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In Queen Moremi the Musical, BAP, House of Oduduwa tell Yoruba heritage’s tale


Princess Ronke Ademiluyi; actor, Adeyemi Okanlawon; producer and director, Queen Moremi the Musical, Mrs. Bolanle Austin-Peters; His Majesty, Elerefe of Erefe-Ife, Oba Fayemi Johnson Olumayowa and His Majesty, Alarao Odaye of Ara-Ife, Adebisi Layade at a news conference last week, to announce the December performance of Queen Moremi the Musical… in Lagos

As part of efforts to showcase the uniqueness of Nigeria’s history, tradition and culture, the producer of Saro the Musical, Wakaa the Musical and Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions (BAP) and House of Oduduwa, are set to premiere another riveting stage play titled Queen Moremi the Musical.

The aim is to celebrate the heritage of the Yoruba through telling the true story of a unique African woman, Queen Moremi Ajasoro, who sacrificed all she had to save her people from foreign invaders.

The story of the courageous Queen Moremi, which will hit the stage from December 21 through January 2, 2019 at Terra Kulture Theatre Arena, on Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, is pivotal to the history and liberation of the entire Yoruba race.

It will relive the legendary tale of a woman who sacrificed everything: her marriage, son and even the risk of death in order to secure the future of the people of Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba race and culture.

According to director and producer during a media briefing in Lagos, Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, Queen Moremi the Musical is an authentic African superhero story that brings to life the rich and colourful ancestral Yoruba heritage through the deeds of the amazon Queen Moremi, using music, dance and costumes.

“The purpose of this project is to keep our identity, values, history and culture alive, especially amongst youths, upcoming generation, starting from Nigeria to the diaspora. The critical aspect of the story is the music that portrays contemporary culture and tradition of our people. Nigeria has enough history to generate content without necessarily importing foreign stories; and so, people believe in the quality and content of the
Nigerian story,” Austen-Peters affirmed.

A daughter to one of Ife’s bravest hunter-warriors, Lukugba, and Princess Olunbe of Offa, Moremi, was raised to question injustice and she stood up for the oppressed no matter who they were or where they came from, which is why the Yoruba and Africa at large reckon with her sacrifice for her people.

While speaking at the conference, His Majesty, Alarao Odaye of Ara-Ife, Adebisi Layade, gave insight into Queen Moremi’s story, as his parents told him.

According to him, “Queen Moremi rendered herself to the enemies of Ife, the Ugbo, through marriage to their leader just to rescue the Yoruba. If not for Moremi, the Yoruba tribe probably wouldn’t remain in existence.”

Also an Ile-Ife royalty, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, said Queen Moremi the Musical is a mind-blowing story that would wow the audience and take them back in time to the history of the Yoruba as well as appreciating Queen Moremi Ajasoro’s immeasurable effort for the sustenance of her people.

She further said all the things done in theatre production are day-to-day experiences that people could relate and reckon with.

Both Mrs. Austin-Peters and Princess Ademiluyi acknowledged that the venture was at the prompting of Ile-Ife’s royal house, which convinced BAP Productions that there was merit in the story to be turned into a musical theatre.

Initially, Mrs. Austin-Peters had turned down the overtures, insisting that she was more in tune with contemporary stories. But after listening to the presentation, she fell in love with the story immediately and the production process began.

The media briefing was also attended by His Majesty, Elerefe of Erefe-Ife, Oba Fayemi Johnson Olumayowa, a staff symbol of Ooni of Ife, which indicates the endorsement of the revered Ile-Ife monarch. Some of the cast and crew for the play were also present.

Mrs. Austin-Peters assured that the play would feature seasoned and upcoming acts such as, Bimbo Manuel, Bambam of Big Brother Nigeria, Nollywood star Femi Branch, Deyemi Okanlawon, Ayo Ayoola and Kehinde Bankole, who will play Moremi.

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