Madam Efunroye Tinubu, Iyalode of Egbaland (c.1805-1887).

Born in the Egba Land of the Yoruba people of West Africa at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Tinubu learned commerce from her grandmother, a successful trader. As a young woman Tinubu married a local man and bore him two sons, but she was widowed following the family’s migration to the town of Abeokuta in 1830. Shortly afterward she met Adele, a deposed king of Lagos, married him, and moved with her new husband and sons to the coastal town of Badagry, where Adele was temporarily recognized as ruler.

Tinubu arrived in Badagry at a time when the then illegal Atlantic slave trade was peaking on the eastern Slave Coast. Although her sons soon died, she used two slaves, allegedly a gift from her father, to trade between Abeokuta and the coast in slaves and other commodities. Never again blessed with children, she invested her growing income from trade in slaves and other retainers, beginning the process of amassing personal followers and expanding her commercial operations.

In 1835, Adele was invited back to Lagos to become king once again, and Tinubu accompanied him as a royal wife. Following her husband’s death two years later, she married Yesefu Bada (also known as Obadina), a successful Muslim warrior and favored retainer of the new king, Oluwole , ensuring Tinubu continued access to the commercial and other advantages associated with royal patronage.

In the bitter succession dispute between Akitoye and Kosoko that followed Oluwole’s death in 1841, Tinubu and Obadina actively supported Akitoye, who was initially crowned king but was defeated in 1845 and forced with his followers into exile at Badagry. Throughout these years of political turmoil, Tinubu seized opportunities to expand her trade and build a large and powerful household of slaves and other retainers. She also took a keen interest in Islam, which was spreading in Lagos.

When in 1851 the British, encouraged by Akitoye , bombarded Lagos, deposed Kosoko, and reinstated Akitoye as king in the name of ending the Atlantic slave trade and developing new kinds of commerce, Tinubu returned to the town. A fierce defender of African interests and autonomy, she soon ran afoul of the British, however, and was eventually driven by them out of Lagos and into exile at Abeokuta. There Tinubu reestablished a large household and used her slaves and retainers to produce and trade palm produce, a new export, and other commodities. She also began exercising considerable influence in politics in Abeokuta and was eventually recognized as the iyalode, or leading female chief, in the town.

Although the British represented Tinubu as an inveterate slave trader and fierce opponent of abolition, she was committed more to the success of her own political factions and to African autonomy than she was to a particular kind of foreign trade. Tinubu is significant historically both for her own activities and achievements and as an unusually well-documented example of a type of powerful precolonial West African woman, too often obscured from the historical record.

Vintage Nigeria


Rulers of Egbaland

The title given to the paramount ruler of Egbaland is “Alake of Egba”.

1. Chief Shodeke - Regent of Abeokuta- 1829-1845

2.  Chief Shomoye - Regent of Abeokuta- 1845-1846

3.  Chief Sagbua Okunenun - Regent of Abeokuta -1846 -1854

4. Oba Sagbua Okunenun - 1st Alake of Egba - 1854-1868

5. Oba Ademola I - Alake of Egba - 1869-1877  

6. Oba Oyekan - Alake of Egba - 1877 -1881

7. Oba Oluwajin - Alake of Egba - 1881-1891

8. Oba Oshokalu - Alake of Egba - 1891-1898

9. Oba Gbadebo I - Alake of Egba - 1898 -1920

10. Oba Sir Ladipo Samuel Ademola II - Alake of Egba - 1920 -1962

11. Oba Adesiinan Samuel Ggadebo II - Alake of Egba - 1962-1971

12. Oba Samuel Mofolorunso Oyebade Lipede - Alake of Egba - 1972-2005

13.  HRH Kabiyesi Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III, - Alake of Egba -2005-present

Madam Efunroye Tinubu - A Female Aristocrat

Madam Efunroye Tinubu – A Female Aristocrat

Madam Efunroye Tinubu (c. 1805- 1887) was born around 1805 at Ijokodo in Egba Forest. An area in Yoruba land (now Western Nigeria). Her story is a very interesting one.

She was a major political and business player, who campaigned against the influence of the British Empire over her people and for the elimination of slavery.

Her father’s name was Olumosa and her mother’s name was Nijeede.…

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I Will Not Comment On National Issues Until After Elections – Obasanjo

I Will Not Comment On National Issues Until After Elections – Obasanjo

A former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said he will henceforth maintain silence on the state of the nation until after the forthcoming general elections.

He said this on Wednesday while addressing traditional rulers from Egbaland who were attending a seminar organised by a non-governmental organisation, The Village Network Empowerment Initiative. The seminar held at the Olusegun…

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Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (October 25, 1900 – April 13, 1978

Kuti was a teacher, political campaigner, and women’s rights activist who headed the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU) in southwest Nigeria. The purpose of the union was to organize the working class market woman and the middle class women against both colonial rule and the patriarchal structure.

In Abeokuta, located in southwest Nigeria, colonial taxation by the British emerged as an unfair practice that predominantly targeted women. Nearly a year after numerous proposals to the Egba King (Alake of Egbaland), Oba Ademola II were met with little change, Kuti lead thousands of women in protest in the Abeokuta Women’s Revolt outside of the king’s palace.

The response from the colonial authorities was brutal. The police force utilized tear gas and beatings on the women.

Despite the dangerous circumstances, the AWU continued to protest and released a document called the AWU’s Grievances in 1947 that detailed all their accusations against the Alake and the SNA. Following the list of grievances, the women once again held a demonstration outside the Alake’s palace from November 29, 1947, until the morning of November 30. There were over ten thousand women in attendance.

In the end, their demands were met, leading to the abdication of the King in 1949, the SNA system was changed, and four women had positions in the new system of administration.

Ransome-Kuti’s political activism led to her being described as the doyen of female rights in Nigeria and was regarded as “The Mother of Africa.”  These uprisings were among the earliest campaigns against British rule in Nigeria and West Africa during the colonial era.

Kuti was the mother of the world’s celebrated musician, King of Afrobeats and political activists Fela Anikulapo Kuti.



ALANI BANKOLE vnolly One of the wives of Chief Alani Bankole is at the moment heavy with another pregnancy albeit her second for the Egba tittled chief and she may put to bed any moment from now. According to the 76 year old husband aristocratic title holder of Oluwo Iporo Ake and Seriki Jagunmolu of Egbaland is anxiously expecting another bundle of joy  from Bola Ewebiyi, the 28…

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