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Madam Efunroye Tinubu was the first Nigerian woman to buy a car, she was also the first Iyalode of the Egba clan.
She was born around 1805 in Abeokuta, Nigeria and was once a slave trader who traded with Europeans.
Madame Tinubu built a financial empire through arms and salt trade. She married Adele, an exiled oba of Lagos years after the death of her first husband. She gained economic and political power through the marriage and was able to build a business empire through the trade of salt and tobacco from Europe for slaves from Abeokuta.
In 1835, her husband Adele returned to his throne but died two years later making her a widow for the second time. She then helped install Adele’s son, Oluwole as the new king and married his military advisor.
After the accidental death of Oluwole, she helped install her brother – in – law on the throne and he rewarded her with stores in downtown Lagos. She was rumoured to own over three hundred personal slaves. After slavery was repudiated in 1845 by European nations and commercial crops the new items of commerce, she expanded her empire by controlling the major items of commerce.
Madam Tinubu was the major conduit in Lagos between European merchants and Traders. She fell from power after organising a plot to remove the British consul, Benjamin Campbell from power after he railed against her secret slave trade with Europeans. She was exiled from Lagos and returned to Abeokuta.
Madam Tinubu was an economic powerhouse and an important figure in 19th century Nigeria and died in 1887.