A Dibia (native healer) in Igboland was awakened from a very disturbing dream. The gods were giving him a message. He went to the Eze (king) and informed him. The Eze told him to go and do what he was directed. He returned to the shrine after gathering wood from the sacred Iroko tree. He personally carved a mysterious artifact, creating a secret compartment at the bottom where he placed inside, a kola nut, alligator pepper and a message.
Meanwhile, the Eze summonsed the town crier to have every elder male and elder female of each family to meet him at his palace immediately. They each arrived wondering why they were assembled at such a later hour. The Dibia returned with the artifact and explained that the gods told him of an impending danger.
He said that a tomb will float on the great water, bringing a choking white fog. The fog would engulf many of the village people but some will survive. He advised that when this horrible white smoke came, to run to a place near the evil forest where they would be invisible to the naked eye. A great fear came over the villagers because no one went near the evil forest unless they were cast out of the village. It was an abomination.
The elders all began to speak at the same time.
The clanking sound of the Dibia’s staff striking the ground, caused a silence to roll across the tongues of each person there. His eyes turned a hazy white as he went into a trance. He said “Out of this abomination, our people will return”. He directed each elder to come to the artifact. He recited an incantation and told each elder to touch a different area of it. When they touched it, that area displayed a mystical glowing symbol that was not carved into the artifact.
It sealed their DNA into the symbols.
The Dibia explained that the mystical symbols would only glow when a descendant of the elder that touched it was near.
When the last elder touched the artifact, a second seal was placed upon it and another artifact, an exact duplicate appeared out of a puff of red smoke. They were all amazed. He kept the second artifact with him. It could only be passed from Dibia to his successor, until the time of reckoning.
The Dibia called the strongest man in the group. His name was Obinna (Obi). He was noticeable because of the bright spiritual glow about him that only he could see.
The guards were given instructions to hold him, regardless to what happened next. They did. The Dibia placed a green herb in his mouth and pushed the artifact into his chest. It started to burn his skin as he screamed in uncontrollable pain. His skin divided and the artifact went inside of him. Then the pain was gone, as if nothing happened. Eze assigned him warriors to guard him day and night. They were all sworn to secrecy to NEVER reveal what took place that night.
About 7 years later, the dreaded tomb came floating on the great water. The white fog rolled all around it. Many were taken away in the fog while some made it safely to the meeting place. A mother screamed in the darkness. She was unable to find her son Obi. He was the one that the Dibia chose to hold the sacred artifact inside of him.
Three Months on the Great Wata
The white fog took him and many others to a foreign land. Obinna (Obi) and those that were with him in that dreadful tomb were placed on a block and sold into slavery. Obi lived to be 97 years old. He had many children and grandchildren. They called him Papa Obi. They all remembered the stories he told of how he was brought to this place when the white fog came to his homeland. He told them of how he found that some of his age mates decided that they would rather drown themselves than to be enslaved. He even tried himself but the water would not take him. The artifact inside of him caused the water to push him back to the surface and back away.
His children loved his stories and decided to research this place that seemed almost mythical. They found that it is now called Nigeria. Some call it Naija. He always said he could still hear his mother's voice from back home, guiding him, even until the day he died. His body was laid to rest in a beautiful wooden coffin at the foot of a huge tree, in a place now called South Carolina. His tombstone read " Here lies Obinna, also known as Papa Obi, born 1724 in Nigeria; died 1821 in SC".
Each year this amazing tree grows closer to its roots and has several knots and bends in it. There is no other tree like it in the whole land. Some folks call it an angel oak tree. Others call it a Spirit tree. There has always been something different about that tree.
275 years later, in Nigeria....2016
A Dibia is awakened from a dream. He performed an incantation and retrieved the artifact. He took it to the Eze and explained its history. The elders of each family was called to witness the extraction of the message and the Kola nut. The message read "“Out of this Obama Nation, our people will return. Obi is Ibo, SC”. It was a peculiar message.
Several scholars, at the University, were called to try to decipher its meaning. It was baffling. A Nigerian private investigator, named Emeka, was also contacted. He was preferred because he was aware of the modern day technology as well as the ancient customs of his people.
When Emeka was taken to see the artifact, one of the symbols glowed. It was a tree with the letters SC at the bottom of the tree. He found that Obinna and he shared the same ancestor. They were family! This investigation became a personal journey. His family was taken by the white fog. Many questions consumed him. Where are they now? What happened to them? Emeka had to know.