One of the Queens of the Ooni of Ife, Aderonke Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi, has said that women, as agents of change and mothers of the nation, must take bold steps and get involved in leadership activities.
Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi spoke with our correspondent that women should emulate the heroic virtues and deeds of the legendary Queen Moremi Ajasoro (QMA) whose festival had started on Oct.19th and would end Oct. 31 in Ile-Ife, Osun.
She said that the festival was to remember the legendary Queen Moremi, and the sacrifice she made for Ile-Ife and by extension, Yoruba people at large, to protect and free them from their foreign predators some centuries ago.
She urged the womenfolk to follow QMA’s footsteps in their roles as mothers, wives, politicians and nation building.
According to her, women, who are selfless in nature like the legendary Moremi, had paid the supreme sacrifice for their people, stressing that nothing wrong if contemporary women can take after her heroic dispositions.
“I encourage women to aspire to take that bold step which Queen Moremi took in offering everything she had and represented for the love of her people.
“Our aim is to reach whatever height you want to attain, every action starts with a thought, we should think big, dream big and believe in what we can do,” she said.
Queen Aderonke, who is the Global Ambassador of Queen Moremi Ajasoro, said women are everywhere physically: at work, at worship centres, at home, at marketplaces, and conspicuously different from community to community.
She said to some people, women are the most powerful among all creatures, while to some women are lazy, and full of evil deeds.
“The cultural influence on Yoruba women is very great. The roles of women can be felt in all aspects of the physical and cultural lives.
“To access Yoruba women thoroughly, we need to view their roles in women in cult, in politics, at war, as mothers, as workers, as healers and as partners in progress.
“One of such legendary women was the famous Queen Moremi Ajasoro of Ile-Ife. She was a woman of valour, a mother in a million, a unique personality.
“She was also a woman of honour, a rare gem, an epitome of motherhood and a strategic warrior, Moremi’s redemptive suffering undertook fort, the liberation of Ile-Ife.
“She is constructed, not as a warrior but as one who showed loving kindness to her people, to the extent that she agreed to suffer and die for their sake,”
She told our correspondent
Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Adire Oodua Textile Hub, had produced Moremi, the musical, `Orisa’, and also was the author of `Unspoken Yoruba Women Kings’.
She said, “Immediately after the Moremi registrations would open for young girls to compete for the Queen Moremi Cultural and Leadership Pageantry.
She said, “The competition used to start with almost 500 applicants annually, who will be shortlisted to 40, who will go into a boot camp for 10 days.
“During the camping, they will be given various leadership skills and cultural tasks that will be assessed.
” Fifteen finalists that will be picked will be expected to slug it to the grand finale where an entreprenuership fund of N1m will be given to the overall winner in addition to a car for logistics,” she said.
NAN reports that the outgoing queen, 22-year old Akinwale Oluwabukunmi, a Psychology student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), would be handing over to a new one in December.
NAN further reports that the annual QMA initiative is a project of the foundation of Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, and is being managed by Queen Ronke Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi.