Queen Moremi The Musical returns to Lagos for Yuletide
After what many have described as ‘huge success’ in its first two runs in Lagos, Queen Moremi The Musical is back for the Yuletide season. Now in its third season, the show will be on for eight days with 16 thrilling shows from December 24 through 30, excluding Christmas Day, as well as January 1 and 2, 2020.
The musical, which is a reloaded version of the earlier performances, will be staged at Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria island. The show, which explores the myth of Moremi, the Ife queen, will attract high networth guests, prominent personalities, including His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja II). Also expected are Ife chiefs, traditional rulers from across the country, business leaders, politicians, the diplomatic corps and theatre aficionados.
According to Ooni Ogunwusi, the musical is a corporate endorsement for the war against modern slavery and trafficking of young women. He noted that the musical is awe-inspiring, as well as being laced with thought provoking narrative.
To him, what awaits Nigerians this Yuletide season is a reloaded version. This is in affirmation of his passion to support women in leadership, as symbolised by the exploits of Queen Moremi over 1,700 years ago.
Ooni of Ife said, “I was glad people were touched the last time the musical was staged. I saw people crying. It made them to see the strength of a woman and her selflessness. Moremi was a figure of high significance in the history of the Yoruba people of West Africa.”
She was a courageous queen who contributed to the victory of Ife people over a neighbouring tribe. She was a member, by marriage into the royal family of Oduduwa, the tribe’s fabled founding father.
He continued, “Moremi showed what a woman could do to actually save a race. There is need to speak more for the weaker sex (women). Everything they do is very timed and sensitive. They are very caution about things that concern them. So, I decided to put more effort on women empowerment and leadership. We use stories like this with the infusion of our indigenous songs to encourage young children, the girl child and let them know what is called the strength of a woman. Moremi was liberation to the Yorubas. She was the pioneer and she gave strength to other women. Women are multipliers, so, therefore the story would continue to resurrect.”
Ooni said, “infusion of music in Moremi is to enable us promote our culture. We want to practice what belong to us and it is pertinent we infuse our culture in it. Moremi has come to stay. It is a movement and a strong movement to empower girl-child in the world but we are basically interested in Africa. They are the most oppressed. You barely hear the voice of women; very few women you get hear their voice. We are reloading it. We want to master the act, what we are doing is mastering using the platform of House Oduduwa, we have reached the U.S., Republic of Ireland and Canada and the people are willing to see the reloaded story of Moremi.”
The story of Moremi is an important tale to tell in this time. First of all, there is an urgent need for Nigerians to appreciate their culture and history and not view it through the lens of superstition and Western world bias. It resonates with the feminist charge to take lead in a male-dominated society.
Besides reinforcing the fact that performance is central to human experience, underlining the event is the reenactment of the life and times of Queen Moremi, which illustrates the pivotal role of women in societal development and to enable the younger generation, especially women, to recognise and aspire for leadership roles in society, which stood out the Queen in the history and liberation of Ile Ife town.
Queen Moremi Ajasoro, it will be recalled, was a courageous, selfless beautiful woman from Ile-Ife. Following incessant raids by a neighbouring tribe and with Ife under siege, she took the heroic step of offering herself to be captured by the raiders.
The goal was to be taken prisoner and be taken to the land of the marauders for intelligence gathering. The attempt worked as her beauty and intellect enchanted the king of the Ugbo tribe, who married her and she became queen. She learned the secrets of the raiders, which the Ife subsequently exploited to achieve victory.