#HERstory The Olumo Rock


The Olumo Rock is a symbol of the rich history of the Egba people in the state of Abeokuta Ogun, southwestern Nigeria. It is a source of strength and pride for the Egba and all the rites and worship in the Egbaland is made possible by the presence of this rock and the spirits within it.

Chief Mrs Sinatu Aduke Sanni, who claims to be 131 years old, has lived all her life on the Olumo Rock and has dedicated herself to worshipping the god of the rock, which she believes protects her and provides her with everything she needs.

Seen as a goddess, she is instrumental in the many rituals that take place in the Egbaland, including the annual celebration of the rock’s deity and the coronation of the Alake of Egbaland, the paramount Yoruba king of Egba.

The annual celebration of the Olumo Rock god is characterized by sacrifices done on behalf of those who come from all over the world to ask favours of the god.

Sinatu is also believed to be the caretaker of the many landmarks found near the rock. These include the “tree of life”, which provides the leaves used to crown the Alake of Egbaland. The tree grows in front of the rock and its leaves are evergreen. There is no king in Abeokuta crowned without those leaves and there is no Alake of Egbaland crowned in history without them.

Local legend has it that Sinatu has witnessed the coronation of four Egba kings since 1898. It is she who completes the coronation rites of the Alake of Egbaland by handing over the leaves from the ‘tree of life’ to the king makers.

Photographer & Videographer Credit: Courtesy of Aforfem Afobunor
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  • Wilhelmina Tameca Gaoses

    Thanks for Sharing,

    Cultures shaping practice for community people, This indeed has symbolic, and it carries  meaning and preserving and educaing our young children (girls)  on this maintains heritage..

    Beautifull story, She is filled with so much wisdom.. #Muchlove

    • You are welcome. Always a pleasure 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Ogbeyalu Okoye
    Amazing culture , amazing history.
    • Yes dear!!! Congratulations on your being featured in this month's publication as the most active person in the empower women community.

      We are proudly Nigeria! 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Tolulope Ola
     Thanks for sharing.
    • You are welcome Tolu 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Ernlee Barbu
    Interesting, thanks for sharing.
    • Always a pleasure 
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Amarachi Amaghiro
    Good to hear that a women plays an important role Yoruba traditional culture... Which means there is still hope for Women in Nigeria.
  • Angela Bakibinga
    Thanks for the share!
  • Carol Ajie
    Hey Aforfem, you are doing a great job telling the story of Chief Mrs Sanitu Adoke Sanni aged 131 years in Nigeria!
    Gal we could get the great lady place in the Guiness Book of Record as one of the oldest persons living on earth
    if you asked me.

    Carol Ajie
    • You are right Carol. But then what's the first step in getting this done?
    1 of 1 Replies
  • Uzoma Katchy
    Quite an interesting piece. Nigeria  is rich in cultural heritage and  has wonderful  tourist sites.
    Chief Mrs Sinatu Sanni has carved a niche for herself. She has made herself relevant and brought herself to a place of influence.
    This is my desire for every woman and girl. To break every barrier and limitations and  become influential.
    She is an example to be emulated by other women. 
  • patricia omo sukore
    What actually held my attention was the fact that this woman played a key role in the coronation of kings. I
  • patricia omo sukore
    wow! What an eye opener, Nigeria has rich cultural heriages. Nigeria's  heterogeneous nature makes it more beautiful.
  • Odunola Oladejo
    Reading about this made me smile. I visited Olumo Rock, Abeokuta in July 2012. It's such a nice place as the rock symbolises pride and strength. Most people who were born there have this belief.
  • Pamela Osakwe
    This is interesting. I have always been interested in yoruba culture and tradition ever since I was a little girl. Looking forward to visitin Olumo rock soon.
  • Shalini Prakash
    Very interesting. Good to learn about the Nigerian tradition. We have similar traditions in India where we worship all forms of nature as Gods
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