dreams of meeting him in her sleep. When in the end she finds that he does not seem to be coming, she resorts to incantations. The belief that women will become rulers over men in the next world is very strong in Kufi. It is this superstition that makes women like Yaremi tolerate the excesses of their husbands even when beaten. Superstitious beliefs, therefore, have strong hold on the lives of the people of Kufi.
Points to Note:
1. Kufi is a superstitious society
2. Superstition about unnatural deaths.
3. The belief of involvement of wisdows in the death of their husbands.
4. The belief that the elements and creatures communicate with humans
5. The belief in reincarnation
6. The belief in women becoming rulers in the next world.