Oba Orompoto is the first and perhaps the only female Alaafin of Oyo. She was known for her bravery and tremendous achievements during her reign.
Who was Oba Orompoto?
Oba Orompoto was the seventh Alaafin of Oyo; she was the sister of her predecessor, Eguguoju. Orompoto assumed the throne because there was no male successor within the royal family at that time (better still, the available males were too young to rule).
It was speculated that her reign lasted from 1554 to 1562.
Oba Orompoto was a fierce warrior; she was feared even by her male counterpart. During her former reign as a regent, she made the biggest and final attack to obliterate the Nupe to ensure they never threaten Oyo again.
Coronation of Oba Orompoto as Alaafin
The mystery behind the coronation of Orompoto as the Alaafin of Oyo will forever remain a puzzle.
The Oyomesi who were in charge of installing a new Alaafin were not willing to crown Orompoto king. According to the Oyomesi, it was an abomination for a woman to rule over the empire.
In order to disqualify her from ascending the throne, she was given an ultimatum of seven days to become a man so she can be fit for the throne. Immediately after this pronouncement, Orompoto started dressing like a man wearing Agbada and fila (cap).
On the seventh day, Orompoto unveiled her upper part and it was completely flat, no breast! The Oyomesi were not impressed, they felt it was possible for a woman to have a flat chest.
So she went on to remove her trouser and according to oral tradition, not only did the Oyomesi saw a penis, a scrotum was seen dangling between her legs. Immediately, everyone dropped on their chest and chanted Kaabiyesi oooo – she was immediately enthroned the Alaafin of Oyo.
Oba Orompoto is regarded as the first transgender in history. She was popularly known as “the custodian of the vagina that kills evil plots”.