The Agojiye And The Love Paradox: A Story of Strength And Weakness

Kasturi Goswami
Blue Insights


The Agojiye And The Love Paradox_Medium
Still from the movie: The Woman King(2022): Izogie, the future Miganon, in conversation with Nawi, a new Agojiye trainee (PC- IMDb website)

It’s the 1820s, and the Agojiye, the all-women warrior unit, are in fierce training. Preparing themselves to fight for their people, kingdom, and king.

Ghezo, their king, is all about freedom. Freedom from submissiveness, freedom from the slave trade. To liberate the West African kingdom of Dahomey, the Agojiye had to face the stride: the Oyo tribe on the one hand and the slave trade on the other.

Amidst all the chaos, an unlikely love story breeds in the background. Nawi (an Agojiye trainee) and Mallik (a white slaver) are knitting up a fairy tale.

Izogie cares for Nawi as any older sister will. The future commander of the Agojiye holds high hopes for the newling.

But Nawi is distracted.

Her heart is in turmoil, torn between duty and the sweet flavor of love. She is breaking the one rule of the Agojiye, celibacy.

The celibate Agojiye are weary of romanticism. Love is a tool and a reason for a woman’s downfall. Fearing for her prodigy, Izogie whispers to Nawi,

You Are Powerful. More Than You Even Know. Do Not Give Your Power Away.

Though some might argue about the above scene (from the 2022 action drama, The Woman King) as a love-phobic snicker, the reason why I have decided to lay bare the situation behind the quote might sound non-contextual. Still, at the same time, it is relevant.

Romantic love, as the Agojiye believes, weakens a warrior. However, people, not just women, have been massacred by this emotion.

Whether she belongs at the desk or in the field, whether she’s building a home or a career — love can be a rare Pokemon (referring to the all-time favorite cartoon and game: Pokemon)- something not served to her on a platter.

The romantics would strongly disagree. Love can be a strength. So, what do I mean when I say love can weaken us?

It’s love in the absence of love. The first love I am referring to is “yours truly” romantic love, while the second entity stands for self-love.

It is the power to drive and lift oneself. The power to overthrow one’s emotions, the ability to bind them up with barbs, the power to let them free like doves on a sunny spring morning, the power to erase them off as misspelled words. We have it set deep within.

Every relationship demands a lot more than a person anticipates, even when it comes to loving oneself. It is a backpacking adventure — harsh yet fruitful.

Life’s taunts and praises are suspended, forming a diverse pool of shimmering marbles. Sorting out our beads the right way is the true path to discovery. The discovery of our potential to accept ourselves in our darkest and purest form.

Self-love can be dauntingly slow, sipping away the finest of our patience from the glass of liberty we give ourselves. But as the fierce Agojiye believes, true strength lies in investing in the double-edged sword.

What Izogie said to Nawi is relevant to a hard limit. Whether we are Nawi breaking vows for love or Izogie, selflessly fighting for her people, self-love is the key to unlocking our true potential.



Kasturi Goswami
Blue Insights

I head the content team of a digital transformation startup. Medium is an outlet for my itch to write something that isn't part of my job.