Thursday 6 July 2023


Iléṣà is an ancient town located in the Osun State, southwest Nigeria.

The indigenes of Iléṣà are known as Ìjèṣà.

The state is ruled by a monarch bearing the title of the Ọwá Obòkun Adimula of Ìjèṣàland.

There are four royal houses amongst which accession to the throne is supposed to be rotated namely:

1. Biladu 

2. Bilaro

3. Bilayirere

4. Bilagbayo

In Yorùbáland, it is believed that queens are the wives of kings who are called Olorì.

The Olórí is simply the wife of an Ọba with little or no political job description who simply becomes a Queen by virtue of her marriage to a king.

However, it has been proven via history that there were women who were once rulers of Yorùbá kingdoms like it happened in the Ìjèṣàland; women who were actually rulers not by virtue of their marriage but appointment and their competence, intelligence, wisdom and agility. 

So, it will be belittling to call these ones Queens as their positions were more than being just mere wives.

I do not know what their husbands were called. 

Maybe they were called ọkọ ọba (husband of the king). 

This proves that the Yorùbá kingship hierarchy is different from that of England where the Queen held political powers but was still referred to as a Queen. 

Her son, Prince Charles, is now referred to as the King. 

So, it would be wrong to loosely translate the word Queen to mean Olorì.

There were six female Kings who ruled in Ìjèṣàland. They are:

1. Ọwá Yèyé Ladegba 1646 - 1652 A.D.

2. Ọwá Yèyé Gurogbo - 1652 to 1653 A.D.

3.  Ọwá Waji 1691 - 1692 A.D.

4. Ọwá Waiye 1692 - 1693 A.D.

5. Ọwá Waiyero 1698 -1712

6. Ọwá Ori Abejoye 1734 - 1749

(I am not sure of the pronunciations. So, I did not include the intonation marks for these names. If you know them, plus the one for ADIMULA, please, send me a voice note via my inbox so that I can make corrections. Thanks).

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July 6, 2023

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