The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, First Lady of Kwara State, Mrs. Olufolake AbdulRazaq; former Kwara State First Lady, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, the Erelu Kuti of Lagos, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu and a host of other dignitaries joined hands to unveil Princess Ronke Ademiluyi’s book titled ‘Unspoken: A Chronicle of Women Kings in Yorubaland (Oba Obirin)’ in grand style.
The auspicious, event which took place at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos on March 31, 2022, was organised by the House of Oduduwa Foundation in celebration of Women History Month.
The publisher of the book and Vice-Chairman, House of Oduduwa Foundation, Princess Funke Ademiluyi said: “There was even a notion that a female cannot be a king in Yoruba land. But as we have all seen today, under the stable of his imperial majesty, and the house of Oduduwa, which is the official charity of his imperial majesty, the Ooni of Ife, we have been able to complete and publish the book. We have decided to tell their stories to inspire other young women to go into leadership roles. You do not necessarily have to be a king; you can try to be a leader in whatever you do. Create a legacy, the same with these women. We are celebrating their legacies today. So, it is like a reawakening of their legacies to inspire women of our generation, and younger generations as well.”
While unveiling the book, his Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife said that female kingship, regency, and leadership are integral aspects of human society. He said the book is complete with beautiful tales of remarkable successes and joyous moments of great women kings in Yoruba history.
Describing Princess Ronke Ademiluyi as an ‘Alfa female’, he praised her for taking steps in bringing this book to light to encourage women to step up into positions of leadership.
“The book ‘Unspoken’ will be spoken in all the four corners of this world and I’ll be offering prayers in that regard,” he said.
In her keynote speech, the Erelu Kuti of Lagos, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu declared: “This book, ‘Oba Obirin’ will jump start a renaissance of female leadership and activism. Cogent activities and achievements of female kings of Yoruba land, encapsulated in it will no doubt be an inspiration to fledging female leadership and authorities across the land.”
Earlier, the chairperson of the occasion, Toyin Saraki, said that the underrepresentation of women in the decision-making process of the country calls to question whether Nigeria respects women.
She said: “For example in our legislature, there are only eight women in the Senate which has 109 senators and 13 in the House of Representatives out of 360 seats. In total, women make up around 4.47% percent of the National Assembly. This shows that the country’s decision-making body is an all men’s club.”
Saraki called on women to begin to look at the Yoruba female history and mirror them.
In her speech, First Lady of Kwara State, Mrs. Olufolake AbdulRazaq, said: “As a collective, we must involve women in the process of governance and continue to promote the grooming and empowerment of our women to be stakeholders where decisions that involve them and their communities are being discussed.”
The Ooni opened the launching of the booking with N1million and a host of other dignitaries joined him in launching the book with various sums of money.