Balogun Kuku

Balogun Kuku was the De facto leader of Ijebu Muslims during the military subjugation of Ijebu by the British in the early 20th Century. His conversion to Islam in 1902 had been a major lost to Christian missionaries, so significant that the news was reported in a British mission magazine. Through his influence, the now greatly celebrated Ojude Oba festival had been turned into a grand ceremony marked by pomp and splendor. Gorgeously dressed, he would ride on well-adorned horse to the Awujale’s palace, accompanied by prominent Ijebu people and members of the Muslim community.

Balogun Kuku was a thick, stocky short man whose influence, clearly demonstrated by the annual subvention of £100 that is half of what is being paid to the town’s sovereign, Awujale, pitched him expectedly against the monarch and his chiefs. His reputation as a soldier had been made in the pre-Imagbon war times, when, as leader of Ijebu army, he took a hardline stance against Ibadan, a more popular idea than Ademuyewo’s among the youths of the time. Balogun Kuku died in November 1907.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer