By Josephine Obute
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi Adeyeye, has lined up leading artistes to undertake a cultural revival of Yoruba heritage in a 12-day artistic show, designed to showcase the Yoruba nation.
Adeyeye made the announcement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday. He spoke through Oba Adebisi Layade, the Alarao Odaye of Ara Ife, Osun State.
The event is being staged ahead of the “Queen Moremi Ajasoro Special Theatre Project,” commemorating Queen Moremi, the iconic daughter of one of the bravest Yoruba hunter warriors, named Lukugba.
Oral tradition describes Queen Moremi as one of the greatest Queens of Ile Ife in the Yoruba country, who risked her life for her people.
Adeyeye named the artistes lined up for the show as Bimbo Manuel, Bambam of the Big Brother Nigeria, Femi Branch, Deyemi Okanlawon, Aye Ayoola and Kehinde Bankole.
He said that the event would propagate and rejuvenate the cherished values, culture and tradition of an African woman, who through her unusual courage put herself forward in order to save her people.
“Through her quest for knowledge and sacrifice, she paid the price of injustice as a one-woman army for the love of her people,’’ the monarch said.
He said that a Queen Moremi Ajasoro 90 Minutes Musical Drama had also been lined up to project the unique culture of the Yoruba, one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.
According to him, the event is slated to hold from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2 in Lagos, adding that the House of Oduduwa Foundation has commissioned Bolanle Austin-Peters Production to produce the theatre performance.
He said that the project, through which the different facets of Yoruba culture had been portrayed to the world, would also show the dignity and rich content of Yoruba heritage.
Adeyeye noted that the world was beginning to appreciate the uniqueness of Yoruba culture in various forms. The monarch said that he started the current promotion with the history and personality of Queen Moremi because of the unique lessons the woman displayed in her lifetime.
“It is the brave move of Queen Moremi that made the Yoruba people one of the first class groups in Nigeria today. The Moremi Project will boost the interest of women, whose potential are very high and always outstanding wherever they stepped into.’’
He stressed that women had critical roles to play in the development and success of a nation and should therefore, be encouraged to contribute their quotas to nation building.
“We need to encourage women to bring out the potential in them. It’s time we start reminding our women that they have the power to change the world. In this world, women are very powerful. Without them, things will not move accordingly because they were created to complement the men.’’
The epic African dance, drama, music and storytelling show is to be held at the Terra Arena on Victoria Island, Lagos.