History is a vagabond generally regarded by everybody as a habitué of every household because every household has a history. In the history of man on earth many greats have been grated and minimised and many more greats shall be so grated and minimised because to grate and to minimise greats is the obsessive meditation and PH.D dissertation of some special verbal scientists called demonic detractors.
Timiebi is a multidimensional personality of impeccable character-composition in whom could be seen a conglomeration of varied personalities and disciplines – a teacher, moralist, politician, philosopher, human rights activist, historian, meteorologist, hydrologist, fisherwoman, philanthropist and environmentalist – but there is a deadly desperate determination by deadly demonic detractors to minimise and move her away from the widely applauded channel like Barrister Soja Smooth in his hit song, ‘TOTAL SET UP’, when he angrily alerts the world to how some persons are evilly at work to remove him from the music channel through disparaging stories of maritime robbery and brigandage beautifully woven around him.
Many stories have been bandied and told about Timiebi. Timeibi’s demonic detractors spread about her anything that suits their imagination. There are stories that Timiebi Maika did not go to school and the often referenced philosophical statements attributed to her are indeed plagiarised quotes not original to her in creation. To these people, Timiebi is not fit to be called a philosopher. There are also stories that Timiebi died many years ago and that she still lies refrigerated or mummified in the morgue because her children have no money to pay the accumulated mortuary fees and take the corpse home for burial. In all these stories told captivatingly with all the communicative flourishes and devices at their best it is the lies, the untruths and the fiction that far outweigh and outshine the truth.
Sometimes, one is mystified as to how Timiebi, a great woman who gave her very best to her children in upbringing without discrimination, a woman willing to lay down her life for her children, a woman who laboured with her hooks, lines and nets to bring up her children, a woman who turned bamboo-raft into her fishing canoe out of privation-stricken ingenuity, a woman who fell dead raffia palm trees for grubs, live raffia palm trees for live palm grubs and live raffia palm trees for piassava-weaving to be able to feed her children and guarantee their future, an amazon of Timiebi’s stature, became a victim and punch-bag of propagandist liars who are very inventive in the fabrication of incredible stories.
It sends cold down me that the deadly demonic detractors did not tell the world that Timiebi’s educational qualifications from primary school to university level were burnt during the 2010 military invasion of Ayakoromo. The detractors would not find a delicacy in this story because it carries no derogatory echoes against Timiebi. They are excited that her educational details are no more, leaving to the world only her quotable philosophical statements as the landmarks of her intellectual weight and worth – quotable philosophical statements the demonic detractors still irrationally question.
The demonic detractors, who are only dramatists of status-reducing stories about people, would not be willing to tell the world that Timiebi is also a dependable politician. As a politician she has always supported candidates and whoever she supports, always wins. Timiebi was instrumental in the electoral victories of many aspirants in the 1999 and 2003 general elections in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State because in these elections she voted for the candidates of her choice and also mobilised people massively to vote for them. Is Chief Hon. Braduce Angozi, one-time Burutu Local Government Chairman and former Commissioner for Agriculture in Delta State, and late Hon.Julius Otuwo Eyenanaotu not aware of Timiebi’s capacity for mass mobilization of people to vote?What about His Excellency Otuaro, Hon.Julius Pondi, Hon.Forteta Peter Asupa,Hon.Angele Godknows and Hon.Pullah Ekpotuayerin?
Timiebi Maika (the third wife of Maika Ekanpou, and nee Ferebo), a towering storyteller philosopher fondly nicknamed the Aristotle, an amazon of altruism, a personality with philosophical statements widely quoted by writers, is paternally from Oyangbene and Ayakoromo in Burutu Local Government Area, Akugbene in Bomadi Local Government Area and maternally from Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State. She is a virtuous, hardworking, principled, altruistic woman with an amazing capacity for storytelling. Most of the quotable philosophical statements attributed to her are derived from her numerous stories told. It is this woman King Alfred Izonebi musically portrays as a versatile storyteller whose care and upbringing of her eight children is flawless by every standard of evaluation. That she is referentially an amazon can be clearly located in the musical chronicles of King Izonebi about her. Her storytelling skill and the teaching words embodied in the stories remain unbeatable as they form the basis for the quotability of her philosophical statements.
