By Waliu Adeyeri
Everyman shall taste death is a popular saying that some do not like being told. However bitter it might sound in the ears, it is inevitable. But, have you in anyway wondered the experiences of morticians – people caring for the dead in the mortuary?
In our sujourn to unravel some of the myths and facts about working in the mortuary, our crew at TheNewsBeam met with 48 years old Adeleye Babajide, a mortician.
Adeleye reveals to us some of the mysteries, facts and his personal experience working as a full time and part time mortician.
Here is what he has to say:
Could you please introduce yourself sir?
My name is Adeleye Babajide, I am from Ekiti State. I was born in 1973. I am married with glorious children.
Could you tell us about your educational background?
I am an SSCE holder but I learnt Furniture craft. Which I’m fully into while I work as part time mortician.
When did you start working as a mortician?
I started as a casual staff in a mortuary in 2003. I am presently working as a part time mortician.
What made you choose this job?
It’s a profession I inherited from my father. Also, I love the work most especially due to the special honour and respect accorded to me anytime I am called upon for embalment service.
Since you didn’t study this profession in a tertiary institution, how did you get the experience?
I got into the service through my father, I got the experience through the number of trainings I had as a casual staff.
Working as a part time mortician, does that mean doing home services?
Yes, you know there are people who prefers to embalm their loved ones at their homes. Also, sometimes, I link them with private morgues.
As a part time mortician, how lucrative would you describe the job?
I can say to an extent the job is lucrative. Although, I have not built my own house nor bought a car. But I have been able to fend for my family.
How much do you charge per service?
I don’t have a flat charge. But I charge per day. I could charge as low as N10,000 for a day service depending on the pockets of my clients.
Before you begin this job what was the views of your parents/immediate family?
Well, as I said, My father handed the job over to me. My parents and immediate family support my decision. My father even admonished me before I started the job.
Could you state some of the risks in this job?
One of the major risk in this job is working with greedy and dishonest officers. They can go as far as selling organs of the corpse.
What myths have you heard about this profession?
Although, the job has some risks. Many people believe during the embalment process, we take out the corpse’s intestines. This is false, embalming is the process of preserving corpse until its family is ready for funeral. Only autopsy session often includes examining some organs in the corpse for forensic reasons. Then, I excuse myself from the theatre whenever they are carrying out a post mortem operation. But I can now stand the sight.
Also, some people believe you must knock the door to a mogue thrice before entering it, but that’s just fallacy.
Another myth is that you must possess metaphysical powers if you are working in the mogue. This is fallacy because I have been relying on my God since I started working in the morgue.
Also, tell us about your experience as a casual worker in the mortuary.
I had an unforgettable experience some times ago in the service, a corpse went missing while I and some of my colleagues were on duty. We were held responsible for the incident. We don’t know who stole the corpse and if it was given proper funeral.
When did this happen, where, and how was the issue resolved eventually?
The issue happened in 2003, at one of the state governments’ University Teaching hospital. We spent 2 months in jail over the issue. It’s an experience I will never forget.
Have you ever experienced nightmares, or any ordeal since you started working here?
I don’t experience nightmares whenever I arrive from work, though sometimes I might not be able to sleep. But, I have never had nightmares.
Featured Image @gettyimages