Queen Moremi Ajasoro of Ile-Ife
Just thought I should wright about the great Heroes and Legends that some of the hostels in UNILAG where named after.
Moremi Ajasoro, Princess of the Yoruba, was a figure of high significance in the history of the Yoruba peoples of West Africa. Her beauty was compelling. She was also elegant in the field of war, having had her military training at Ofa where she was born as a princess. She was a member-by-marriage of the royal family of Emperor Oduduwa, the tribe’s fabled founding father.
The Oloori Moremi lived in the 12th century. At this ancient period, when Moremi was the wife of the King of Ife, Ife was under constant raid by Ìgbò people. The world “Ìgbò”, referring to the Ilaje of present day Ondo State, an adjoining tribe who were known as the Forest people (Ìgbò in the Yoruba language, though the said tribe is believed by scholars to have had no relation to the contemporary Ìgbòs of modern Nigeria). The raids were carried out mostly in the night; children and women were seized and taken away by the Ìgbò. This might have a revenge attack by the Ìgbò having been at Ile-Ife in the primordial times.
She knelt at the bank of River Esimirin and vowed that if the gods could reveal to her the secret of the invaders. She was taken as a slave by the Ìgbò on one of the raids, due to her beauty, and became the wife of their ruler and lived among the Ìgbò for eight years. She learnt their tricks, the secrets of their powers, the routes they usually take and above all, how to capture the invaders. She learnt that the raiders weakness was fire as what they wore were highly flamable, so if her people could make fire they would have sure victory
Following the war she returned to her first husband, King Oramiyan of Ife (and later Oyo), who immediately had her re-instated as his Princess Consort. In order to fulfill the pledge she made to Esimirin before embarking on her mission, her son Olurogbo was given in sacrifice to the Spirit because this is what it asked her for when she returned to its shrine.
The Edi Festival is said to have then been started as a means of celebrating the sacrifice the princess made for the people of Yoruba land.
In 2017, Oba Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ile Ife, Osun State, erected a statue of Moremi in his palace. The statue is the tallest in Nigeria, displacing the previous holder of that record (a statue in Owerri, the Imo State capital). It is also the fourth tallest in Africa