Oshodi Tapa (1800 – 1868)
He was Oba Kosoko’s war captain and one of the most powerful chiefs in the Oba of Lagos’ court. He is reported to have been a slave from the Nupe Kingdom at Bida. Accounts note that when he was a little boy about to be loaded onto a Portuguese ship bound for the Americas, he escaped and sought refuge in Oba Osinlokun’s palace.
He and another slave (Dada Antonio) were sent by Oba Osilokun to Brazil to learn Portuguese, acquire the necessary commercial and cultural knowledge to conduct trade on behalf of the Oba and to collect duties from Portuguese slave traders. After serving Osilokun, Oshodi Tapa became a key adviser and military chief of Oba Kosoko.
He successfully transitioned from human trafficking to expanding into producing palm oil, cotton, and ivory using slave labour.