For her passion for women empowerment and enlightenment, the Emir of Uke Kingdom in Nasarawa State, Abdullah Hassan,ho nouredNollywood actress and TayoSobola better known as Sotayo Gaga as the new Sarauniya (Queen Mother) ofUke Kingdom in Nasarawa State at a well-attended ceremony. In her acceptance speech, the excited actress thanked the people of Uke for deeming it fit to bestow “a huge responsibility on her.”
“I am super proud that as a Yoruba girl I am here holding a staff of office in Uke Kingdom as this is an indication that preaches one Nigeria and togetherness. As the Queen mother, the palace would now begin to see the impact of women in decision making amongst others.” The HRM Hassan disclosed that his father’s twin sister was the first Queen Mother as far back as 1970 and ever since, no individual have emerged as one until the latest conferment of the title. In his congratulatory message to the actress, the Emir said:“Once again, congratulations as the youngest among the Sarauniyas in the northern emirates.
Who Are Queen mothers?
Queen mothers (also Queenmothers) are leaders and women of power in Africa. There is no general description of a queen mother. Generally, queen mothers play an important role in local government and “wield social power and influence.” The amount of power they currently hold has been diminished since pre-colonial times.
Queen mothers are an important part of the Akan tradition which is based on matrilineal descent. They are found in such groupings as the Ashanti Kingdom, which is part of the Akan ethnic group. In areas of Ghana where the Akan culture is prominent, each town has a chief and a queen mother who rule alongside the modern political system.
Queen mothers have also been recorded in the tradition of the Pabir in northern Nigeria, as part of the Benin culture in Nigeria’s south, and in the Krobo area. The Yoruba people of Nigeria, Benin and Togo also have a number of women that make use of the honorific “titled mother of the king”.
In other parts of Africa, such as in Uganda, the term queen mother is also used to describe either the mothers of reigning monarchs or women who hold power in their own right.
As of the start of the 21st century, queen mothers are seeing a resurgence in power and influence in Africa. A great many of them are members of the African Queens and Women Cultural Leaders Network, a voluntary organization.