June 20th, 2012
I hear from the grapevine that efforts are now being made to
“beautify” Oke Eri to make it a tourism destination. Part of
the effort is to make the destination easily accessible and
to bring development to the community. While I welcome the
plan to “beautify” Oke Eri, I cannot but say that such
action without proper documentation and research to prove
who “BILIKISU” was, with archeological evidence will be
We know that a very powerful white woman came to Oke Eri to
seek for powers and wisdom to rule the world. Some say she
was the wife of King Solomon. Some even link her to the
Haile Selassie, the great Ethiopian leader. A lot of
research is still going on to determine who this great lady
believed to have built this great wall is.
Sungbo's Eredo has been connected with the legend of the
Queen of Sheba which is recounted in both the Bible and
In the Old Testament, she is described as having sent a
caravan of gold, ivory and other goods from her kingdom to
King Solomon. In the Koran she is an Ethiopian sun worshiper
named Bilqis involved in the incense trade who converts to
Legends of the contemporary Ijebu clan, link the Eredo to
this fabled woman, a wealthy, childless widow who they know
as Bilikisu Sungbo. According to them, the monument was
built as her personal memorial. In addition to this, her
grave is believed to be located in Oke-Eiri, a town in a
Muslim area just north of the Eredo. Pilgrims of Christian,
Muslim and traditional African religions annually trek to
this holy site in tribute to her even as at date.
The impressive size and complex construction of the Eredo
drew worldwide media attention in September 1999 when Dr
Patrick Darling, a British archaeologist then with the
University of Bournemouth, surveyed the site and began
publicizing his bid to preserve the Eredo and bring the site
There are better ways of bringing a tourism destination to
prominence with out tampering with archeological evidences.
Countries like Kenya, South Africa, Australia and others
precede development of their tourism destinations by
creating awareness of possible finds through research and
documentation of the destination. They did not begin by
bulldozing the destination to open it up to the public.
To the world, “Oke Eri” is like a crime scene with a lot of
evidences to be discovered. We owe it to the world not to
destroy evidences so dear to it because we want to build new
roads, houses and hotels.
Some of us know what to do. There are others who do not
realize that some actions they take could rewrite the
history of our people.
The name “BILIKISU SUNGBO” tells me “BILIKISU” sleeps in the
bushes. “Oke Eri” tells me the destination was known as the
“Mountain of Testimony” and “Ewe Je” tells me “Plants Tell”.
These information confirm to me that there are still stories
In writing the movie “Bilikisu” for International tourism
development the writer merges the past with the present with
the aim of exposing some hidden and forgotten historical,
cultural and agricultural potentials of our people.
The movie will seek to promote a better understanding of the
trado-medicinal practices of old and the use of herbal drugs
in countries with forests blessed with plants.
The writer believes in the preservation of our cultural
artifacts and wonders what will happen to them if there is
no documentation before they are pulled down. We must
discover “Bilikisu” in her naturalness before we start
construction of roads and infrastructures that will wipe
away archaeological information of our past. The use today,
of discovery movie series and making of fictional movies are
aimed at documenting information about things, people and
places. It is also used to attract investments in Tourism
The making of the movie “Bilikisu” involve the use of the
palaces and historical destinations in Ogun State. It will
also involve the use of the Ago Iwoye University Teaching
Hospital and General hospitals in the State.
“Bilikisu” is a total tourism movie to Ogun State like
“Cleopatra” is to Egypt. There are great Investment
opportunities in being part of making the movie. Be part of
the “Making of Bilikisu”.
Chief Femi Robinson.
Former Village Headmaster.