Ajanlapa was the brave warrior whose self-sacrificing, patriotic act incidentally overturned the war waged by Lajomo, king of Nupe land in favor of Ajiboyede, Alaafin of Oyo’s army. Oyo warriors were retreating but Nupe soldiers went particularly after the Alaafin. When it became clear the king would be killed, Ajanlapa hastily exchanged dress with his commander, the Alaafin, and told him to escape for his life. He put on the Alaafin’s crown and robes, and the opponents, supposing him to be king, chased after him until he was killed by the mass of darts showered at him. A member of the opposing party who observed from an angle, refusing to believe Alaafin could die ordinarily, thought Ajanlapa’s exposed teeth was intended. Like the previous Alaafin, Orompoto, they thought he was laughing at their futile efforts. The panic he created led to stampede, and before the opponents could think, they had lost their winning position, and the Yorubas utilized the opportunity, chasing the former chasers. The opponent King was taken and victory was complete.

Alaafin Ajiboyede, touched by this act of bravery of Ajanlapa, rewarded his son and placed him in a palace office for which honor was greatly accorded.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer