Friday, November 5, 2010
The Drum of Babahun
Babahun is a small village west of Daru Junction and 5 miles from the Eastern city of Segbwema. One Christmas season,the people of Babahun decided they were going to buy a new drum for their annual festivities. The Youth Chief sent the town crier to announce around the village that every adult male was expected to contribute five Leones towards the purchase of the new drum. In those days, five Leones was big money.
A particularly disagreeable old man, Kpana Sipo, said he had other plans for the Christmas and was not planning to spend a cent of his money on idleness. Word got back to the Youth Chief about this statement. The Youth Chief complained to the Town Chief, and Kpana was summoned to know if he had truly made the statement. Kpana arrogantly strode into the Town Chief's compound and stated in the presence of all the assembled village elders that not a single cent of his hard earned money would go towards the purchase of the village drum. The assembled men appealed to Kpana to reconsider, giving him many reasons as to why Babahun needed a new drum, but he could not be swayed and was steadfast in his decision that not even a single red penny of his, was going to used or this purpose.
One old man got angry and said that if Kpana decided he was not going to help buy the drum, then on Christmas day he should not partake in the village dance. Kpana stated that if they wanted, they could still use the old drum, but nobody was going to prevent him from dancing on Christmas day, whether the drum was new or old. The old man got angry and said that if Kpana danced on Christmas to the new Babahun drum, the men in the village should give him a good flogging. Kpana also got angry and said that he would dance on Christmas day, and dared anyone to lay their dirty hands on him.
Another old man got so angry and said that they should not even wait for Christmas. He was going to pretend that his mouth was the new drum and say "kpudu Kpudu Kpudu," and if Kpana danced to the sound of the drum from his mouth there and then, they should give him a good beating. Most of the men, who were now visibly angry, agreed that if Kpana danced to the sound of the imaginary drum from the old man's mouth, he deserved to be severely flogged. Kpana, as arrogant as ever, said that this was ridiculous and that they should go ahead.
So the old man stood up and said, "kpudu kpudu kpudu" and Kpana got up and danced. The men of the village pounced on Kpana and flogged him so severely that he lost four of the front teeth and broke an arm, it was only when a seven year old boy shouted "But you have not even bought the drum yet!!!!!", that the men stopped beating Kpana. Later that evening, most of the men wondered why really they had beat up Kpana.