LOUD WHISPERS : Jallo’s Secret

Once upon a time, there was a blacksmith called Jallo who was famous all over the land for his smithing skills. People came from far and near to seek him out. He had a number of young apprentices from nearby villages learning the trade from him.  Jallo was a rather strict man but he was also very generous and kind. He never short changed his customers and he was fair to his apprentices. Whenever Jallo felt any of his apprentices had learnt enough, he would give them money and tools to go and start their own workshop. His apprentices moved back to their own villages or went elsewhere to work. However, no matter what they did, their own products were never as good as that of Jallo. One day, all the young men who had worked under Jallo had a meeting. At this meeting, it was decided that there was a mystery behind why they were not as successful as their Master. They all believed that Jallo was adding a secret substance to his metals that made his work superior. There were also some who said Jallo must have a charm that transferred all the good fortune of his apprentices to him. There were different suggestions made at the meeting. Some felt they should approach Jallo directly and ask him.  Another said they should plant a spy in the midst of the current apprentices to find out what the secret substance was. It was even suggested that Jallo be kidnapped and tortured till he confessed his secret.  The final decision taken was that they would consult a powerful medicine man called Bemiwo, who would be in a position to reveal the secret to them. On an agreed day, all the aggrieved apprentices met at Bemiwo’s place. After listening to them, Bemiwo asked them to come back the following day, and bring along any tools Jallo had ever given them. The apprentices brought their tools the next day.  Bemiwo examined the tools carefully. He then said a few words into some cowries and threw them on the floor. After peering at the cowries he nodded his head and cleared his throat. ‘Young men, I have some information for you. For the past fifteen years, a certain man has been coming to see me. Each time he comes, he brings some tools with him. There is a particular incantation that I prepared for him that we use each time he brings the tools. This is what it is:

I beseech our ancestors to look favourably upon these tools

I beseech Ogun, the God of Iron to hear my pleas

Make these tools strong and firm

The same way the Iroko tree stands tall and unyielding in the forest

Let these tools be as invincible

Just like the earth gives way for the farmer planting his seeds

Please let these tools pave the way to progress for the user

I beg of thee, owner of all that moves and does not move

Make the hands that will use these tools prosperous

As I have learnt this trade and taught them

May they use these tools to teach others

May they never make enemies who will never forgive their misdeeds

May their enemies never rejoice over their failure

I ask of you to bless these tools and the work of their hands

Just as you have blessed mine

The young apprentices stared at Bemiwo in disbelief.  Then they all started to talk at once.  If it is true he did all this for us, how come it is not working? Why are we not successful? Yes, he taught us with these tools but we are not as successful as he is. Why are the prayers not working if it is indeed true that he is the one who has been coming here? Bemiwo did some more consultations with his cowries and looked up.  ‘Yes, these are the tools your former boss prayed over on your behalf.  He taught you well. However, did you learn well? Yes, you learnt how to be good blacksmiths. Yet, did you learn the purity of Jallo’s heart? Did you learn his generosity? His patience? The work of your hands can never be blessed without a good character. No amount of prayers or sacrifice will work for you if your heart is not good. Yes, Jallo has a secret ingredient. It is his character. That is why he is famous. Even if there are 1000 blacksmiths in this land, Jallo will be favoured because his heart is pure. There is no sacrifice I can prescribe for you unless you want me to deceive you’. The young men asked Bemiwo what they should do next.  He advised then to go to Jallo, confess their conspiracy and ask for his forgiveness and blessing.  How? They wailed. ‘He will never forgive us, he will drive us away’ they said.  ‘Why don’t you go first and see what happens’, Bemiwo replied.

So all the apprentices went to see their former boss Jallo, who received them warmly. After exchanging pleasantries, they all knelt down, and their spokesman narrated the things that happened and what transpired when they visited Bemiwo. Jallo listened intently. After they had all finished, Jallo responded with a story. He said there was a man who was always having nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. He would dream of his bed being full of snakes, scorpions, spiders, and different kinds of poisonous creatures, crawling all over him. The man told his mother about the bad dreams.   His mother asked him if any of the creatures ever harmed him in his sleep and he said no. She told him that every human being sleeps on a bed full of dangerous creatures. The only protection we have against them is our faith and our good character. ‘Be a good man’, the mother told her son, ‘you will always have snakes and scorpions on your bed but you will never see them and they will never hurt you’.

Jallo then said to his guests, ‘I know that not all who have worked with me or who are currently with me have an open heart and mind towards me. However, I sleep well at night. I have no nightmares of things crawling all over me because I do not harbour any ill will towards anyone. I forgive you and I pray with all my heart that you will be successful’.  And so the young men learnt a vital lesson. If you want to be successful wish no one ill. Be content with what you have. Celebrate the success of others, your own time will come. Anyone who can go to bed at night with a clear conscience is a lucky person. May the work of our hands be blessed and may our hearts never cease to delight in all things good. Have a great week.

