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Published on: December 27, 2022

One of the written literary works (Death and the King's Horseman) from Professor Wole Soyinka, in collaboration with Nollywood has graced our screen. The movie Ẹlẹ́ṣin Ọba The King's Horseman, is a 2022 Yoruba-language Nigerian historical drama directed by Biyi Bandele.


Elesin Oba was released in Nigeria on 28 October 2022. Ẹlẹ́ṣin Ọba The King's Horseman, is based on a true story which has its settings in the 1940s Oyo Town, southwestern Nigeria. The incumbent ruler of Oyo Town had passed, and as tradition demands Elesin Oba shall carry out a ritual suicide in order to meet with his late Ruler (King) in the afterlife so that the King will gain access to free passage into the land of the gods, thus preventing calamities from plaguing the community.


However, the Oba's insatiable sexual desires caused him to shirk, which led to a mortal confrontation with their Colonisers from Britain; other devastating consequences followed when the horseman is unable to fulfill his final responsibility, his ghost wanders the earth, spelling doom for the land and its people. With the contemporaneous failure of the Oba in carrying out the town's ritual as tradition demands, will the Oyo Town return to its glory?

Author: Amarachi Ndukwe