One day while you were tilling the ground, you found your mother’s voice buried in your
backyard, in a glass decanter inside an earthen pot that held money and white ileke… beads.
Eagerly you grabbed the pot and hid it in your Bagco bag, the same one that held your dreams,
and then you waited. For six days and nights you waited, anxious that she might find her
But she didn’t.
On the night of the seventh day, you held the glass decanter against the moonlight, and when the
clock struck midnight, it began to hum and glow. You closed your eyes and took a sip of the
On opening your eyes, you saw your grandmother and her mother, garbed in white and gold aso-
oke, red iyun on their necks, wrists and ankles. They beckoned to you and you went.
You must set forth at dawn, your grandmother said gravely. She held the decanter to your mouth
and asked you to drink; she took your mother’s white ileke and placed them around your waist.
At the first light of dawn, you picked up your Bagco bag and hurried out of your room. Your
mother stood at the door, smiling. She blessed you on your way; my voice will speak for you.
And so you set forth with your mother's voice in your throat, her beads on your waist, her money
in your purse and your dreams in your Bagco bag, you set forth unto greatness.
Years later you held your daughter in your arms and held your voice in a glass decanter. You
gave her a sip and you blessed her and called her Ajewunmi.