Alaafin, or The Owner of the Palace in the Yoruba language, is the title of the emperor of the medieval Oyo empire[1] and present day Oyo town of West Africa. He ruled the old Oyo Empire which extended from the present day Benin republic to Nigeria originating from states in the South East and West to the North.The people under him are called Yoruba and spoke Yoruba Language.

Outermost entrance to the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo called "Oju Abata"

The Alaafin of Oyo in Yoruba mythology and history is said to be one of Oduduwa seven grandsons who later became Kings, forming the bedrock of the Yoruba Civilization[1] .

The title was retained after the fall of Oyo Empire as the official title of the ceremonial ruler of the contemporary natives of Oyo, Nigeria.

The current Alaafin (Emperor) of Oyo is Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Adeyemi III who is the 45th Alaafin, celebrated his 50th year on the throne[2].His Imperial Majesty, Oba (King) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, Iku Baba Yeye, Alaafin (Emperor) of Oyo is the permanent Chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs. The Grand Custodian of Yoruba Culture and Tradition and the Emperor of Yorubas.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ David D. Laitin (1986). Hegemony and Culture: Politics and Change Among the Yoruba. University of Chicago Press. p. 113.
  2. ^ "LAMIDI OLAYIWOLA ADEYEMI 50 YEARS ON". This Day Newspaper.

3. The official website of the Alaafin of Oyo ( )

4. A Symbol of Yoruba Culture and Unity: The Life and Royalty of His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyemi III, the Alaafin Oyo by Siyan Oyeweso and Olutayo C. Adesina