More Edo Heroines
By Chief Nosakhare Isekhure
(1) Emokpolor N’Amwen Ogiugo (Emokpolor the wife of Duke of Ugo) She was one of the most powerful women in Benin Kingdom in the area of spiritual strength and potent knowledge of medicinal powers with which she supported her husband who was a warrior and a War Hero, went to war to conquer many places, particularly the conquest of Ogie-oboro, who murdered ADESUWA, the daughter of Ezomo.
(2) IDIA N’ lYE’ ESIGIE. Idia was the mother of Oba Esigie who had to raise a contingent of army from Uselu to defend the Kingdom from the Jihadist from Atah in the north. Her troops were able to prevent the fall of the City before the conventional soldiers finally agreed to join the war efforts and finally repelled the invading troops. She is reputed in our history as the first woman to have gone to war on her personal volition..
(3) EMAYE. Emaye was a well groomed beautiful lady that grew up at Oza Street Benin City. She radiated a kind of beauty and aura that made her admired, sought for and cared for by all those who could get just close enough to get a glimpse of her. The King, nobles and others fell in love and lavished her with gifts. Many women, prayed to be like her and even attempted to copy and imitate her peculiarity, but they failed. Then came the popular Benin adage, Uhunmwunhia oghe Emaye. Meaning all women heads are not like that of Emaye
(4) IMAZEHIAGAN. This woman was a successful trader, who also was very well connected. She came from the Osa family in Benin and she is reputed to have erected a building of her own at Igun street, Benin City at a time many able men could not even own lands, talk more of erecting a building. She set the standard for women’s growing’ ownership of properties today.
(5) NOMION-ETO ENEN N’UGBO. This woman had a mystery hair-do which she plated and required any one who could decipher or decode the meanings for a prize. The hair-do was on for a long time and no one could decode it until she finally decoded it before the Oba at the Palace to reveal a profound knowledge of four major human virtues worthy of understanding for self guidance.
(6) We have in addition, Princess Evbakhavbokun, who was great in addition to her noble birth.
In modem time, we can count many of our women who have excelled in different fields of endeavour, including in some areas that were considered the exclusive preserve of men.