Ayaba Abibat Nihinola Adeyemi, also known as Iya Ododo, is the first of no fewer than the 13 wives of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Lamide Adeyemi III. In her position, she was famous for being present in many public outings as a queen and as the wife of the longest-serving monarchs in Nigeria. The 84–year-old was born on 23 December 1938.
Ayaba Abibat enjoyed 60 years of marriage to Alaafin Adeyemi III. She contributed immensely to the success of Alaafin Adeyemi’s rule. Even with his death in 2022, her role has not been forgotten, and her place as a Nigerian queen remains important. To many in Oyo, her place is more than that of a queen but as a mother, philanthropist, and a great example.
Alaafin of Oyo’s First Wife is From Oyo State
Ayaba Abibat Nihinlola Adeyemi is 84 years old as she was born on 23 December 1938 in a town known as Agunpopo in Oyo State, Southwestern Nigeria. According to a BBC report, she was born into the Laguna family and grew up away from fame while attending a local school in her hometown.
In her later years, she learned the art of sewing and became a tailor. She also moved from her native Oyo State to the bustling and highly populated area of Lagos State.
She Became Alaafin of Oyo’s Wife at the Age of 17
Ayaba Abibat Nihinlola Adeyemi became married to the late Alaafin Adeyemi III when she was 17 years old in 1956. Since he was born only about 3 months before her, it is safe to say that he was also 17 years old.
There are two sides to the story of how they met. In one of the accounts, Ayaba Abibat and the late Alaafin met through his late sister, who was attending the same secondary school as the queen.
In the second account, the couple met through Alaafin’s uncle, who was in the same school as Ayaba Abibat. Despite the little disparity in the tale of how they met, it is apparent that it was through Alaafin’s relative and it was while she was in school.
Regardless, they stayed married for years and toiled before they became rulers of one of the strongest and most famous lands in Nigeria. In the earliest days of their marriage, the couple moved to Lagos, where Abaya Abibat worked as a tailor while the late Alaafin worked as a professional boxer and later worked with Royal Exchange Assurance, Marina, Lagos.
How Many Children Does Abibat Have?
Abibat is a mother of five children. Her oldest sons are Prince Abisoyem, also known as MC Loyo, and Prince Tunde. Both of them were born before the late Alaafin became a king and before their mother also became the queen of Oyo in 1971.
All of Abibat’s children live private lives. Yet, Prince Abisoyem Adeyemi is the contender for the throne of Oyo. Also, he studied at the Federal School of Surveying, Oyo, before he took a job at the Nigerian Customs Department.
The other most notable of Ayaba Abibat’s children, Prince Tunde, is an attorney and a pastor who works with Oodu’s Investment Ltd. Prince Tunde is a graduate of Uthman-Dan-Fodio University, Sokoto. In his personal life, the price is married to Omolara, a Justice at the High Court of Oyo State.
Away from the children she had biologically, the Oyo queen has always been considered the mother of Oyo. Moreso, she may have helped in raising the many children born to her late husband from his numerous wives.
Where is Alaafin of Oyo’s First Wife Now?
Since the death of the Alaafin, nothing much has been heard about Ayaba Nihinlola. Regardless, after her late husband’s death, she and the other wives of the Alaafin were not allowed to be outside, and people should not see them until the traditional burial rites are entirely over.
When this is done, Queen Abibat would have the option to leave the palace or stay back as the Yoruba culture and tradition demand. If she chooses to leave, she could do as pleases and even remarry. However, if a queen who was married to Alaafin decides to stay back in the palace, the new Alaafin would marry and take care of her as part of his inheritance, as in the king and in the palace.
Hence, if she chooses to stay in the palace, there are chances that she may become the wife of the Alaafin that will come after her husband. However, the law also states that queens, including Ayaba Abibat, can only marry after some sacred rites are performed in order to disassociate them from the palace.