Ooni of Ife: No Dispute over Moremi the Musical

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By Yinka Olatunbosun

His Royal Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has declared that there is no dispute between the House of Oduduwa and Bolanle Austen-Peters production (BAP) over the right to stream Moremi the Musical on YouTube.

In a press statement, the Ooni waded in on the viral post on the social media that seemed to suggest that the House of Oduduwa made an attempt to stop BAP from streaming Moremi the Musical last weekend. The House of Oduduwa signed an MOU with BAP to produce the Musical in 2018. It was a box-office hit at the Terra Arena, Victoria Island, Lagos. But after two seasons of the production in 2019, BAP geared up to showcase Fela and the Kalakuta Queens at its December-January production. But since the House of Oduduwa had plans to show Moremi the Musical last December, they had to do so without BAP on board.

Hence, the House of Oduduwa launched Moremi the Musical reloaded with a new director, Joshua Alabi, a new range of costumes and freshly done music which further roused the suspicion of some in the media as to the whether there is a fallout between the House of Oduduwa and BAP on the production or not.

Fast forward to April 2020, BAP announced its plans to stream the 2018 on April 26 on YouTube. Just a few minutes before the streaming, a post on social media credited to Princess Ronke Ademiluyi went viral, threatening a legal action to affirm the House of Oduduwa’s ownership of the production and revealing all the financial transactions between the House of Oduduwa and Austen-Peters. BAP responded in a press release that as co-producers of the 2018 edition of Moremi the Musical, it is within their rights to stream that edition of the play.

However, the House of Oduduwa has dissociated itself from all unauthorised statements issued on behalf of the House of Oduduwa seeking to condemn the streaming of the play and seeking court redress. The Ooni of Ife declared that there is no dispute between all the descendants of Oduduwa on Moremi the Musical.

“We recognise the value that Mrs. Austen-Peters has brought to the cultural space especially in Yorubaland and we look forward to constantly working with her in the future to continue to propagate the advancement of culture, traditional heritage of the entire Yoruba race.

“The House of Oduduwa also recognises the impact that Princess Ronke Ademiluyi has made in the fashion/culture industry space and also working along with the expertise of Mrs Bolanle Austen-Peters to bring out this outstanding theatre to the public space with the great assistance of Chief Mrs Funsho Amosun.

“As the cultural custodian of Moremi story/heritage, the House of Oduduwa is happy for as many productions of the story of Moremi Ajasoro, the legendary heroine from Ile-Ife as possible,” Ooni declared.