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131-year-old Iya Orisa living under Olumo Rock
During a recent tour of Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, NAIJ.com discovered a 131-year-old woman, who has lived under the famous Olumo Rock almost all her life.


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Olumo Rock is one of the tourist destinations in the West African country where some indigenes of Egbaland hid during a civil war which broke out in the 19th century. The rock served as a shelter for many of the survivors, who were said to have hidden in specific areas inside the caves located inside the rocks to evade attacks from enemies.

Some of these people eventually built small apartments inside the rocks and created places where they carried out their daily activities for about three years without getting into town. It was not until after the war that most of these people started coming out of their hiding to see the other people who survived the brutality of that period. In a chat with our correspondents, an elderly woman said she was the 'Iya Orisa' of Olumo (meaning the mother goddess) of the rock.
* The entrance to the massive Olumo rock.
* The massive Olumo rock has electric lifts and staircase for tourists to access the peak of the mountain.
* The entrance to the second stage of the massive rock.
Photos: Emmanuel Osodi
Chief Mrs Sinatu Aduke Sanni explained how she grew up under the rock and witnessed the coronation of about four Alake of Egbaland, as well as her strong belief in the god of the rock which has been protecting her. She claimed she was 131 years of age.
I have been here almost all my life and although it was not easy at first, there was nothing we could do other than stay here until the end of the war
Iya Orisa told our correspondent in Yoruba language.
"We were not scared of any dangerous animal attacking us at the time, despite the fact that we were surrounded by bushes then. The god of this mountain has kept protecting us over the years and we get everything we want from the rock. Anything you want in life, just ask."
Iya Orisa
"The rock is the protector of every Egba indigene till date and we are proud of what we have,"
she explained further.
Check out some other photos from the magnificent rock below:
- The hideout of the Egba indigenes when the war broke out.
- Some of the elderly women who have been living under the rock for so many years.
- Incredible house under the rock where people, including Iya Orisa, live.
- Chief Mrs Sinatu Aduke Sanni, aka Iya Orisa.
- The spot where they people prepared their food during the Egba war.
- A narrow road path that leads to the top of the massive Olumo rock.
- A relaxation spot for tourists at the top of the rock.
- Aerial view of Abeokuta city, the Ogun state capital, from the top of Olumo rock.
Photos: Emmanuel Osodi
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