In the African traditional setting, history has shown that rulership or kingship is usually the reserve of men. However, a few women have tasted the throne over the years under different circumstances.
At 23, Taiwo Oyebola Agbona ascended the throne of the Aye Kingdom in Ondo State, South-West Nigeria, following the death of her father as the supreme ruler, pending the time a male monarch is enthroned.
The medical university student toggled between regal and school life until she graduated from Achievers University in Owo, where she studied medical laboratory science.
Upon graduation, she wrote on her Instagram saying, “You can be whatever you want to be! You can be a princess, a fashionista and a Scientist or you can decide to be none of the above and still be amazing! Either way, define yourself and don’t settle for the less!”
Agbona was born in the royal family, headed by her father, Oba J.B Agbona, Orimoro 11th, the late king of Aaye. She is the first daughter of the king.
The death of her father has had a lasting mark on the fate of the young princess, who probably never imagined she’ll ever be a ruler. “The chiefs consulted the oracle and told me that I was the chosen one and that I was worthy to be enthroned”, she told BBC.
The 23-year-old student said she requested the chiefs to give her three weeks to decide to be the regent.
She said for as long as she sits on the throne, she is forbidden to get pregnant or marry. However, she enjoys ruling her people.
She has been ruling for about two years and still doesn’t know for how long she’ll be on the throne. “I don’t know a particular time I’m leaving the throne, It is not something I should panic about”.
“I will be on the throne until they find a worthy king to ascend the throne and If a new king is not found then I’ll have to remain on the throne hence the need to find a worthy king. For now, I am seen as a male,” she said.
According to her, the new role has made her a better person and she’s learned to be hardworking since her people see her as a god.
Although she is used to the royal life, HRM Agbona admits that adjusting to life as a regent was not quite an easy task. “You will be seeing aged women and men prostrating and kneeling for you, you will attend meetings for a long period of time,” she said.
As tradition demands, the regent is forbidden to kneel to any human being, she cannot eat in public, and must always wear royal attire for Kings.
The beautiful regent, however, is looking forward to the day she’ll find suitors and get married.