Friday, January 31, 2014

ABIKU ( A child born to die)

I received a sad news yesterday, one of my ex class girl from school passed away. She got married of recent, just had her first child few weeks ago and passed away yesterday. Well, the baby lives.

  Also, during my internship program at the Broadcasting Corporation of  Oyo  State in Ibadan, a woman died my first week there, I was told she just had her first child, she have been trying to conceive for over 15 years, she finally got pregnant, delivered safely and died some two months later. The child lives

My last year in the University as an undergraduate, one of my course mate got married , his wife died few days after having her first child. The baby yet lives. 

 I was touched and bemused as what could be the cause. Is it complication from childbirth, is it as a result of evil force or perhaps it is destiny. But how will someone share an awful fate? Why will death deny an innocent child the joy of having a mother? All this and many more runs through my mind.

The high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria may prevent us from looking at the spiritual aspect of childbirth. There are some children whose mission on earth is to end the life of their mother. Also there are some women who have pledged to die right after having children, or during childbirth. Some women need adequate spiritual attention and care during the course of their pregnancy to avoid death or serious complication due to the fact that they are either Abiku or Emere.

Abiku is a word in Yoruba. The word is derived from Yoruba: (abiku) "predestined to death", which is from (abi) "that which possesses" and (iku) "death". Abiku refers to the spirits of children who die before reaching puberty; a child who dies before twelve years of age being called an Abiku, and the spirit, or spirits, who caused the death being also called Abiku.
 Abiku literally means "one who is born, dies"--though the compact "born to die," with its implication of a fated or deliberately planned death.

Abi to give birth or to be born, ku is to die.

They are children who sometimes want to see their parent suffer, they rejoice in the tears people shed when they die. They are Children who have secret plans to die at a certain time in their upbringing, and leave at the expiration of the chosen time.

I look into the world of motherhood and felt sorry for so many woman out there and parents. It’s a taboo for a parent to bury their child. When this type of ill-fated occurrences strikes the Yoruba people will say 'Omi lodanu, agbe ko fo', the water was lost but the calabash isn’t broken. The calabash here is the vessel in essence the mother, the water is use to represent the child. Meaning the child died but the mother lives.

They are often sick, and drain there parent money on medical and spiritual bills. Only to be born again soon afterwards, repeating this itinerary of death and birth until they are spiritually tied down on earth by their parents and forced to stay in the world. That is while some people are told not to have big or loud celebration. Whatever they want to do should be low key as their Ori do not want noise.

Hence, why pregnant women in Yoruba are forbid to go out in the sun from 1pm to pm and also at midnight, because it is believed that is when the spirit moves around and mostly looking for host and can peradventure change the child in the womb to Abiku. Abiku can be inherited; it can go on for generation to generation if proper spiritual work is not done.

Healing an Abiku child is intensive, some parent use a charm called Gbekude to tie an Abiku child on earth. Gbekude is mostly worn around the neck, to prevent the Abiku spirit from claiming the child till the child is fully grown. Some give them mark on the face. Some attaches anklet with bells around the child leg, or
chains round his neck. The jingling of the iron and the tinkling of the bells is supposed to keep the Abiku at a distance, hence the number of children that are to be seen with their feet weighed down with iron ornaments. Coupled with sacrificed and offering.

Abiku children are given name like;
Molomo: Don't go again
kukoyi: death reject this one
Durojaiye: stay and enjoy life
Motunrayo; I have found joy again

Abiku child are mostly buried wearing rags, on dump site, outskirt of town or in the bush without any befitting burial rite. The parents are advice not to show pity for the child, not to shed tears. Sometimes their corpse will be burnt or marked on their body to identify the child if it’s however return again. All this are down to discourage the Abiku spirit from returning. However, we have heard of cases where some children over time reborn to the same mother with the previous look, sex, complexion and structure and makings. An Abiku child can go and come back as many times as they want till the parent can finally tie them down on earth.

Abiku is not restricted to infant child or a particular sex alone, there is Abiku Agba. These people grown and mature into adult but sometimes die untimely or almost at the prime time of their success. Sometimes success is so fast for these people, they will graduate school, get the best job, have children but when it is time for their parent or family to enjoy them, they passed away. They can die without any sign of illness or use something to attach their death to. Some die untimely without living any offspring's behind.

Ogun yi o wu ke fi wo Abiku
bo pe boya omo o rele re lojokan
However which medicine you use to cure an Abiku child
The child will return to his home eventually.

You have come,
That never overstays.

I laugh at your cries;
An echo of the first time
You rented
My now weary womb.

Do you see tears
In my eyes?
No, the wells therein
Are drier than the desert sand.

This time, I pour no libation,
For the gods
Are drunk from my river
Of prayer gin.

I hold a lamp in my hands,
The snake at the door
Shall be crushed
Before it strikes my heels.

I shall pair your cry with a cackle;
For the child that says
His mother shall not sleep
Must not his eyelids close.

Poem by kukogbo I. Samson

Ohun gbogbo lowo ori, everything that happens to us is dependent on our Ori, Our beginning and also the end. Of all the things that Olodumare gave to human only death is certain, death is the only thing that all human will get to experience. We all can't be rich, not everyone will build house, buy a car or even have children.
 There are some people who do not chose children from heaven but when they get to earth they want it and go extra mile to make this happen, this have claimed lives. Maybe you wanted something today and you have been praying hard to get it and still nothing, do not make it happen by force. You never know what Olodumare is keeping it away from you from. It may be to safe your live.