The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has been described as the brain behind the ongoing cultural and feminist promotions through the House of Oduduwa Foundation.
Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, the Cultural Ambassador to the Queen Moremi Ajasoro (QMA) Initiative, an arm of the House of Oduduwa Foundation, disclosed this in Lagos.
“I am just the executor, and that’s my brand as the global ambassador,” Ademiluyi said during a visit.
According to her, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi is a firm supporter of women in leadership, which he expresses every time in a proverb thus: “when you give a woman a seed, she gives you a child, give her money, she makes wealth.”
Ademiluyi, who is also the founder of Africa Fashion Week, Nigeria and London, said that Ooni used QMA story as a benchmark to encourage young women into leadership in politics and corporate organisations.
“The Ooni is the grand patron of the QMA Initiative, he is also the chairman of the House of Oduduwa Foundation, his role in the QMA is trying to make sure that the legacy of the original and the legendary Queen Moremi Ajasoro does not die.
“The mission of His Imperial Majesty is to educate the younger generation that feminism did not just start with the influence of the Western world , feminism in Africa dates back to over 1,700 years,” she said.
The princess noted that women as mothers and wives were ca[able of always achieving whatever they set to achieve and would do such to the best of their abilities.
“We’re actually using the story of Moremi to let people know that feminism in Africa and in Nigeria, dates back to over 1700 years ago, it did not just start with the influence of the Western world.
“So contrary to what people believe, African women are not only good in the kitchen, they are not only good at being mothers, but today, we have realised that they are very good in leadership, business and other aspects of nation building.
“We are great strategists, we’re great planners, and that is what the story of Moremi Ajasoro speaks to the world,“ she said.
She added, “As feminist, women are supposed to go out and earn what they want, they should not just sit back as wives and waiting for their husband’s to provide them all their needs.
“That is why we are using the story of Moremi to tell both women and men that the drive to excellence as a new world of self reliance needs commitment,” she said.
Ademiluyi also said that the QMA initiative had been the official foundation that the Ooni had been using to celebrate the heroic deeds and patriotic zeal of the legendary Queen Moremi Ajasoro.
“I am only the global ambassador to the project sponsored by His Imperial Majesty. The project is a traditional pageant where young women go to camp, taught leadership skills, what it takes to be a good woman, cleanliness, how to cook, how to behave, and other virtue’s,” she said.
She said that the QMA, which was in its third year, had produced three queens, Blessing Animashaun, (2016), Shola Shittu, (2017) and current the current one – Adedamola Toluhi.
According to her, the contest, which was initiated by Oba Ogunwusi is aimed at boosting various Nigerian cultures in young girls with special emphasis on the Yoruba culture.
“The contest showcases the strength of a woman, which dates back to thousands of years, in encouraging young ladies to be selfless and be committed to nation building.
“After they become queens, they get to become ambassadors to his Imperial Majesty, they go with his royal entourage on foreign trips.
“The two queens before the current one had accompanied Oba Ogunwusi to Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America for various cultural exchange programmes.
“The QMA is our major achievement of the initiative, through the Ooni, because it goes directly to influence the lives of women in the society positively.
“It also enables us to reach out to less privileged young women who want to further their education or who want to go into entrepreneurship,” she said.
Ademiluyi said that the Ooni also had been able to rehabilitate Damilola Falodun, one of the contestants in 2017 edition of QMA beauty project.
She was discovered to be a survivor of human trafficking to the Middle East.
She said that currently, the Ooni through his foundation had been sponsoring Falodun’s education at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). (NAN)