For Alaafin, so long a journey


Alaafin of Oyo; Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi; Africa


Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, the late Alaafin of Oyo, learnt his job of being king in the most difficult way. When he was born on October 15, 1938, his father was a dashing prince, who had witnessed the end of the old order. Adeyemi’s grandfather, Oba Adeyemi the First, was the principal figure among Yoruba princes, who signed the treaty that ended the 16 years Kiriji War. He was the first Alaafin in history to become a subject of a foreign power. By the time Lamidi Olayiwola’s father, the dashing Prince Adeniran Adeyemi became the Alaafin in 1945, the young prince was seven. His mother, Ibironke, was dead. He was soon to learn the meaning of endurance.

The lessons of those early days were to strengthen the young prince for the rest of his life. When Adeyemi succeeded his uncle, Oba Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II, as the Alaafin on November 18, 1970, he had already learnt the delicate game of survival.


By Dare Babarinsa




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