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women.She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

Source: Above Whispers

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19 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS : Jallo’s Secret

  1. Bisi Alawode March 27, 2018 at 3:49 am

    This is a story that speaks to the present in my life. Hardwork and character paves the way even though it might look rough, but it speaks longer. Have a great week ma and thanks for always inpsiring us.

  2. Chioma George March 27, 2018 at 3:52 am

    This is our problem, we don’t celebrate people. When people are grinding hard in their closet no one sees them but when the fame comes, they believe the person has done something supernaturally to attract such fame and wealth. I keep saying this, if Mark Zuckerberg were to be a Nigerian, the story about how he used someone’s head to perform rituals would be all over.

  3. Sharon Miller March 27, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Let’s learn to celebrate good success, it won’t kill us!

  4. DSEED March 28, 2018 at 12:50 am

    Celebrating people who are successful in our lifes makes us more successful. And also our characters go a very long way. Be good, do good, think good, act good and all of you shall be good. A great lesson to live with. Thank you ma.

  5. Remilekun Anderson March 28, 2018 at 2:48 am

    I wish the people of the world could read this and genuinely live by this great lesson. I don’t know why we find it difficult to believe that indeed Hard work with true character pays. I don’t get it. we just try to flow in this mediocre level and it keeps tying us to the ground!

  6. Lilian Osagie March 28, 2018 at 2:58 am

    It is really possible to have genuine success, work hard the ladder and shine forth. I see women and men doing great things via dedication, commitment and hard work and they shine forth like stars. The reason why I think people go about saying the wrongest of things is because Success speaks louder than the work, no one sees you when you are grinding hard but shouts when you top the charts. God bless you ma.

  7. Victor Udoh March 28, 2018 at 3:03 am

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story ma’am. We need this timely reawakening in our society.

  8. Soldier Demian March 28, 2018 at 3:06 am

    I am glad I followed through this site after seeing a post on facebook. I think this is a very good place for knowledge and mental upgrade. Let me also say that this story is very right but the narrative in the society atimes doesn’allow us celebrate the genuine ones. That’s when you hear he did this and that to gain his wealth and it ends up to be true. We know that there are people like Jallo out there but we also know that there are so few.

  9. veronica Imaseun March 28, 2018 at 3:17 am

    We should have a way of letting people know that success and character go together. Even if you are extremely excellent, your character will take you to places you never imagined!

  10. Mr Peter March 28, 2018 at 3:28 am

    We are spiritual people that’s non-negotiable. Even with Jallo’s hard work and character, Bemiwo blessed him and his tools. It just sums it up that we always need an aid beyond the natural no matter what.

  11. Lauretta Idemudia March 28, 2018 at 3:30 am

    This story is a blessing. Thanks for sharing and always teaching us deep values ma’am.

  12. Femi Diipo March 28, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Wow!!! A story within a story, crammed with several life lessons and encouragement. Thank you for this wonderful lessons ma’am

  13. Dom Dom March 28, 2018 at 7:53 am

    I’m so blessed to be part of this platform where I get to read these wonderful thoughts, stories and ideas. A good character is key in life not just to prosperity and greatness but most importantly personal peace of mind

  14. Olakunle Olajide March 28, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I don’t think i have ever said this before, but i want to type it now. “I LOVE YOU MA.” Okay, that is out. “The purity of Jallos heart” caught my attention mostly from this write up. He held no grudges, he heard a heart of gold, he is generous, patient and hardworking. Only if we can all have this kind of heart, only if we can see the good in people, only if we can forgive like we are taking every breathe, only if we can love and teach. This is more than just a story, it is more of a self appraisal to each and everyone. I see too much hate, i see too much of bragging rights. I am surely sharing this. Mama Erelu, God bless you wherever you are.

  15. Legzycool March 28, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    It is all in the heart. Thank you for this great piece ma’am.

  16. Gloria Illoba March 29, 2018 at 2:31 am

    Celebrate the success of others, Your time will come. This statement went down into my bones and veins. I feel that word as present as never before. Thanks for sharing this ma. Have a great week too.

  17. Cheryl Martins March 29, 2018 at 2:35 am

    Words of wisdom. I mean, I feel like I have become more mature reading these weekly write ups. I feel like my IQ level has changed a lot and I see life differently. Do not stop blessing us ma, I am glad to be a partaker of this great platform where I learn and unlearn. Character is key! Like my mum would say, If you think you have emerged and become so arrogant to be chastised, Your downfall knocks at the door. Thanks for being a blessing ma.

  18. Loreta Williams March 29, 2018 at 2:37 am

    More women should get on this platform and learrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! Haba! This is deep and so vital. Hold no grudge, be your best and Do Good. Life lessons for a billion years!

  19. Eric Onuoha April 3, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    What a story filled with lessons for successful living. There is a station on DSTV that says, “100% Character”. Good character and a pure heart will take you places. Thank you Ma for sharing


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