Top 5 historical Yoruba male warriors

Top 5 historical Yoruba male warriors

In the olden days, all we had were warriors who fought to protect themselves, their people and territory. The Yoruba kingdom is no exception. They have records of many brave male warriors who, till today, are remembered and celebrated.

These top historical male warriors you're about to read are embodiments of the amazing attributes you find in Yoruba people out there:

1. Saraibi Ogedengbe

Saraibi Ogedengbe was born in Atorin, a village near Ilesha. He is from Oke-Orisa, not far from Ilesha, in Osun state. At a very young age, Ogedengbe displayed a strong character and strength among his peers, most especially whenever he wrestled with them. His winnings earned him the name "Ogedengbe."

For years, he campaigned against the Ibadan people for their oppression and how they've been attacking the Ijesha people. Unfortunately for Saraibi, he was captured on one occasion and taken to Ibadan. During his stay in Ibadan, he fought for them as a senior military commander.

Afterwards, he returned to Ijesha and assembled a large army to fight against Ibadan. The fight went on for years before Captain Bower, the resident commissioner of Ibadan, intervened by issuing a treaty to settle the war in 1886, even though Ogedengbe had already defeated Ibadan. This feat made Saraibi very famous; he was named "Ogedengbe Agbogungboro"-meaning "Ogedengbe the Warrior."

2. Basorun Ogunmola

It is impossible to recount Yoruba male warriors without mentioning Basorun Ogunmola. He was a native of Ifeesu town in Iwo. Before he became a warrior, Ogunmola was an Ifa priest who moved from one town to another.

This cause led him to Ibadan. He was very dedicated to his craft, fearless, hardworking, and a leader who made being a warrior a pride. Despite his small stature, many kingdoms feared Ogunmola because he was powerful and clever.

His first house in Ibadan was a thick forest; now, the location is Mapo Hall, full of wild animals. Basorun Ogunmola conquered the animals, especially lions, who used to kill people. He later left to settle down at the place now known as his family house. As Basorun, he ruled Ibadan between 1865 to 1867.

3. Aare Latoosa

Another prominent Yoruba warrior is Aare Latosa. His birth name is originally Obadoke Latoosa Oyatoosa. He was born in 1820 in a small village called Ilora near Oyo. Latoosa was a palm tree farmer before he became a warrior and a leader.

He was trained under the leadership of Basorun Ogunmola. Latoosa's first military title was "Aare-Ago", then Chief of Ibadan. Notably, his exploitation in Ekiti is one of the events that led to the Kiriji War. He later became the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land and the last to fight in a war.

He was the commander of the western forces of Ibadan during the Kiriji War from 1877 until his death in 1885. The colonial government abolished the position of Aare Ona Kakanfo until about eighty years later when Samuel Ladoke Akintola was appointed as the Aare. One of Latoosa's achievements was ending Efunsetan Aniwura's maltreatment of slaves.

4. Iba Oluyole

Iba Oluyole was a fearless warrior who commanded respect among his people and warlords. His grandfather was Basorun during the reign of Alaafin Ojigi. His father's name was Olukuoye Ajala. His mother was the daughter of Alaafin Abiodun I.

Oluyole worked as a blacksmith before he became a warrior. His in-depth knowledge and power of creating charms were obscure to everyone but made him popular.

He protected Ibadan from Fulani with all he had alongside other warriors. After Iba Oluyole was crowned as the first Baale of Ibadan, his influence grew whilst being a great war commander. He was a courageous leader that contributed immensely to the development of Ibadan.

He founded Oja Iba in Beere and Oja Bode in Molete Ibadan. Oluyole made his mark and became one of the top Yoruba warriors in history.

5. Balogun Ibikunle

Balogun Ibikunle was a warrior who gallantly fought against British rule. His story is a case of resilience, bravery, and love for the Yoruba kingdom.

He became well-known when the British Empire's influence began to grow in the Yoruba kingdom. He spearheaded several battles against British forces. One such occasion was when the British, led by Captain Bower, wanted to take Osogbo in 1840; Ibikunle and his warriors fought and defended the town.

Balogun was a skilled Yoruba male warrior who was loved by many. His unwavering love for the Yoruba kingdom made him one of the most revered figures in the Yoruba land.


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