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Meet Queen Mother of the Anioma: The Remarkable Story of the Nigerian Woman King

Did you know in Nigeria there is a woman King called Queen Mother of the Anioma

Meet Queen Mother of the Anioma: The Remarkable Story of the Nigerian Woman King
Royal Majesty Obi Martha Dunkwu

Al-Jazeera aired a captivating documentary by Chisom Ifeakandu about the remarkable life of a woman King, Her Royal Majesty Obi Martha Dunkwu.

She has been in power for over two decades and is referred to as the Omu Anioma. She went to college in England and the United States, but she moved to Nigeria 38 years ago.

She is the traditional leader of the approximately 1.8 million Anioma people in Delta State, Nigeria, who speak Igbo.

The role of the Omu

The Omu, also known as the Queen Mother, serves a number of important roles. She is not only in charge of the market as the custodian, but she also holds the significant position of spiritual head and traditional monarch of the community

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Meet Queen Mother of the Anioma: The Remarkable Story of the Nigerian Woman King
the Omu Anioma of the Anioma People of Delta State

The position has been in place for more than 820 years, but it was significantly diminished under colonial rule. This historic institution’s ceremonial rituals and challenges aside, they continue to have a significant impact on their community.

  • she is the only female member Of the traditional council.
  • The Omu community is its mother, and the community’s traditional ruler serves is its father. The community is run jointly by the mother and father.
  • She is prohibited to wed. once is coronated, an Omu cannot get married and must leave her marital home. She receives the rights that are typically reserved for men in exchange.
  • Both men and women make up the Omu.
  • It is not a inherited position. When the Omu dies, the elders will consult the gods and ancestors to determine who will succeed him. There is no competition for the Omu throne. No young woman can declare her intention to become an Omu in Anioma.
  • the Omu’s work is spiritual because she constantly prays for the community and intercedes on their behalf

Her Royal Majesty said in an interview with the Guardian that the Omu is unable to get married because she is both the mother of everyone and the leader of the women in the community. She will undoubtedly have slapped the entire community if she is allowed to continue living with a man who suddenly wakes up and slaps her. If the same man also chooses to abuse her, he will show disrespect to the community as a whole.

Meet Queen Mother of the Anioma: The Remarkable Story of the Nigerian Woman King
Royal Majesty Obi Martha Dunkwu

It is interesting to note that women could hold significant positions in traditional society prior to colonialism.

Watch video of the Queen Mother of the Anioma interview by Al-Jazeera

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