What’s up Ibadan? Welcome to another exciting history Wednesday. Today, we would be telling you the story behind an ancient place in the city of Ibadan. The place is Beyerunka.

The name of the founder of the place is called Iwíntólú ‘the worship of the fairies as a divinity is up to’. After Òwu War that ensued and destroyed Òwu town, Iwíntólú’s parents left Òwu town for Ìbàdàn. They left Ìbàdàn again after a quarrel happened in Ìbàdàn and travelled to Ìwó town. It was at Ìwó town that Iwíntólú’s parents gave birth to him. When the quarrel that happened back then at Ìbàdàn was resolved, Iwíntólú’s parent returned to Ìbàdàn. During that year, they arrived at Akínyo’s Compound in Màpó at Ìbàdàn.

However, there was a certain powerful man in Akínyo’s Compound whose name was Ọmọtọ̀ṣọ́. Since he and Iwíntólú were both powerful men, he told Iwíntólú that both of them could not live together as there would always be tussle for supremacy between them. Ọmọtọ̀ṣọ́ then gave Iwíntólú a piece of advice that he should change his location. This was how Iwíntólú and his parents moved from Akínyo’s Compound to the place called Bẹ́yẹrúnkà.

Iwíntólú was a very powerful man who had many charms and performed many wonders at the war-front. It is actually said that he could transform himself into a bird. At war, there were always alarming gun shots sounding tremendously both on the right and left and he would transform to a bird. Whenever he turned to a bird, he would mingle with the other birds in the forest and chew grains with them. The other warriors would then fail to recognize or identify him as Iwíntólú and since their intent was not to hunt for birds, they would just ignore the birds chewing. It was here Iwíntólú would hide until convenient time for him to change back to a human to continue fighting at war.

After the war, his allies and friends who knew him well and his ways at war would start praising him thus; a bá ẹyẹ rún ọkà bí àrìrà  which literally means ‘he who chews grains with the birds skillfully and quickly like lightning’. This act of Iwíntólú led to the saying that “let us visit Iwíntólú who chews grains with the birds”. Gradually, people started referring to this place, i.e. Iwíntólú’s place, as Bẹ́yẹrúnkà. This led to the naming of this place as Bẹ́yẹrúnkà.

Source: An Etymological Study of Place Names in Ibadan. Olatunji Muibat Opeyemi



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