December4 , 2022

History of the First Female Alaafin Of Oyo: Oba Orompoto

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The 1st Alaafin of Oyo, Oranmiyan Omoluabi Odede, Great Prince of Ife, King of the Yoruba, was a Yoruba king from the kingdom of Ile-Ife, Although he was the last born, he became the prime heir of Oduduwa upon his return to claim his father’s throne.

There had only been male Alaafin of Oyo but it changed during the time of Orompoto who became the first and only female Alaafin of Oyo. Orompotoniyun, the first female Alaafin of Oyo, is recognized as one of history’s most courageous monarchs.

Alaafin Ajiun Orompotoniyun, also known as Orompoto, ruled the Oyo empire in the 16th century, speculatively from 1554 to 1562.

The Oyo Empire, which ruled over what is now western and north-central Nigeria, was a Yoruba empire that rose to be one of West Africa’s greatest and most powerful.

OBa Orompoto was a fearsome warrior that even her male counterpart dreaded. During her previous stint as regent, she launched the largest and final attack on the Nupe, ensuring that they would never harm Oyo again.

Orompoto was responsible for leading the Oyo Empire between the years 1554 to 1562. She was the daughter of Alaafin Ofinran and the granddaughter of Alaafin Onigbogi, both rulers of the Empire in their own time.

When her father died, her brother, Prince Eguguoju, succeeded him as the next in line to the throne. He died in his youth, though, without a male heir. Prince Ajiboyede and Prince Tella, her younger brothers, were too young to ascend the throne at the time. As a result, Orompoto assumes the throne.

The Oyomesi who was in charge of installing a new Alaafin was not willing to crown Orompoto king. According to the Oyomesi, it was an abomination for a woman to rule over the empire.

She was given a seven-day deadline to become a man in order to be fit for the throne, in order to disqualify her from gaining the throne. Orompoto began dressing like a guy, donning Agbada and fila (Cap)

On the seventh day, She ascended the podium and removed her cap, revealing her shaved head of hair. She even went so far as to reveal her chest, but the elders were unimpressed. According to oral history, the chiefs not only observed a penis but also a drooping scrotum sack with two scrotum eggs in it when she dropped her trousers. Everyone prostrated at that point, and she was enthroned as Alaafin Orompotoniyun.

Orompoto was popularly known as ‘Ajihun the custodian of the vagina that kills evil plots‘ Because of her gifted and proficient rule as ruler and commander. Oba Orompotoniyun was a competent rider, she was also noted for her use of horses in military battles. In 1557, she traveled as far as Timbuktu to bring in horses for her renowned cavalry, and she employed 1000 horseback archers to shoot adversaries with poisoned arrows.

According to history, She led her troops to the battleground by placing her foot soldiers in front and her cavalrymen in the back, with large leaves tied to the horses’ tails to sweep the ground and hide their traces. Her success at the battle of Illayi is a story widely known in Oyo. She is said to have died in battle, one of the few Alaafin to have actually died in combat. Oba Orompoto is regarded as the first transgender in history. There are many historical stories in Nigeria and culture.

I believe you are now aware that are one female king in  Yorubaland and not an ordinary town but one of the most powerful towns, Oyo.