Egugun Festival.

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Different societies have their individual traditions passed from one generation to the other. Over some years, some of the traditions are modified to be in line with modernization and the level of socialization.

In some instances, the tradition is protected in unison - any transducer is taken as an outcast especially when such person was born into it. However, when strangers run into such traditions, it may result to something different and unpalatable to such stranger.


This was my experience with the tradition of Ikole people when I was six years old in 1994. It all started when I fell ill as a result of malaria and I needed to take injection.


A Nurse, fondly called Mummy because of his advance age and down to earth relationship with people, had her small clinic in front of my house then. She was my family Nurse who attends to any sick member of the family.
On that fateful day, Mummy recommended that I take injection and my father immediately gave the nod for the injection to be administered. This was the beginning of the long journey. After taking the injection and walking back home with my dad, I fell and couldn't walk again. At this point, my dad thought it was a muscular contraption but it was more than that.


All efforts to make me walk proved abortive and I was carried from that point home. Everyone was confused of what could have been responsible. Mummy was a Nurse of many years experience. She had also been rendering services to my parents and older siblings since before I was born. She intervened immediately and when she realised that the case requires referral, she referred us to secondary hospital immediately.


I remembered few days before being taken to a General hospital in Ikole, I was going to urinate with supports from my dad and at some points with two sticks under my ampits. My grandmother cried with the fear that her grandchild was losing his leg at that tender age of six.


Immediately we woke up from bed, my mother got me prepared for our journey to Ikole town. My father got prepared and we set out on the journey. The town was about 30 kilometres away and after alighting from the commercial vehicles we boarded, there was need to trek for about 500 metres before getting to the hospital.


The town was in agog, celebrating Egugun festival which had been the tradition for centuries. During the celebration, masquerade of different types troops out to display to the admiration of spectators including visitors. Immediately we alighted, we could see the masquerades displaying. I was carried away with the display to the extent that I wished we could stop to watch them. I was just child being carried away forgetting that my leg was at stake. The latter was the concern of my father.


Immediately he carried me on his shoulder for the 500 metres trek. He barely moved 100 metres when we were stopped by a group of old men cladded in white in a procession.

It's abomination. You don't carry someone on your shoulder during Egugun festival. You've desecrated our tradition.

The head of the procession stated as he shouted on my father to drop me.


My dad begged to be forgiven for his ignorance of their culture and tradition but they insisted that my father appeased the gods of the land. It took the intervention of the priest to the gods before my father was forgiven and asked to desist from carrying me on his shoulders. It took us almost two hours to get out of the trouble.
My father thereafter carried me on his back to get to the hospital.
In Ikole and other towns around, they have many traditions that easily get strangers into trouble.


On this day, I remember the sacrifice of my late father who died nine years ago. May his soul rest in peace.



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18 comments
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What does one say about such a memory. It moves us greatly. It is your father, your illness, the ignorance of the old men in gowns.

You honor your father with this memory. Please, do tell us why you couldn't walk (was it the injection?) and if everything worked out with your leg.

Thank you for sharing this memory with us, @lightpen. We appreciate that you support other authors with your comments.

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Thank you @theinkwell. It was the injection that turned out to cause the problem. After months of care, I got up and walk. Though I do experience the strain on my muscles once in a while for almost another 10 years, it has permanently left me now.

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That is an experience that I imagine you will always remember!

It is so typical of kids to be distracted by fun, even when they are injured. It is sad to think of you full of wonder, then the leaders of the ceremony got mad at your father!

I am glad he could resolve the situation, and get you help! How is your leg now? Hoping it didn’t give you lingering pain 💚

Thank you for sharing!

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The love of a parent is one of the most cherished memories. It's good that you can now reminisce about his sacrifice with fondness.

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It's indeed incomparable to any other. They can die for their children to live. May we leave good legacy for our children.
Thanks for reading.

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