The Gods Are Not To Blame was first a play written by Ola Rotimi in 1968. And then a novel in 1971. And if you’ve ever read the Greek classic Oedipus Rex, you’ll b.

The Play…

…goes like this. Odewale was the first child of his parents, the King and Queen of Kutuje Kingdom. When he was born, a bad prophecy came forth from the gods of the land. Hence, after King Adetusa and Queen Ojuola had heard about the bad omen of the child, they sort a way to get rid of him. The future had been predicted as thus: That Odewale was going to kill his father, the king, and marry his mother the queen. But that in order for the land to get rid of this bad future, the boy must be killed.


Nevertheless, the boy’s parents didn’t do as they were told, so the child was wrapped in a “white cloth” and abandoned in a bush far from Kutuje. That was how the problem began. Years passed and the boy, Odewale resurfaced after the King Adetusa had died. Then unknowingly to the people of Kutuje, they crowned Odewale as king, not knowing the true identity of the boy. In the end, it was Odewale who had killed his father without knowing it was his own dad. And then married his own mother who was the wife of the former king Adetusa. Therefore, the prophecy truly came to pass!

The Theme of Disobedience

At the conclusion of this book, when Odewale became king, there was a curse that followed that ordination. And it was because the future that had been predicted when he was born had finally come to be. It is rather unfortunate that the same village people that had thought that Odewale was dead from the beginning, were the same people suffering the curse when Odewale came back. Supposing Odewale’s parents truly had belief in he voice of the gods, they would never have spared the child’s life. And that would have saved the king from being killed, and his wife from marrying her son. The abominations according to traditions provoked the hands of the gods.


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