This is purely a work fiction, and any resemblance to any individual or situation is either coincidental or real. To be interpreted at the reader’s discretion.
“Grace, ensure that letter gets the greatest coverage possible.”
“Sure sir, you can trust me,” the tiny gazelle replied, her Brazilian-hair-covered head moving from side to side, making her look like the well-paid puppet that she was.
Don’t be surprised, the animals in this jungle behave just like humans. I think you just met Chief Ajagbe, one of the most brutal lions in the jungle. 80 and counting, baba is acquiring wealth like he will not die again. Age is a number, and Chief Ajagbe intends to remain relevant in jungle leadership till he dies.
“Busayo, can you see? Another one done and dusted,” he said to his daughter who came in just as Grace left.
“Another open letter, my dear.”
“Daddy, is it the same letter you showed me last night?”
“Ah! Wàhálà wá o (there is problem). Couldn’t you have sent a private letter?”
“My dear daughter, in this jungle, nobody does open letters better than me, Chief Ajagbe,” the lion said, as he adjusted his overflowing Àgbada that was a little tight around the area of his fat belly. This monster in Àgbada is in the good book of the masses, and like every monster, he is using it to his advantage.
“But you said that this cub from the south-south was your boy.”
“Busayo, he was my boy, but not anymore. You see, when a small cub begins to question the powers that be, he will suffer. You cannot abuse the godfathers and expect the gods to be by your side.”
“Ahn ahn, Daddy, when will you stop this? Don’t you know that when a new leader is chosen in the pride, the old lion steps aside or dies? It is only in this our jungle that the former leaders sit round a table and turn themselves to watchdogs. It is not good o. You had your time in jungle leadership, and you enjoyed it.”
“Busayo, you are sick o. Who gave you the right to question me? That Emerald necklace on your neck, didn’t you buy it with money? Is it not this jungle money that we are all stealing? Don’t let me curse you o.”
“Daddy, I am just saying the truth.”
“Will you get out of my face? Ọ́mọ́jatíjatí (bad child). Thank God you’re also in jungle leadership. Busayo, we are in this together.”
“I was just leaving,” Busayo responded, as she adjusted her head-tie, and walked gallantly out of her dad’s office like the lioness that she was.
“Can you see this one?” he muttered, his pregnant tummy dancing as he settled in a chair too small for his frame.
— Beside the road, at a newspaper stand.
“Akin, did you see what Busayo Ajagbe said about her father?” a gazelle asked.
“Bala, I did ó. It seems the act of letter writing runs in the family. Why would she write an open letter to her father?” Akin asked as he dug into maize on a cob while moving it from hand to hand as the heat burnt his palm.
“Whether open or close, the letter rings true.”
“Busayo is a liar. She is just being used by some greedy lions to ruin her father’s reputation. I still insist that it shouldn’t have been an open letter if those things are true.”
“… but you insist that Ajagbe tells the truth even though he keeps sending open letters. Are you sure that you are not being used by Ajagbe?” Dada, a newcomer asked.
“Do you want to be unfortunate?” Akin screamed in outrage, as half-chewed corn spewed out of his mouth, and unto Bala’s face.
“It is your father that is being used, you rude child,” he said, as he stormed off and cursed Dada all the way.
— A couple of months after
“Grace, make sure this one also gets maximum coverage.”
“You can trust me, Chief. I will do it beyond your expectations.”
“You may leave. Do well to close the door.”
“This is power. The trust of the gazelles is in me. Leader go, leader come, I, Ajagbe am the leader’s leader, and I will enjoy this power till the end.”
Ajagbe dug his already sticky chubby fingers into a bowl of dates as he relaxed in his chair which would soon need replacement if he kept filling his fat belly with dates.
— At the newspaper stand
“He ruined the administration of the last lion with his letters. Now he is trying to do the same again. What did Ajagbe do when the power of the jungle was in his hands? He only looted funds and got fat.”
“Bala, Ajagbe is a senior lion, and he is only trying to help.”
“Akin, is he not a thief and liar as well? We, the gazelles are only pawns in the game of these lions.”
“Bala, when your elders are talking, you don’t talk!”
“Mr. Elder, you cannot see past your nose!”
“What have I missed?” Dada, who was always late and had just joined them, asked.
“Another open letter!” Bala and Akin spoke in unison.