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A Yoruba Mythology: Agesinkole, The King of Thieves

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It is safe to say that 2022 was the African year; from the release of Woman King to the release of the jaw-dropping Black Panther- Wakanda forever. Before these times, Africa’s precolonial civilization had been so much looked down on, that we barely gave accolades to the gallery of Africa’s contribution to ancient civilization. Fortunately, movies in likes ‘King of Thieves’ use story-telling to preserve the venerability of the African culture.

The movie ‘King of Thieves’ delivers a lasting execution of the Yoruba Mythology, Agesinkole. Agesinkole, The King of Thieves as infamously called by those that suffered the brutality of his fists, was famous for the heist he carried out in the ancient land of Ajeromi. This arrogance and ruthlessness soon make him the most wanted in the whole land of Ajeromi. However, Agesinkole lives up to his name ‘The King of Thieves’ as he is impregnable and neutralizes any power used against him, including those of the most feared witches and wizards.

King Adegbite, who is played by Odunlade Adekola, provoked by the audacity of Agesinkole, wrestles with him in every way possible, and even continues the spiritual warfare in his dreams. This very scene is a theatrical masterpiece; deeply rooted in the Yoruba culture. Adegbite questions Agesinkole “I, the son of Tadenikaro who never runs from and fight because my father’s spirit leads me every time… why did you ambush and steal from the kings who came for my coronation?” but Agesinkole boasts “I am the untouchable one, I am invincible and as slippery as an eel. Do not underestimate my power!”

Do you know that there is an animation on the Orishas created by Nigerians and Ageshinkole is one of the characters?? 

League of the Orishas by Anthill Studios

Soon we are made to understand that Agesinkole supposedly, was not a man driven by his own greed but a man blinded and bridled by revenge and betrayal. Apart from obvious reasons, I’m pushed to really evaluate the character of Agesinkole. (***Spoilers ahead***)

First, Agesinkole was a man destined for the throne but he was robbed. However, in an effort to claim the throne he was asked to do something hideous, he was asked to steal. In common sense, one would suspect it was a trap because stealing in those times was one of the worst crimes you can ever commit. Agesinkole blindly ventures in that due to his trust in the chiefs, which later cages him in between the rock of betrayal and the hard place of disappointment.

Femi-Adebayo's King of Thieves

However, where I’m left confused is how his blindness together with his poor sense of judgment of character is the fault of the people of Ajeromi. Why victimize the sheep for the cunningness of the wolves? To me, it is an utter display of ‘victim mentality’ and the people of Ajeromi were really the victims. This is however not a means to ignore the evil done against him, but his actions might have been justified if such a display of revenge was targeted at the same set of people who betrayed his trust.

In its entirety, it’s a job well done to the producers, directors, cast, and every member of staff that made it happen. As a Nigerian and a Yoruba enthusiast, it was a lovable and admirable movie. I would rate this movie a solid 7/10.

The League of Orishas by Anthill Studios

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Ruth Abusomwan

Abusomwan [noun]: A path that leads to many routes.

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