Africa's Education News Source

Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá’s legacy: A remarkable reign in Yoruba history

Her reign left an indelible mark on the ancient city, forever etching her name in the annals of Yoruba history.
Get stories like these delivered straight to your inbox.

Unveiling the first and only female paramount ruler of Ile Ife

Ile Ife, the ancestral home and dispersal point of Yoruba ruling dynasties and civilisation, has witnessed numerous legendary rulers who shaped the destiny of the Yoruba people. Among them stands Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá, the 18th Ooni and the first and only female paramount ruler in the history of Ife. Her reign left an indelible mark on the ancient city, forever etching her name in the annals of Yoruba history. Descended from Ooni Otaataa, the 15th Ooni, Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá hailed from the Owode compound in Okerewe, a lineage that carried a rich heritage. Known for her meticulous attention to detail and cleanliness, she embodied the virtues of a fastidious queen. According to oral tradition, it was a serendipitous incident during the rainy season that led Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá to pave the streets of Ife with potsherd pavements, now famously referred to as ‘Apaadi Luwoo.’ On an official royal outing, her regal attire, adorned with coral accessories, became soiled with mud and dirt as her feet got stuck in the unforgiving terrain. Out of her commitment to cleanliness and an impeccable environment, she swiftly ordered the paving of the most important roads in the ancient town.

The presence of potsherd pavements across the area within the Inner to Outer Walls of Ife and beyond is a testament to the city’s dense population during that era. Scholars estimate that Ilé-Ifè boasted a population of 70,000 to 105,000 during the mid-fourteenth century, demonstrating the significance and influence of Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá’s reign. Besides her achievements in urban development, Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá left a lasting impact through her lineage. She married Obaloran, one of the esteemed high chiefs of Ife, and together they welcomed a son named Adekola Telu, who later founded the renowned Yoruba town of Iwo.

The story of Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá resonates deeply within Yoruba history, not only for her exceptional leadership but also as a testament to the presence of female rulers in various Yoruba kingdoms. While Ife holds the distinction of having the first and only female paramount ruler, other kingdoms such as Ondo, Ijebu, and Oyo have also witnessed the reigns of remarkable female Obas.

To this day, ongoing archaeological endeavors in Ife and its surroundings seek to unravel more about the extent and legacy of ‘Apaadi Luwoo’ and the contributions of this charismatic Oba. The narrative of Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá underscores the importance of recognising and celebrating the diverse stories and achievements that shape our understanding of Yoruba civilisation. As the world delves deeper into Yoruba history, the legacy of Ooni Lúwòó Gbàgìdá shines brightly, leaving an enduring imprint on the cultural heritage and collective memory of the Yoruba people. Her reign serves as a reminder that great leaders can emerge in any form, transcending gender barriers and inspiring generations to come.

Read also: ‘Life is hard already so students need happiness’

Share this article

All right reserved. You may not reproduce or republish Edugist content in whole or part without express written permission. Only use the share buttons.

Support Edugist’s goal of giving education a voice

Even a small donation will make a difference.

Related Content

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
???? Hi, how can I help?
Scroll to Top

Fill the form below to download the WASSCE 2024 Timetable

Be the First to Know When we Publish new Contents

“Stay ahead of the educational curve! Subscribe to Edugist’s newsletter for the latest insights, trends, and updates in the world of education. Join our community today and never miss out on valuable content. Sign up now!”