The little-known story of the transgender royal of a Nigerian empire who ruled in 1540

Mildred Europa Taylor July 08, 2018
Oyo Empire --- Slavery and Remembrance

Alaafin Orompotoniyun of the Oyo Empire of modern-day Nigeria has been described as the first person on earth to perform a successful transgender operation on herself within 7 days.

Orompotoniyun did this in 1540, over 400 years before the white man could even venture into that.

Referred to as the first female king of Oyo Empire, Orompotoniyun had to do this to secure the rightful place on the throne after her father’s death, as a woman was never allowed to become an Alaafin (supreme overlord) to rule over men.

Her late father, Alaafin Ofinran was then living in a strange land, called Bariba. He and his people decided to return to Oyo after his father, Alaafin Onigbogi passed away. Ofinran began the journey with his daughter, Orompotoniyun, and his sons, Ajiboyede and Eguguoju.

When Ofinran died, Prince Eguguoju became the Alaafin. They settled in Oyo-Igboho, where Alaafin Ofinran was buried. Prince Eguguoju, however, passed away.

With his demise, the next to take over the throne was Prince Ajiboyede but he was too young to become a king. Prince Tella, who was also born on the way to Oyo, was just a toddler so he was not considered.

Princess Orompotoniyun was the only link to the Alaafin dynasty, but since it was forbidden for a woman to rule the empire, the chiefs and elders started making plots on how to install themselves as kings.

The strong-willed Orompotoniyun was, however, not going to let that happen.

Ready to defend her family rights that were divinely ordained, she summoned the chiefs and asked them to start preparing for her coronation but they refused, saying that a female could never become king.

Orompotoniyun, still determined, told them that she was ready to prove to that she was a man and not a woman.

Thinking they could ridicule her, the chiefs agreed, on the condition that she stark herself naked at the palace in 7 days. Before that meeting, Orompotoniyun started wearing male clothing.

On the said day of the meeting, which the whole Yorubaland were looking forward to, Orompotoniyun mounted the podium and first of all removed her cap to show her barbed hair. She also showed off her chest, but the council of chiefs were still not pleased.

She finally removed her trousers to the shock of many, as according to accounts, they not only saw a penis, they also saw a scrotum sack drooping with two scrotum eggs in the sack.

At once, everyone dropped on their chest in prostration and she got enthroned as Alaafin Orompotoniyun.

Orompotoniyun came to be popularly known as Ajiun, the custodian of the vagina that kills evil plots.

The little-known story of the transgender royal of a Nigerian empire who ruled in 1540

The tomb of Orompotoniyun — yorubyte

Orompotoniyun ruled with so much success and won many wars and kept Igboho very safe and secured. The king built a wall around Igboho which can still be seen now.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: July 9, 2018


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