Beyond Timiebi’s quotability derived from her numerous stories told which are further translated and told by her numerous students who drank from her inexhaustible river of knowledge, she commands reputation as a great woman wrestler, human rights activist, environmentalist and philanthropist. She hates oppression with passion and is ready to go to war with anybody when it has to do with protection of one’s human rights much as she believes in environmental protection through healthy attitude and protection of biodiversity and the ecosystem.
Timiebi does have a passion for human rights activism.The passion of Timiebi for human rights activism is always philosophically anchored or engaged. The philosophy of ‘Wiyouism’ is Timiebi’s driving force for human rights activism – a philosophy always mouthed to fight against human rights violation of any species. Through ‘Wiyouism’ Timiebi ensures neither her fundamental human rights nor those of others are trampled upon with impunity. She would not like to see her children and grandchildren bully people or being bullied by others. To her there is no one seven-headed that would bully and deprive people of their human rights anywhere on earth. Her often asked question which strengthens her to confront human rights abnormalities is: ‘We you?’, meaning who are you to intimidate and trample upon the rights of others? With this energising question mouthed courageously she could go to any length to protect the human rights of people violated and oppressed.
Timiebi’s entire life is dominated by enthusiasm and passion for any chosen task. Passion for environmental protection is one of her phenomenal associations. As an environmentalist she wages relentless war against felling of immature trees, indiscriminate bush burning, killing of fingerlings and the use of chemicals and dynamites in a fishing lake or river for a supposed large haul.
There are people on earth who pursue philanthropy and care for orphans as a goal without any visible formalised structures established for it.Timiebi is one of them and so radiance is the word for Timiebi’s philanthropy and love for orphanages. Where her philanthropy is termed ‘fish-philanthropy’, her love for orphanage is a mobile one as she often gives fishes generously to the motherless ones that come her way in the course of fishing.
Known memorably as a great fisherwoman, she generously gives fishes to anyone that comes her way – motherless or mothered, fatherless or fathered. Her fish-philanthropy is non-discriminatory in philosophy as it is extended to both the Ijaws and the Urhobos who come her way. Her canoe is often loaded with fishes after every fishing expedition and anyone who meets her often smiles home with fishes. She is an angler who relies on hooks and lines for her maritime trade.
The ubiquitously recognised multidimensional personality called Timiebi is both a celebrated meteorologist and hydrologist. For those who respect her meteorological and hydrological projections in relation to the fishing occupation, Timiebi is arguably a great scientist whose scientific approaches are purely traditional but very accurate – if not even more accurate than the statistically collated so-called data-based scientific approaches to meteorology and hydrology!
Maritime fishing is Timiebi’s daily occupation. For every fishing expedition taken on, Timiebi is guided by her meteorological and hydrological postulations and projections traditionally channelled. She knows the baits that go with a particular tide in the river. Her hooks are baited with earthworm, tadpole, balls of starch and garri, slugs, glass catfish, electric catfish and grubs and sometimes baitless hooks in varying permutations. Based on meteorological and hydrological knowledge Timiebi varies the baits for her fishing hooks and knows exactly when her fishing hooks will catch trunk-fish, grass-eater, featherback, snakehead, river perch, Silver catfish, African bony tongue, flatfish or tonguesole and African river pike because each baited hook attracts a particular shoal of fish in a given tide in the river. She varies her baits according to the demand of the tide.When most fishermen frustratingly desert a particular river for low yields and poor haul, that is when Timiebi turns to such rivers for fishing expeditions. Where fishermen complain of low yields and poor haul in a river, she harvests large haul of fishes from her fishing expeditions. Those who hold her up as a marvel in the field of maritime fishing term her a digital fisherwoman in convivial panegyrical communication of compliments.
Again and again it must be stressed that there is something multi-dimensional about Timiebi. She is first and foremost a great fisherwoman. She is also a storyteller philosopher, human rights activist, philanthropist and environmentalist. She is always opposed to any form of environmental degradation from any corner. She is a personality who will do anything to protect the environment and make others happy. She is generous and so gives to people without expectations. She is filled to the brim with human kindness. She wishes no one evil but always altruistic in every turn. Perhaps because she is generous, kind-hearted and altruistic, the demonic detractors have whimsically chosen to tell stories weighted to cast clouds on her personality.
