10 Interesting Facts About Moremi Ajasoro (A Courageous African Woman) You Probably Don't Know

Moremi Ajasoro was born probably in the 12th century or later (the exact year is unknown) during slavery times in the western part of Africa. She was born in the city of Offa, Kwara State, Nigeria. Moremi was a heroine of the southwestern part of Nigeria. 

Moremi Ajasoro's courageous act is of great importance to the Yoruba's, people from the south-western part of  Nigeria. She made a lot of sacrifices including the sacrifice of her son. Beauty pageant, female hostels in universities in Nigeria, movies, and many women have been named after her, including the daughter of a Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

1. She was a warrior princess

Moremi Ajasoro was a princess, born to the royal family of Offa city, Kwara State, western-central part of Nigeria. As a princess, she was treated specially, given the best of the best, and was showered with love. In ancient times, generally in the western part of Africa, princesses spent most of their time in the palace with the queen. 

They did not relate with other girls not to speak of socializing with men. Princesses are referred to by some people as spoilt children.
Moremi Ajasoro's case is different, while being treated specially, she decided to join the army with her father's permission. This was quite an exception because in most cases, men were warriors not women, women did not join the army. This made her be a brave woman, ready to defend her people as was later shown.

2. Moremi, a Queen in times of trouble continued unabated

Moremi got married to Oranmiyan, the king of Ile-Ife, who brought her to Ile-Ife from Offa. Ile-Ife is located in Osun State, south-western part of Nigeria. She gave birth to a son, named Ela, the son was also known as Oluorogbo. She did not give birth to any other child. During these ancient years, the people of Ile-Ife faced a big problem on and off they were being invaded by the Ugbo's. Ugbo was also referred to as forest people. 

Historians show that Ugbo did not relate to the present Igbo people of the ethnic group of the south-Eastern part of Nigeria. Some Historians also say that Ugbo is known as Idaho. These marauders attacked the people of Ile-Ife, capturing their women and children. The raid continued unabated, people of Ile-Ife were unable to fight back believing the problem was from the gods, that they were spirits of the dead and that the gods are angry with them, the people of Ile-Ife continued to live in fear. 

As a result, the Ugbo people, the marauders continued to increase in number and gained more strength. These invaders' appearances were very scary, they dressed from head to toe in multi-colored Raffia palms, Ekan grasses, Bamboos gathering all these with Bamboo fibers.
West Africans believe so much in gods in ancient times. The people of Ile-Ife continued to sacrifice different animals, goats, rams, cattle, and so on to their gods, all in vain, the marauders continue to come back. They could not face the marauders, they were very scared to war against them.


This situation was actually a disgrace to Ile-Ife which is the capital of the South-western part of Nigeria, the Yoruba's. If Ile-Ife was defeated, the whole south-western part of Nigeria, the Yoruba kingdom would be defeated. Yet, non of the outstanding warriors was courageous enough to face the marauders believing they would be fighting demons. The queen, Moremi wasn't happy because it was a threat to the Yoruba kingdom and she knew it was also a great disgrace to the king. The situation was really stressful to the king as well because he was powerless. Then she acted.
Moremi went alone to one of the gods, called an oracle, she inquired from the oracle and she was told to seek help from Esimirin, a River goddess. She told Esimirin that she wanted to help her people from the threat of Ugbo people. Esimirin told her that he would help her but she would pay her the price when she came back, Moremi agreed.

3. She  was willing to sacrifice her life

The marauders came as usual to take captives more women and children, she surrendered herself to be taken captive. Moremi Ajasoro did not know what the outcome would be, maybe she would never come back or her plan would not succeed, yet she was willing to be taken captive. She said, "I will save my people, but if I die, I die". This is the highest form of help anyone can give, to risk one's life for the safety of others.

4. She married two kings at the same time

Getting to Igbo land, she interacted with the people. She was really beautiful and confident when the king of Ugbo set his eyes on Moremi Ajasoro, he fell in love with her and he married her. She was very beautiful to have gotten the attention of the king among so many women. Moremi became the queen of Ugbo land.

