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Yoruba legendary heroine, Moremi, gets statue in Ile-Ife




The Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mrs. Dayo Keshi, recently performed the historic unveiling of the imposing statue of an Ife heroine, Moremi. The unveiling ceremony, which was done under the supervision of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojoja II), was part of activities that rounded off this year’s Olojo and Edi festivals in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

The initiative was driven by the Ooni to celebrate one of its famous Yoruba legends, who liberated her people from invaders in ancient times. It was also part of the Ooni’s design to boost the tourism potentials of Ile-Ife and to make the ancient town part of the nation’s cultural and tourism roadmap. Recall that the Ooni had assured that the policy thrust of his reign hinges on cultural revival, value re-orientation and youth empowerment.

While extolling the virtues of Moremi, Keshi said that it gave an identity to her people, noting, “These values should be imbibed by all in our quest to bequeath lasting legacies to the upcoming generations.”
Keshi further commended the monarch for the giant strides he has made on the cultural terrain since ascending the throne, and wished him more impactful reign as a cultural ambassador and father of all. She also looked forward to having more fruitful collaborations between the Federal Government and the revered traditional institution in the nearest future towards cultural promotion and job creation.
To compliment the efforts of the Ooni as well as boost the economic potentials of the creative industries, NCAC zonal office had organised an exhibition of Nigerian arts and craft within the palace. Over 20 artists featured in an exhibition that was curated by the head of the zone, Mr. E. K. Alabi. On her part, former Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, described the new Moremi Statue as a major tool for the promotion of domestic tourism in Nigeria.

She said: “The rejuvenation, development and promotion of Yoruba culture, heritage and tradition is on the fast lane. His vision in putting together the Moremi Statue, the tallest in Nigeria and third tallest in Africa, is a major landmark in domestic tourism promotion in Osun State and Nigeria in general.”
Since His Imperial Majesty’s coronation, Ile-Ife has witnessed a turnaround, especially in the areas of agriculture, youth development, infrastructure and tourism revolution, leading to the rejuvenation of some festivals like Olokun, Osara, Oramife and Olojo.
While speaking after he crowned the Face of Moremi, the Ooni expressed satisfaction towards the success of the outing.He also commented on the successful maiden edition of Moremi Beauty Pageantry, which he pledged to sustain. He said: “We will work on the survival of the beauty pageantry, which is borne out of the dire need to immortalise Moremi Ajasoro, who is not only an Ife heroine but the entire Yoruba race.

Oba Ogunwusi, who described the event as historic and memorable, said Yoruba should not, for any reason, mortgage their culture, tradition and heritage for anything in the world, adding, “Today is memorable. This is our culture in raw form. Today, we celebrate a woman of tremendous beauty, who sacrificed her only child to free the people of Ife from the invasion of some faceless terrorists thousands of years ago. Though it is rather not good that we are fast losing tract of our culture and heritage.

“I hereby challenge other custodians of culture to emulate a programme like what we have today to propel the rejuvenation, development and promotion of our culture, tradition and heritage, which are so rich and highly enviable.”

“Today, NTDC authenticates Moremi Statue, the tallest statue in Nigeria and third tallest in Africa as a major historic monument in the South West Geo-political zone of Nigeria”, Mbanefo stated.

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