History of Efunsetan Aniwura by Yoruba Basics

Chief Efunsetan Aniwura

Efunsetan was the daughter of an Egba farmer, Ogunrin, a native of Egba Oke-Ona. She rose to become the Iyalode of Ibadan.

She was the second iyalode in Ibadan. She was a rich, famous and powerful woman with lots of slaves. Around 1850, worried by the spread of war and combat in the Yoruba country, she introduced military training to the slaves. She was said to have had her own military training in urban and guerrilla warfare after which she requested that the same training be impacted on her slaves.

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Efunsetan is known as a famous trader and farmer who helped the Yoruba economy. Her slaves mainly worked in the vast farmland. They produced cash crops, cotton, groundnuts, maize and beef. She was said to be in possession of a vast dairy farm that could feed the entire Yorubaland and beyond. She traded up to Ghana and the Hausa country and even exported her produce to Europe.

Although one of the richest person in Yorubaland, Efunsetan had her own pains and anguish. She had no child as her only daughter died in 1860 during child birth.

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Now, having lost her only daughter, she went into recluse and became suspicious of life and living. She started to ignore all the gods and stopped worshiping them wondering why she should lose her only daughter. Because of the pain of not having a child of her own she ordered that no one among her slaves must marry or have sex within and none of the girls must conceive.

When one of the slaves broke the law. She ordered that the woman be executed. No doubt that she carried out outrageous order of execution, due to this act, the Aare ordered that she be brought to justice.

At this period, her army had been divided and the loyalty fractured due to the execution of some of them because of their disobediences. The slave planned to poison her but the attack was finally carried out in the night by two of her slaves who sneaked into her apartment through the ceiling and clubbed her. The Ibadan chiefs were unhappy with the way Efunsetan was brought on her knees.

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The two slaves was caught and given justice. Chief Efunsetan was given a befitting burial with full military honors by Ibadan military rulers.

Credit Yorùbá BasicsA

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