Oba Orompoto is the first and perhaps the only female Alaafin of Oyo. She was known for her bravery and tremendous achievements during her reign.
Who was Oba Orompoto? Oba Orompoto was the seventh Alaafin of Oyo; she was the sister of her predecessor, Eguguoju. Orompoto assumed the throne because there was no male successor within the royal family at that time (better still, the available males were too young to rule).
It was speculated that her reign lasted from 1554 to 1562. Oba Orompoto was a fierce warrior; she was feared even by her male counterpart. During her former reign as a regent, she made the biggest and final attack to obliterate the Nupe to ensure they never threaten Oyo again.
The Coronation of Oba Orompoto as Alaafin: The mystery behind the coronation of Orompoto as the Alaafin of Oyo will forever remain a puzzle.
The Oyomesi who was in charge of installing a new Alaafin was not willing to crown the Orompoto king. According to the Oyomesi, it was an abomination for a woman to rule over the empire. In order to disqualify her from ascending the throne, she was given an ultimatum of seven days to become a man so she can be fit for the throne. Immediately after this pronouncement, Orompoto started dressing like a man wearing Agbada and fila (cap).
On the seventh day, Orompoto unveiled her upper part and it was completely flat, no breasts! The Oyomesi were not impressed, they felt it was possible for a woman to have a flat chest. So she went on to remove her trouser and according to oral tradition, not only did the Oyomesi see a penis, a scrotum was seen dangling between her legs. Immediately, everyone dropped on their chest and chanted Kaabiyesi oooo – she was immediately enthroned the Alaafin of Oyo.
Orompotoniyun came to be popularly known as Ajiun, the custodian of the “vagina that kills evil plots.” Orompoto became Alaafin of Oyo and was reportedly masterfully skilled on horseback, and created a specialized order of cavalry officers within her army that were subject to the Eso Ikoyi. She was also considered a skillful warrior and distinguished herself at the battle of Illayi. She is said to have died in battle, one of the few Alaafins to have died in combat.
Story credit: Old Naija