Stories of different types have been told about Timiebi Maika. Stories are still being told about Timiebi. Among the disparaging stories, some should be believed when modified because they voyage around the known truth. It is true that Mrs. Timiebi Maika is dead. She died on 30 August 2020 at Akparemogbene in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State. King Izonebi is right when he imagistically portrays in his song, ‘Grace of God (Mrs. Timiebi Maika Ekanpou)’, that like two conjoined plantains torn apart and separated, Timiebi Maika has been separated from her four surviving children out of eight like conjoined plantains separated because she is dead.
It is also true that Timiebi is yet to be honoured with her final burial rites scheduled to take place in Oyangbene. For about three years Timiebi Maika had been away from her children without any opened line of communication except the mystically channelled line of communication accessible only to the psychic. Because she had been imprisoned somewhere for years without burial formalities traditionally observed, many stories have been bandied about her.
Targeted stories told to indignify Timiebi Maika and her children should be dead like the dead because a day has been chosen for the final burial rites of Mrs. Timiebi Maika Ekanpou. Timiebi Maika the storyteller philosopher, philanthropist, activist, environmentalist, wrestler and fisherwoman, shall be honoured with befitting final burial rites on 25 November 2022 at Oyangbene town in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State – a community reachable by speed boat and canoe from Asupa Waterside and Ogboye Waterside in Market Road, Warri, close to Ogbe-Ijoh market at the waterside. Consequently, may the propagandist demonic detractors of Timiebi Maika attitudinally metamorphose into those who are poised to grace Mrs. Timiebi Maika Ekanpou’s final burial rites on the 25 of November 2022 in their variegated colours in Oyangbene town. It is human to lie against Timiebi Maika; it is also human to embrace the refined emergent truth about Timiebi Maika as it is now.Again and again, 25 November 2022 is the confirmed date for late Mrs Timiebi Maika, the great philosopher of endless quotes and whose quotes are daily projected as the moral compass for this manipulated generation.
It is infuriating to know that it seems deliberate on the part of the indefatigable deadly demonic detractors not to tell the world that to go to bed and to die peacefully without the pains and perturbations of going to hospital ‘Abikuically’ when the cosmically decreed time to die had arrived was the prayerful wish of Timiebi.Contrarily,for the first time in her life,memory loss suddenly arrested her in 2013 though it was an intermittent arrest.She was always healthy except for the intermittent visitation of memory loss.The malignant progression of this intermittent memory loss was the day Timiebi forgot me as her last son and child in a family of four children that began with eight children and later lost four children to death one by one.Tears coursed down my cheeks on that fateful day when she mistook me for another person.In the bout of forgetfulness Timiebi gave me somebody’s name and gave my name to another person.
Physiologically, as anybody in Akparemogbene can testify when summoned, good health had always been an integral composition of Timiebi’s entire earthly existence until death took her away on 30 August 2020.Before her death she was known to forget her own children every five minute and remember them every five minute.At this timeTimiebi would start a folk story with ‘O so kpurosi egberi o'(story,story,story)! and intermittently forgot the other components of the story.In the grip of her forgetfulness while telling a story, I would gaze at her and shed tears but away from her prying eyes.The intermittent memory loss was a barricade against Timiebi’s art of storytelling and usual meaningful engagement of her children on all aspects of life until she gave alert of impending departure and eventually departed on 30 August 2020 with a wave of fulfilement and a parting embrace given to her last son in a dream.
One interesting addendum to the chronicles of Timiebi which must not be forgotten – even if it features incidentally here as the ‘Seisuo’ dance of a dancer – is that Timiebi’s prized philosophies of ‘Ekpeprefe ekpoeprefeism(mutual giving and mutual taking) and ‘Ezeneboyeseimuaism’ (contentment and non-covetousness) did not desert her until death visited her with dignity, patiently waiting for Timiebi to take her last breath in a dignified manner.It is this woman whom death treated with dignity at death that is being treated with indignity by the indefatigable deadly demonic detractors though all that drama of deliberate minimisation is gone because Timiebi Maika, the wife of late Maika Ekanpou of Akparemogbene and Ayakoromo and the first daughter of late Ferebo Ezetu of Oyangbene, Ayakoromo and Akugbene, the first daughter of Brafinine Ofiriki of Ogbe-Ijoh town, the biological mother of the Akparemogbene-born village writer, will be honoured with her final burial rites on 25 November 2022 as a corresponding response to ‘Timiebi’s First Letter from Prison’.
BY EKANPOU ENEWARIDIDEKE
Writes from Akparemogbene, Delta State