Queen Moremi Pageant Holds October


Mary Ekah

Queen Moremi Ajasoro of Ile-Ife is a heroine to be reckoned with, as she single-handedly delivered her race from external forces by sacrificing her only son to the Spirit of the river Esimirin so that she could discover the strength of her nation’s enemies.

She was eventually taken as a slave by the Igbo and, due to her beauty, married their ruler as his anointed queen. After familiarising herself with the secrets of her new husband’s army, she escaped to Ile-Ife and revealed this to the Yorubas who were able to subsequently defeat them in battle. Though the Edi Festival, according to history, started as a means of celebrating the sacrifice the princess made for the people of Yorubaland, as well as some prominent places being named after her such as the female residence halls at the University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University.

The Ooni of Ife Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi however feels the need to immortalise her in more ways than already exists, hence, the Ojaja the 2nd has announced plans to organise a second edition of the Moremi Pageant, which will take place in October.

At a press in Lagos last week, the Ooni, whose staff of office was present, through the heritage ambassador, the legacy of Moremi, princess Ronke Ademuliyi said, The pageant known as the “Queen Moremi Ajasoro (QMA) and named after the revered Queen Moremi of the ancient city Ile-Ife is being organised as part of efforts to promote the heritage of Moremi Ajasoro, who held sway as queen of Ife in the 12th century.

Apart from upholding the legacy of the respected queen of O’odua House, the pageant will also help stimulate the awareness of the tourism potentials of Ile-Ife, as well as re-awaken the legacy and create conscious awareness of the impact of this traditional icon which was almost going into extinct if not salvaged. The competition is opened to ladies between the ages 18 to 25 year old, they must be of Yoruba heritage or of half parentage and must be able to communicate in Yoruba and English fluently as she would subsequently be following the Ooni to all his travels. She will also get a brand new car with N1.5 as well as a wardrobe allowance each month. Other contestants will not be left out, as everyone would take home something. Already, the Ooni has paid for the forms for the first 100 people who would want to enter the competition.