Ronke Ademiluyi on Queen Moremi, ‘The Musical’, A Bold and Timely Project for Nigerian History
The House of Oduduwa & Rejuvenee in collaboration with Bolanle Austen-Peters Production will present one of the most anticipated live theatre shows in recent times, Queen Moremi, ‘The Musical’, which will run from December 21, 2018 till January 2, 2019.
Fearless, resilient and selfless, Queen Moremi is regarded as a great African warrior and heroine who liberated her people in the kingdom of Ile-Ife, at war with an adjourning tribe in present day Osun State.
Ronke Ademiluyi, founder of Africa Fashion Week, and who the Ooni of Ife appointed as the heritage ambassador to uphold Queen Moremi’s legacy, speaks of her task, “My position as the heritage ambassador to Queen Moremi’s legacy is to serve as a face and voice in its vast recognition both locally and internationally. I would be driving awareness about the Queen Moremi initiative, which is an historical brand and thus, should be celebrated globally.” She considers her theatrical debut as not just a mere transition from fashion to theatre but a diversification into another relatable sector that harnesses her strong passion for art and culture.
The poor documentation of historical events and figures is perhaps the driving force for this initiative. Indeed, Ademiluyi’s aim to uphold the legacy of our heroes past is especially timely and relevant, because of the gradual disappearance of history as a subject in the secondary school curriculum and consequent dwindling enrolment to study history in tertiary institutions.
Ademiluyi also asserts that the loss of sense of history by Nigeria is linked to a colonialist mentality. “We often disregard and take for granted our historical values due to elements of colonialist mentality that most of us subconsciously exhibit. We tend to feel the need to be validated by non-citizens whereas this isn’t a similar trait they portray. A lot of self-conscious value is placed into preserving their identity.”
However, she believes that Nigerian youth are increasingly sharing interest in their cultural heritage, and must be encouraged through initiatives like Queen Moremi, ‘The Musical’. “Over the years, we’ve steadily disfavoured our roots, which has somewhat led to a loss in identity but in recent times, the younger generation is increasingly appreciating culture and we believe now is the perfect time to invest in planting this permanently in young minds.”
In preserving our rich history and culture, costume design by the Bolanle Austen-Peters’ creative team for the musical will showcase the famous 19thcentury attire of the royal house of Ile-Ife.
The line-up of notable cast members includes; Lala Akindoju, Bamike ‘Bam Bam’ Olawunmi, Ela Olurogbo, Rotimi Adelegan, Kunle Afolayan, Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde, Bimbo Manuel, Femi Branch, Adeyemi Okanlawon, Tosin Adeyemi, Segun Dada, Paolo Sisiano, Moshood Fattah, Kehinde Oretimehin, Justin Ezirim, Franklyn Ossai, Deyemi Okanlanwo, Celestine and Ayo Ayoola.
Queen Moremi ‘The Musical’ is set to redefine history in a positive light, as a selfless and patriotic approach to critiquing society. And as Ronke Ademiluyi believes, standing firm as individuals in the prevailing general societal setback, would result in a collective liberation for all when Nigeria finally advances in her development as a country.
July 16, 2019