Iyalaje FAMA celebrates Egungun Festival in Emure-Ile

From Jimoh Ahmed, Owo


Emure -Ile in Owo local government area of Ondo State came alive on Sunday as Chief Aina FAMA celebrated the Egungun Festival in grand style.

The ancient town was agog as cultural enthusiasts, lovers of tradition as well as people from far and near came to feed their eyes with the bubbles and thrills of the festival.

Egungun is widely celebrated amongst the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria, of which Emure-Ile is no exception. So, the Iyalaje FAMA Egungun Festival, as Chief FAMA is widely called, was not different as it was celebrated with much enthusiasm, funfair and festivity.

The Ulisa street ancestral home of the Akenyonwa Ogunrenbokun family lineage was filled with people as they wined and dined, and danced to traditional music associated with the Eegun festival.

Chief FAMA, the chief celebrant, who came all the way from the US sat majestically on a well decorated chair, depicting a royalty as the Eponimoru masquerade performed and danced to the admiration of the people who had gathered to enjoy every bit of the festivity.

It was a beautiful sight to behold as the costume of the masquerade, called Eku in local parlance, was a delight to the people and will ever remain evergreen in their memories.

Giving reasons she came from the US to celebrate the festival, Iyalaje FAMA explained that it was a divine call by Orisa to come home to hold the festival which has long been celebrated in her lineage.

According to her, she had tried to hold the festival in towns like Egbado in Ogun State or elsewhere in Osun State but she kept being urged to do it in her hometown.

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She disclosed that she did it for the first time last year, after long years of not doing it , and was represented by her child but was ordered to come home this year.

Speaking about the misconceptions about Egungun and Ifa, Chief FAMA posited it was the Western education we acquired that has turned the people against their culture and traditions.

” How can somebody come from his own house and say I should leave my father and start worshiping his own father. The kind of education Nigerians had, irrespective of the Ph.D, is ‘mis-education. Somebody trained you to respect his and dishonour yours, and you say thank you. We need to have a rethink”, she stressed.

While calling for a revival of our culture, tradition and the Isese (traditional) religion, Chief FAMA equally advocated for the inclusion of the study of local culture, tradition and religion in school curriculum both in Primary, Secondary and tertiary levels.

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