Akinsemoyin became Oba of Lagos in 1704. A tall, well-built, light-complexioned man with energy and comely disposition, Akinsemoyin’s reign which some believe to have lasted for over 50 years is the longest among Lagos monarchs. It was during his rule that the Portuguese came to Lagos as slave dealers. These trading activities, which became illegal in many European countries from the ensuing years, formed the pretext for the 1861 takeover of Lagos by the British.

Akinsemoyin’s friendship with the Portuguese predates his ascension to the Lagos seat and they had built him a house in keeping with his high taste. He is said to have stimulated financial activities among the people so they could provide articles, which the Europeans needed in exchange for finished products. His tenure is remembered as a period of increased prosperity among his subjects, whose unpolished ethics at that time bears nothing against slavery. Akinsemoyin had six female children but not a son.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer