African Kings, Queens And Warriors

1366

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OROMPOTO OF OYO MESI

OROMPOTO OF OYO MESI

Orompoto was the first and only female Alaafin of Oyo. She was the sister of her predecessor, Eguguojo. She assumed the throne in 1554 because there was no male successor from her elder brother at the time.

Legend has it that she cut off her breasts (mastectomy) and put on men’s clothing to look like a man and for the Oyo Mesi to accept her as Alaafin.

In 1557, Alaafin Orompoto (the custodian of the vagina that kills evil plots, the king with the great gift, the king with the flabbergasting gift) strengthened Oyo’s military might. She imported horses from as far as Timbuktu in Mali and had over 1000 horsemen. She did tie leaves on the horses’ tails so that when they went a fighting, the leaves swept the ground after them to cover trails of the horses’ prints.

Orompoto was a skillful commander and a tactical leader. She was brave and won many battles. During her reign, Oyo regained its military prestige and was feared across the south of Niger. She died in the battle of Ilayi in 1562.

EMPEROR MENELIK II OF ETHIOPIA

EMPEROR MENELIK II OF ETHIOPIA

Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia would eat a few pages of the Bible to help restore his health whenever he felt sick. However, he died in 1913 as a result of eating the entire Book of Kings.

OBA OVUONRAMWEN NOGBAISI

OBA OVUONRAMWEN NOGBAISI

Since Oba Eweka in c.1235 AD, when any Oba died in Benin-City, his head was cut off and buried in Ile-Ife, in a place called, ‘Orun Oba Ado’, while a bronze replica of the head was sent from Ile-Ife to Benin-City, where the rest of the body was buried. This continued until when Oba Ovuonramwen Nogbaisi died in exile, in Calabar, on January 1, 1914.

Also, the Oba of Benin must receive the royal blessings of the Ooni of Ife before being crowned as Oba.

King Onyeama

KING ONYEAMA

King Onyeama received a 1921 Rudge motorcycle as gift from King George V of England, an enthusiastic cyclist who favoured Rudge’s products, when he visited England in 1924.

The King of Agbaja, Onyeama n’Eke was the greatest king in northern Igboland. He was probably the greatest Igbo king in living memory. From his palace in Eke, Onyeama reigned over the entire Agbaja, from Oji River through Udi and Ezeagu to the present-day political capital of Igboland, Enugu, and even Nkanu and Ogui communities.

Born in the 1870s, King Onyeama was accepted as the paramount ruler of his people in 1928 and reigned until his death in 1933.

He attended the British Empire Exhibition in London in 1924, visiting Buckingham Palace and was given the Rudge during this visit.

Not used since the late 1920s, the Rudge was shipped back to the UK in August 2013 by the family from their residence in Lagos where it had been kept in dry storage.

POLICE WOMEN, SOKOTO 1948

Women police of the regular unit of the Nigeria Police Force being inspected before patrol in Sokoto, North-West Nigeria, 1948.

General Aguiyi-Ironsi

GENERAL AGUIYI-IRONSI

As Head of State, Major-General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi (1924-1966) was fond of leaving the State House without warning to sleep on a Boat along the Marina which, on occasion, would set for sea in-case there was a coup.

He was eventually killed in a coup on July 29, 1966 at Lalupon, near Ibadan, present day, Oyo State.

 

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