Thursday, 20 December 2018


Chief Mrs Sinatu Aduke Sanni

In 1864, Abeokuta was attacked by Dahomey, during this period the parents of Sinatu, migrated to the top of the Olumo rock to hide for protection, so it was no surprise that they got so use to the rock that they returned there years back. Sinatu Aduke Sanni was born on Friday August 15, 1884, that was 3 months before the Berlin conference commenced in Germany to partition African countries among European rival states, there Britain successfully laid claims to the territory of the Niger Basin and that was on November 15.

Chief Mrs Sinatu

Sinatu was just 6 years old when, father Conquard arrived at Abeokuta in 1890. On January 18, 1893, Sinatu was only 9 years old when the people of Abeokuta signed a treaty with British Governor Gilbert Carter and a quasi-independent state was granted to Abeokuta and by 1895, Father Conquard Built the first hospital in Nigeria at Abeokuta. When Abeokuta Grammar School started in July 16, 1908, Sinatu was encouraged to start school but it did not last, she felt ridiculous, for she was already 24 years and married, as she has taken over her mother’s trade of farming.

Chief Mrs Sinatu

On September 6, 1917, Sinatu was a part of the mass rally at the palace of Alake of Egbe land, just like most women her age and by 1918, when there was a massive Abeokuta riot, the 34 years old retired back to Olumo rock and she leaves there even as I write. 

artworks representing the war lords of Abeokuta on Olumo rock

Sinatu grew up under the Olumo rock and she has witnessed the coronation of about four Alake of Egbaland, including the September 28, 1963, coronation of Prince Adesina Gbadebo as the Alake of Abeokuta.       

the baobab tree where certain sacrifices are made for the gods

'Abeokuta' (Under the rock or 'beneath the rock'. Chief Sinatu is the Chief Priest of ‘Orisha Igun’
shrine, managed by women under her directives. They worship their own personal god ‘Orisa Igun’ (god of longevity) within the shrine

Dr Raphael James in the frontage of one of the huts under the rock where Sinatu grew up 

Olumo Rock is one of the tourist destinations in Abeokuta, Ogun State of Nigeria. It is the original safe ground of the indigenes of Egbaland, during the wars between the Kingdom of Dahomey people and Egba people. The people lived in caves,  inside the rock and they remain protected throughout the war period.

Dr Raphael on Olumo rock

She believes in the ‘god of the rock’ which, she says has kept her protected and directed her life all the years. 

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