Casualties by Jones Ayuwo

Who was it, that lifted his voice to the winds and cried out “the games are coming!”
What was it, that made the winds carry this ululating cry over and across channels, and into the tweets of blue birds as they perched on the line, across the web, spawn by the crawling spider and into our homes and into our hearts!
Who exactly dared us and why did this macabre challenge so delight our hearts and quicken our pulse?
We prepared, we worked, we pespired, and with each exhausted gasp and each weary pant, we pushed ourselves, because the games were coming. And finally, as sure as the seed of Adam… the games came.

But games are glorious and games are deadly, for games our hopes and dreams and expectations are born, and for games they are crushed. For games our bodies are made fit and for games we are broken. While some jubilate, with exacerbation and merriment, with joyous, triumphant laughter and raised arms and disbelieving tears, the rest wither away in the bitterness of disappointment, in the agony of failure, crushed under the burden of exertion, of giving all and losing all.
Yemi Adebo, first of his name and defender of the realm lost his right ankle, Tobolos Olowokure, scorer of the corner kick and Yearr1 Slayer, like the Lannister before him he gave his hand for the game. King Nife, Long Thrower and dispenser of balls is left bereft of a right shoulder for the sake of the games, Jones Ayuwo of the Silver tongue contributed his meagre quota and bears the scars beneath his newly acquired face caps. And Qasim, Sire of sports, dribbler of men, king in the court and destroyer of baskets, like the great Achilles of old, lost his heel.
But individual losses are mere sub plots in the drama that is the games, for on the day that Achilles fell, Troy fell also.
There are different classes of realms, all realms are not equal. But of all the realms, the one that suffered the most casualty seems to be the 16th Realm. The Law Realm of 16, famed far and wide for their great wealth of talent and ability now lies buried in a grave dug with the shovels of their own tongues. The males were hammered by the gods with the misfortune of impotence and when the males are impotent, the females cannot conceive. Thus they languish together, pining away, one in the abject desolation of coming last and the latter in the despair of almost being champions but only coming a close second.
The Realm of 15 with a lot of heart and sacrifice took part in the games. But their hopes of retaining the title the fought so hard for were dashed against the cold hard wall of reality.
The Realm of 19 fought with the fire of young lions, cracking skulls and breaking hearts on their path to nowhere. But the lionesses went one better and fought back from a deficit to ensure victory. Amidst aspersions that the referee helped usher them into the final, but like a wise woman once said “ain’t nobody got time for that”.
I shall refrain from illustrating the hurt and tears and passionate protests let out by the women of Realm 18, because their husbands have gone mad again and have been running riot on the anthills of male football! Neither shall I rehash the pain the Class of 17 women because their men still dance the dance of victors.
But the games have come and the games are almost done, the curtain falls on the games tomorrow. The pain and strive the glory and gore, the brag and the banter.

By Jones Ayuwo

Published by Teni Akeju


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