Ebony’s Death – Are the Gods To Blame?

“In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order; for you shall die, you shall not recover.’”” – 2 Kings 20:1 [RSV]

I believe in prophecies. I believe that they are one of the ways divinity interferes in the affairs of humanity. I have come to believe that some predictions can materialize in our very eyes even if we doubt them. No matter how much we debate prophecies, some will surely come to pass.

Many historical happenings in today’s world were foretold in times back. Creators of the animated comedy, The Simpsons, foretold Donald Trump becoming a US President several years ago. The 9/11 attack was predicted by Nostradamus many years before it happened. Predictions and prophecies are real.

Since prophecies and predictions have a high tendency of becoming a reality sooner or later, the one pronouncing such must be very discreet. When it comes to sensitive prophecies such as death, it requires a lot of wisdom and discretion. It’s uncouth to go broadcasting someone’s death in the name of a prophecy. If God indeed revealed it to you, He definitely would reveal to you how to reach such.

When Isaiah foresaw King Hezekiah’s death, he exercised restraint and wisdom by walking up to him and revealing to him the uncomfortable news. After revealing such to him, he didn’t ask for a “fat offering” to revoke it. The height of all corruption is when a supposed man of God trumpets another man’s death and ties its revocation to a “seed” that can be sown to none but only him.

A death prophecy and death threat are only separated by a thin line of wisdom. If a death prophecy is not treated with decorum, it may be mistaken for a death threat. When the privacy of such a sensitive matter as death is breached, it exposes the prophecy recipient to a lot of danger. And… that’s exactly what some so-called prophets are doing!

Ebony’s death has raised a lot of eyebrows concerning the authenticity and confidentiality of prophecies. Truth is, vain ambitions have made some so-called prophets publicly pronounce death on others. A death prophecy is like one’s HIV status. It’s not for public consumption!

Prophesying death on celebrities has almost become one cheap route to fame. False prophets have waded in and cashing in on it. After all, no one wants to die.

The mystery of Ebony’s death brings to memory Ola Rotimi’s play, “The Gods Are Not To Blame”, an adaptation of Oedipus Rex. The famed celebrity is known to have told her manager, Bullet, upon meeting him for the first time that she was bound to meet him, be a star and die at her peak, according to a prophecy.

In Ola’s classic, there was a prophecy on a child born to King Adetusa of Kutuje. According to the prophecy by a seer, Baba Fakunle, the child would kill his father and marry his mother. In order to avert this curse of a prophecy, the child was ordered to be killed in the forest. Under some bizarre circumstances, his life was spared and later rescued.

At the turn of events, the child grows up to be a young man called Odewale. He meets King Adetusa on a farm. There’s an argument between them both which results in a fight. He slays him. He later moves to Kutuje and gets married to Odewale. Prophecy fulfilled!

This tragedy of a story points to one theme that fate would always have its way but not without the permission of man. What would happen will only happen if we permit it to. If Odewale had exercised a little more restraint, he never would have made Baba Fakunle’s prophecy a reality.

Divinity can never interfere in the affairs of humanity without our consent. There always has to be a human hand to make a prophecy so-called come to pass. The choices we make soon becomes our fate.

Being an African is like automatically being under a death prophecy. The tendency for you to die as a result of another man’s negligence or incompetence is higher than any other source of death. You are more likely to perish out of substandard services and products than any other thing. In Africa, you don’t need a death prophecy. The failing system is a death machinery of a prophecy!

Floods will always kill some of us in the rainy season. Call it a death prophecy. Many others will perish in accidents due to bad roads and technical errors. Call it a death prophecy, too. In Africa, deaths are more predictable than the weather.

We are the helping hands of our own misery. Our problems never get solved. We keep moving around them in circles. We talk about them temporarily while they take a vacation… only to return to take more lives. We lose our citizens to needless deaths because we pay attention to matters that need less attention.

While we mourn this young soul of a talent, we must put in place measures that will make our roads safe. Having a safe journey shouldn’t be a miracle. It should be a norm. We should be able to reach our destination in one full piece… not in tattered pieces.

While our false prophets have a field day betting on who is going to die next, let us take pragmatic steps to avoid road accidents. If it means going a step further to thoroughly educate our drivers and passengers especially on reckless driving, we should. Every life lost or maimed on our roads is a loss to our human capital.

Every life matters. Let’s get our roads fixed and we won’t have any gods to blame. A death prophecy of a road accident needs bad roads and road-unworthy vehicles to happen!

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of an Accra-based writing firm, Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com).

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