Sunday 24 January 2016



Oduduwa, the founder of the yoruba kingdom had a son called Okanbi. okanbi in turn had 5 sons and 2 daugthers. His first-born was a princess who married his chief priest (the Onirisa) and the first male child of that union became the Olowu of Owu. The second child was also a princess, who became the mother of the Alaketu, the progenitor of the Ketu people (how these two boys [Olowu and Alaketu] who were children of princesses became kings is a story for another time). The third, a prince, became king of the Benin people. The fourth, Orangun, became the king of Ila. The fifth, the Onisabe (king of the Sabes). The sixth, Olupopo (king of the popos). And the last prince was Oranmiyan. All these princes became Kings who wore crowns as distinguished from vassals who did not dare wear crowns but used coronets called Akoro.
the name Oranmiyan was actually a nick name for the prince. his actual name was Odede. A narration has it that the nickname Oranmiyan was gotten from an incident that happened to the young prince after the death of his father.
At the death of Okanbi, Odede was not around in the ife kingdom as he loved to go on long term hunting of 3 months to 6 months in the jungles. So, when the properties of the dead Okanbi was being shared amongst the children, Odede was not around. Of course, the siblings that were around took all the juicy part of the properties. The king of Benin got all the money (cowry shells), the Orangun of Ila got all the wives, the king of Sabe got all his cattle, the Olupopo got the beads, the Olowu, the garments and the Alaketu, the crowns. They all had forgoteen about Odede, they left nothing for him! And by custom, he was supposed to become the next king as he was the only son that was born after his father ascended the throne.
When he came back and demanded for his own share of his father's properties, being a renowned great hunter already, every one knew that this is a big issue (oran nla)! All the siblings came together and explained to Odede that he would have an issue as there is no property left to give him. Oranmiyan accepted with equanimity and was going away before the eldest daughter said well, he could have the land as land was not useful to anyone then.
Oranmiyan said thank you to his siblings and left with only the rejected useless land. He went into deep thoughts and on the 7th day he summoned his sibblings and informed them that since he owned the land, and the siblings kingdoms are on his land, he has decided to collect annual rent on the land on which the siblings kingdoms are. For rent, he received cattle, women, beads, money and crowns. Thereby, he became the first recorded African to collect tenement rate! And with this rent, he became rich and resolved the big issue of having nothing of wealth from his father's estate. And he proclaimed to the world that ORANMIYAN (My case/issue is settled). Thereafter, everyone referred to him as Oranmiyan, Alaafin of Ife (yes, the title in ife was Alaafin from the beginning. How the title changed to Oni is a story for another time). That is why its said in yoruba land that "Alaafin lo ni ile" (The Alaafin is the lord of the Lands).
Oranmiyan the emperor later founded the great Oyo empire (which spanned 2 countries), Oranmiyan the war General reformed the warfare tactics of the yorubas, Oranmiyan the statesman established the parliamentary government that the british met when they came, and for anyone who has ever eaten gbegiri (bean soup), Oranmiyan the chef gave the world the gbegiri recipe.
Oranmiyan's exploits can't be enumerated in one edition.
Oranmiyan was neither a god nor was he a mere mortal, he was a great king!

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