So sad, last Thursday, his Egungun performed, today, he is gone
Life is so dramatic and is ever unpredictable. But whatever fate is dealt an individual is what will be accepted, no argument, and no complaint.
Sunday Adeleke in his 30s was full of life last Thursday, August 5, 2021; it was the day his Egungun ventured out to add glamour and number to the just concluded Egungun festival in Ogbomoso; he performed, danced and paraded the streets with a large crowd surging behind him. A day earlier he had celebrated elaborately in the usual manner of Egungun adherents, killing cows, providing meals and drinks for his guests in abundance with a musician on the band stand.
His masquerade’s name is Eegun Sunday Odo (‘Youth masquerade’ in reference to his nickname – Sunday Odo), the masquerade’s original name is Uti, Eegun Uti. He had another successful outing that day, no fracas, no confrontation with any other Egungun, his followers were not unruly, they comported themselves well, he himself having appealed to them passionately against hooliganism before they trooped out and so the 2022 Egungun festival was anticipated with eagerness. But alas he would not be a partaker as he gave up the ghost early this morning during a brief illness, which began two days after his outing.
According to a family source, Sunday Adeleke complained of ill health and had visited a patent medicine store but he referred to the Bowen University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ogbomoso.
He was examined and tests run on him; his case was critical and he was asked to be taken to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital in Ilorin, Kwara state, for treatment. He was already placed on oxygen. He never made it to Ilorin. Thus, ended the earthly sojourn of Sunday Odo, the masquerader of Eegun Uti or Eegun Odo.
The masquerade is said to be a family heritage – Baale Osupa chieftaincy family, but had been abandoned for long before Sunday Adeleke showed interest in becoming its masquerader some 13 years ago. He wore the apparel annually for 13 years until this year.
“Last Thursday, he never showed any sign of illness, he was hale and hearty and full of life, in fact, he spent over a million naira to celebrate the festival, he was a peaceful young man, never caused trouble,” a family member who did not give his name told ogbomosoinsightonline.com.
Mourning ritual for a departed masquerader
ogbomosoinsightonline.com witnessed the mourning ritual performed for the departed masquerader, which is a culture that allows the excision of the spirit of the dead from his colleagues i.e. Egungun cultists.
According to Chief Ifaleke, an Egungun adherent, “Such ritual is the tradition observed for departed masqueraders; we send the spirit of the departed away in an emotive manner. If it were to be an elderly masquerader, after the emotive transformation, different Egunguns would perform, with dancing, eating and drinking accompanying the show but since Sunday was a young man, merriment cannot be added in line with our culture.”
The aspect of ritual performance called won se oro sise fun witnessed by ogbomosinsightonline.com involved the wearing of the Egungun costume of the departed by another person and a procession was performed all wearing somber look as against the noisy procession of Egunguns. Every participant was solemn with some betraying emotion. After the procession returned some items were handed over to the son of the departed most of which it was learnt would be buried. The ritual meanwhile was observed after the departed masquerader had been committed to mother earth.
Sunday Adeleke was described as a very good person while alive, “very respectful and hardworking. He would not hurt a fly,” someone said.
He is survived by wives and children.