Over 317 years in the then ancient City of Benin, a monumental event occurred. That was when one of the wives (Iloi) of Oba Ewuakpe, who reigned between 1700 to 1712, offered her life in atonement for the unification of warring and bickering factions in Benin Kingdom, if only peace may reign.
That awesome sacrifice of self immolation is a story told and retold through the generations, but it seems, there is a need for a greater signification of her life, her times and sacrifices otherwise what is now observed as a putdown act and desecration of her memories around where her symbolic stature is erected at the Oba market may not be happening.
It is therefore that a prominent Benin lady, Abiemwense Vivian Vincent Olode who was inspired by the memory was recently seen sweeping around Queen Iden’s statue and preventing forgetful citizens not to shade their wares around the said statue.
This is to what extent, Olode has elevated the veneration of the memories of Queen Iden.
Speaking with her recently, Olode says, she is soon, under the aegis of her Non governmental Organization, Queen Iden Rebirth Foundation, has made a mark in Nigeria, Europe, America to solicit support of Benin indigenes, and possibly, to realize the impact of the significance of the self immolation of Queen Iden, and why preserving her memory would be good for generations to come as her life of dedication to the peaceful co-existence in Benin Kingdom could be of great inspiration, going forward.
Already, the efforts are bearing result across the globe as the NGO is repudiating the annual celebration of St. Valentines’ day. Instead, that colonial hangover, they insist should became, Queen Iden’s day often.
Facebook: Vivian Vincent Olode, Instagram/Twitter @Viviandelille Email: Vivianvincent777@gmail.com
Facebook: Queen Iden N’Okpokhuo,
Queen Iden Rebirth Foundation, Instagram/Twitter and TikTok: Idenrebirth.