A new poem sent to us by Amore David Olamide, in praise of Lisabi Agbongbo-Akala the military organiser and farmer who led the Ẹ̀gbá revolt against Ọ̀yọ́ Empire in Yorubaland between 1775 and 1780.
Although ruled by their own Alake (“king”), the Egba Forest lay within the territory of the Ọ̀yọ́-Yorùbá empire and the Ẹ̀gbá initially paid tribute to the Aláàfin (traditional ruler) of Ọ̀yọ́ for protection. The Aláàfin’s representatives in the Ẹ̀gbá towns began to oppress the locals, demanding excessive tributes. Lisabi, a farmer, organised a militant movement under the guise of a traditional mutual aid society which provided collective support for its members in heavy work such as clearing land and gathering in the harvest. In reality, the farmers mutual aid society was a miltary organisation that united and armed all the Ẹ̀gbá towns.
The civil war which erupted in Ọ̀yọ́ around 1775 provided a suitable opportunity for Lisabi to launch a massacre of the local Ọ̀yọ́ forces and the military organisation he had established were successful in defending against Ọ̀yọ́’s reprisal attacks. Having won independence for the Ẹ̀gbá people many honour him by calling themselves the children of Lisabi.
When Lisabi appears in a ruthless manner
He had the appearance of flying debris…