You have probably heard/read about the First Ooni of Ife[check here if you haven’t] but many don’t know that there was a female Alaafin of Oyo. Yes, a woman once ruled the Oyo Empire.
Alaafin Ajiun Orompotoniyun 1554 – 1562(the custodian of the vagina that kills evil plots) was the first and only female Alaafin of Oyo. And, she was different. In 1557, she imported horses from as far as Timbuktu in Mali and had over 1000 horsemen. Archers on horseback to neutralize enemies with poisoned arrows.
She devised an ingenious way of moving her warriors to attack enemies – foot soldiers in front and the cavalrymen behind. Broad leaves were tied on the horses’ tails so that when they went fighting, the leaves swept d ground after them to cover trails of d horses &men on foot.
Alaafin Ajiun was a skilful commander and brave ruler. She died in the battle of Ilayi in 1562 fighting for her people. She’s the only one of the 40 Alaafin (39 men) who died in battle. True warrior.
Many of the male Alaafins were administrators who appointed generalissimo to lead the army on their behalf, just a few of them fought in battles. A number died through traditional suicide. She was different.
As reported, she fell under many arrows, she opened her mouth, exposing her teeth as though she was grinning. The opponent party, thinking she was confidently laughing at them, fled the field, even though they already had d day. Orompoto never grinned in truth, bt was stone dead.
I know I said that she was the first&only female Alaafin, but truth is, she wasn’t – The mother of Alaafin Kori ruled as regent before he came to power c.1340. Though she wasn’t d substantive king, she did rule on behalf of d toddler Kori. But, the Ogboni purged her reign from history.[Adxpillar/Twitter]