WHO IS IYA GBONKAN?
IYA GBONKAN came into the spotlight in the early 70s, her first set of acting career was recorded during the evergreen legendary IFA OLOKUN’s TV series by Pa Yemi Elebu’bon.
I still remember her role as ORO-MODI-MODI in one of the IFA OLOKUN’s weekly episodes titled ‘Oro Modi Modi’.
She acted a goddess that paid a courtesy visit to Orumila, the Ifa priest…, she had warned her host that on no condition must anyone take a lit lamp (Atupa) to look at her in the eyes. The priest warned his wife and listed all the dos and donts while she stays with them.
ORO-MODI-MODI was given one solitary room in the priest’s house and she always remained behind closed door inside her room. No one must see her face-to-face except the priest.
The priest’s wife only had to place her meals at the door, and ORO-MODI-MODI would sneakout quietly to take her meals without any eye seen her. She was going to stay for seven days with them, and she had it in mind to leave abundant wealth behind for her host.., that would be her pay-back for a generous hospitality she must have enjoyed while staying with them.
On the sixth day…, the priest’s wife was deep in avid thought, she became grossly worried and overzealously inquisitive.., she wanted to know who the hell that took the calabash bowl of food she always placed at the doorstep as commanded by her husband.
She defied her husband warning, took a man-like courage and forced the door open while holding a lit lamp in her left hand.
As the door creaked to open silently, the scary outburst by ORO-MODI-MODI alone was too thunderous, “Ha! O Se Yi Tan…” She screamed like a rattle snake.
Her thunderous echoes could abort and wash down a seven month old pregnancy as she struck the priest’s wife like an angry scorpion.
The sudden tumult of her wild screaming was like a volcano as she screamed loudly…., “Iwo Gbe’Nan W’Oju Ekun Lai S’Awo..,” She fired her.
As little children at that time, we would almost faint as if the woman was capable of cracking the thick walls of the screen of our TV set to attack us too like a dreadful vampire.
Margret “Mojoyinola” Dele Olayinka popularly called IYA GBONKAN is a talented actress with huge gifts of acting and creative abilities. Mere looking at her could knock you off your feet, even as an adult. She was a real Medusa we feared to see on the screens while we were younger. Her scary appearance would always reappear in our heads while on beds at nights after watching her movie.