Ibadan is a popular city in Nigeria. People often say it’s the largest city in Africa except Cairo.
Ibadan, the Political Capital of Yorubaland is a city built on Eleven hills.
The Eleven Hills are:
2 .Oke Ado
- Oke Bola
- Oke Mapo
- Oke Sapati
- Oke Mokola
- Oke Itunu
- Oke Aremo
- Oke Seni
However, Ibadan is not just a City of Hills. It is also a City of ‘Bottoms’. Loosely translated, ‘IDI’ means bottom or backside.
Several people have attached sexual innuendoes to the names. However, the actual translation indicates that some of the ‘idis’ were connected with how the settlers converged at a point, thereby leading to how they arrived at the names given. This ‘idi’ translated as a bottom also means under the tree.
Go around the city and you can locate the various ‘idis’ , to mention but a few:
For instance, Idi-Arere is a location where the early settlers converged and held meetings under an ‘Arere’ tree. The actual full name is Idi-Igi Arere –under the Arere (Obeche) tree. Idi-Arere is located between Oja-Oba and Molete.
Idi-Ose, which should actually be Idi-Igi Ose(under the Ose(baobab) tree, is located around Ojoo/Moniya Road.
Idi-Ishin is located around the Jericho GRA area and was named after the Ishin (Ake Apple) tree.
Idi-Ape is located at the intersection of Iwo Road and Bashorun and is named after the Ape tree.
Idi-Ayunre, which is located on the outskirts of the city, on the way to Ijebu-Ode, was named after the Ayunre (Albizia Zygia) tree.
Idi-Obi was named after the kolanut tree. Ditto for Idi-Ikan and Idi-Ito.
It is also interesting to note that Ibadan is a city with several junctions popularly called ‘Orita’.
In Yoruba mythology, these ‘Oritas’ or junctions are places where sacrifices are offered.
Popular ‘Oritas’ in Ibadan are:
1. Oritamefa-a junction that leads to six roads(around UCH0
- Oritamerin-(a junction that leads to four roads)
4. Orita Bashorun.
NOTICE: Some of the names have been shortened nowadays with Orita Bashorun now simply referred to as Bashorun,
- Orita Challenge now Challenge
- Orita Aperin is now simply Aperin
And still talking about names, several names in Ibadan have their origin in the inability of the residents to pronounce the original names correctly.
For instance, the place popularly called Oke-Sapati was originally called Shepherd’s Hill(Ofe Shepherd) but the illiterate residents couldn’t pronounce ‘Shepherd’s Hill’ and it was corrupted to Sapati. That was how it sounded to the ears of the residents at that time.
The story behind Kudeti is quite interesting.
A river runs around that area and the British District Officer during the colonial era was quite shocked at how dirty the river was.
The river served the residents as they washed, had their baths, defecated and drank the water.
The D.O., therefore, exclaimed, ‘’This water is TOO DIRTY’’. The illiterate residents then corrupted the words ‘too dirty’ to Kudeti.
Ibadan is still steep in its traditional beliefs, though modernity is fast catching on.
One of such is the still very popular Egungun (Masquerade) Festival, which usually takes place around June and July. This period was a period of fear mixed with excitement. Everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the Oloolu Masquerade-except women who are forbidden to see it.
Oloolu is the most popular and the most feared. He usually carries what looks like a flat tray with several items on it. Several years ago, there was a clash between a very popular Muslim cleric now late, called Ajagbemokeferi, and Oloolu. It was rumoured then that Ajagbemokeferi derobed and unveiled Oloolu.
Also, there is Alapansanpa, the second most dreaded masquerade after Oloolu. Alapasanpa dresses very smartly in bright colours.
Even though most Masquerades are associated with canes and whips, it is more so with Alapansanpa.
In spite of the traditional background of the city and practices /beliefs of its residents, Ibadan has been rightly acknowledged as the INTELLECTUAL capital of the YORUBA, and indeed Nigeria at large, and this is not just because the first University in Nigeria is located in the city.
I really don’t know how many cities in Nigeria have as many research institutes as Ibadan, Ibadan has the following research institutes:
- IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture)
- IAR&T(Institute of Agricultural Research and Training)
- FRIN(Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria)
- CRIN(Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria)
- NIHORT(National Horticultural Research Institute)
- NISER(Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research)
- NCRI(National Cereals Research Institute)
These are all in one city! It is rare to find a town or city to boast of these. Ibadan is truly a mixture of the ancient and the modern.
Permit me to also add these as some of the rare feats Ibadan has made in the history of Nigeria.
1. The first Television station in Africa(Now NTA, Ibadan)
2. The first Sports Stadium in Nigeria(Liberty Stadium)
- The first University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria.(UCH)
- The first skyscraper building in Nigeria(Cocoa House)
Also, Ibadan has entered the books of history as probably the first city with over 25 traditional rulers, all coronated same day in August 2017.
However, recently in September 2019, this was being under review as traditional rulers gave room to unity in Ibadan land and they finally surrendered to the conditions of peace laid down by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, by dropping their crowns. Though, they (the traditional rulers)claimed it was done to honour Olubadan.
God bless those who were born in Ibadan.
God bless those who grew up in Ibadan.
God bless those living in Ibadan.
God bless Ibadan.