Whether considered a non-fiction or not, the legacy of Moremi Ajasoro is remembered by the Yorubas in Africa and diaspora for her courage in fighting for the freedom of her people.
Tales have it that the people of Ile-Ife, the motherland of the Yorubas, were enslaved by a neighbouring tribe called the Ìgbò also known as the forest people.
Like the tales of Vikings, the
Ìgbòs were known for regular raiding which made them grew powerful and feared. They were seen as demigods.
To defeat the oppressors, Moremi of Ile-Ife, born a princess, vowed to serve the greatest sacrifice to the Spirit of the river Esimirin. She strategically planted herself where the Ìgbòs usually plagued and gave herself up.
Death was shy of her. Her beauty was an armour which at the end captured the heart of the forest people and their king. Moremi, known for her beauty and skills became their queen and was trusted by her abductors. She studied their strategy — a complete disguise in Ekan grass and bamboo fibers when attacking. Moremi secretly reported to Ile-Ife and the
Ìgbòs were successfully defeated in a battle.
After such a historical victory, the Spirit of the river Esimirin demanded for her son’s life in return.
She is remembered for her selflessness and bravery during the popular Edi Festival. Notable places were named after her.
Moremi’s legacy was immortalized in Ile-Ife with a 42 feet statue by the then Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, becoming the fourth tallest statue in Africa and the tallest in Nigeria since 2016.
By Elijah Christopher