As at this time, the king of Ile-Ife did not choose any other woman as his queen, because he was deeply in love with her confident beautiful queen and at this time also Moremi had married the king of Ugbo land. She lived in Ugbo land for many years as the queen.

5. Moremi Lived as a spy

During those years she lived among the Ugbos, she learns everything about them. She got to know they were humans like them, not the spirit of the dead. She learned how they dressed up to deceive people of Ile-Ife, she got to know that they dressed up with Ethan grass, bamboo leaves, bamboo, and bamboo fibers. She also studied the road they passed and how they dispersed themselves when they invaded the people of Ile- Ife.

6. The Intellect of her time

While the men, the warriors, and all people of the land just assumed that the invaders were the spirit of the dead, Moremi Ajasoro was curious to know how these marauders fooled her people and she took the risk to be taken captive along with other women. Having learned about their tricks, she thought of the ways her people could conquer the marauders. 

She knew that they could be conquered by lighting a big dry stick with fire, a torch and the torch should be taken by someone running amidst them so that the Ekan grass and bamboo on their body can catch fire. Having all this knowledge in her mind, she escaped to Ile-Ife, trekking hundreds of kilometers all alone.

7. Moremi laid a foundation against human trafficking in West Africa

Getting back to her people, she narrated to her husband, the king of Ile-Ife, how women and children were being maltreated by the Ugbo's, which really disheartened her. She explained to her people how to conquer the invaders. When those marauders came, the warriors of Ile-Ife did what Moremi Ajasoro told them to do, setting the Ekan grasses and the Bamboos on their body ablaze. 

Many of them died and others ran away. Since then life people never heard of Ugbo's invading Ile-Ife and its environment again. She set a good example in combating human trafficking, forced labor, sexual slavery, war crimes, genocide, and the killing of innocent souls.

8. She Sacrifices her son

Moremi Ajasoro went back to thank the goddess. She believed the goddess had helped her. In ancient times, Africans believed a lot in supernatural beings, invisible spirits, their thoughts, and actions were always surrounded by this belief. The goddess, Esimirin told her, you promised to pay the price when you come back, Moremi said she was ready to pay the price. The goddess told her to sacrifice her son. 

This was really disheartened to her because that was the only child she had Ela. She might have decided not to make the sacrifice but she believed if she did not pay the price, the land might not be at peace, so she sacrificed the child. It was a great sacrifice she made, for a mother to have sacrificed her only child in an ethnic group where a childless woman was considered useless. She did not give birth to any other child.

9. Moremi Ajasoro saves her people

Today, Yoruba's people from the western part of Africa are scattered to other parts of the world, due to the slave trade. Yoruba can be found in countries such as Brazil, Cuba, Togo, and the Benin Republic as ethnic groups.

Moremi's courageous act and self-sacrifice spirit were of high significance then and now because she was the one that ends the dreadful situation in Ile-Ife which is the capital of the Yoruba kingdom of the western part of Africa. Moremi was said to be the heroine of the Yoruba kingdom for the role she played in saving her people. If she had not taken action then, the Yoruba kingdom would have been wiped away they might have been scattered all over the world. The name, Yoruba would have been erased.

10. Moremi  Ajasoro's statue is the tallest in Nigeria and the fourth tallest in Africa


Moremi's statue signifies liberty. The statue was placed in the king's palace in Ile-Ife, where Moremi once lived,. The statue was built by 200 youths, the statue is 42 feet (12.8 meters) tall making it the tallest statue in Nigeria and the fourth in Africa preceded by the African 

Renaissance Monument in Senegal, the great sphinx of Gizza, Egypt, and colossi pf Memmon, Egypt. It was unveiled by the present king of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi on the 21st of November, 2018. This was done by the present king so that Moremi Ajasoro's name, the heroine of Yoruba land will be remembered forever.


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