As dictated by tradition, Male sons of the Land have begun to shave off their heads in honour of the late Oba of Benin, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa.
The demise of the monarch was confirmed on Friday with the breaking of a native chalk by Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benin Kingdom.
Punch reports that there was a marked increase in the number of people patronizing barbers’ shops, asking for complete shaves.
A barber, who gave his name as Akhere, said that he recorded a 50 per cent increase in the number of customers at his shop.
Akhere said, “Not many people came to have their heads shaved on Friday, when the palace made the announcement. But Saturday was different because a lot people came to do so; many of them were elderly men.”
A resident, Mr. John Ehanire, described the act as a ‘privilege’ for all Benin sons.
“I shaved my head to show respect for my late king. It is a rare privilege for us because it happens once in a long time,” he said.
Furthermore, major markets in the region controlled by the Oba were all closed, with traders having to sell their wares on walkways at the Oba and New Benin markets.