TAGU: Tales of Dubaku

Beyond the endless green canopy of trees, wild berries and honey- the equivalent of a modern-day Eden, was the land of Tagu. The aggressive villagers of Tagu were constantly chasing wild game meat, on top of trees, or perched at the entrance of the village waiting to attack any intruders. Dubaku was the son of the village medicine man. He was avery aggressive and competitive child. He would always compete with his friends over little things like who could climb the tallest tress faster or who would collect more wild berries. He had a huge scar on his forehead as a result of his imminent fall during one of his banters with his friends. He had a very toned and masculine body that made him look like a professional weightlifter. His feet were enormous and hairy. He cast a shadow that filled any room he walked into. His bare chest looked like two inflated airbags that had rich and striking black colour. He had lean, long muscles on his arms and legs that were barely covered by the clothing draped on his waist. His dark skin went on for miles, punctuated with a scar or two. To say he was intimidating was downplaying his capability. He did not have a friendly face and never was he ever seen smiling. He had an air of mystery especially when it came to his leather belt that he always had on, and people believed that it had some charm.  Dubaku was known for his decisiveness and direct personality. He stood by his words and they were his bond.

As a requirement in the traditions of Tagu, each young man of age from each Zeben was required to participate in the Illaka ceremony of warriors. When Dubaku was of age, he alongside his mates marked their faces in war lines and assembled in the community grounds to be grafted into the army of warriors. They were required to participate in a wrestling match, in order to pick the war leader. On the night of their Illaka ceremony, Dubaku was appointed to be the war leader, as he won the wrestling match. He was given the Tagu spear and was required to always lead the warriors in case of any intrusion or war. Different warriors were stationed at various entamces to the village and would take turns in guarding the palace. Dubaku trained young warriors in fighting and recruited the iniated young men to the army.

The perfect symphony of peace in the village was disrupted one frosty evening, during the rainy season- when the gatekeepers to the guarded community frantically blew their horns to alert the village-men of the intruders. The warriors marched towards the gates of the village, chanting war songs and stamping their feet on the ground led by Dubaku, the leader of the warriors. As they approached the edge of the village, a group of men who had strange looking pale skin- a skin close to the colour of milk- approached the village on a metallic moving object that was producing the smoke. The warriors suddenly stood frozen, stopping their war chant while some of the men backing up several steps. Dubaku, without faltering steps, was the only warrior who kept moving forward with his spear charged forward. Suddenly, the metallic object stopped, and the pale-looking men jumped out. He began fighting the first intruder with his father’s spear unflinchingly. The intruders who had clubs apart from their mysterious metallic object, started shouting in an equally mysterious language as they walked back. Dubaku had managed to injure two of the strange men who were now limping and bleeding as they scurried towards their metallic object. As the intruders moved away from the village gates in their strange metallic object, the warriors who now stood in awe of Dubaku, wore relief on their faces and stood aghast waiting for Dubaku to speak up. He turned facing them, ramming his spear once more on the ground and shouted, “May we always bring pride and honour to our ancestors, the God of the rising sun, and the first tribe of Mbiu, the house of Tagu!”. The warriors started their chants and carried Dubaku shoulder-high towards the Palace. That was the tale of how Dubaku was the true embodiment of a Tagu warrior, and the tale lives to be told to generations to come.

Read Also: Origins of Tagu Tribe

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