The historical bravery of Moremi Ajasoro was brought alive on stage at the Nigerian Law School Auditorium, Victoria Island, recently, by students of Atlantic Hall Drama Club, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Atlantic Hall, Epe.
The play, Moremi, written by Mr. Duro Ladipo, was directed by Gboyega Jerome. The courageous woman of Ife was re-enacted by a cast of 119 students in the junior and senior secondary arms of the school. The play rehearsed and perfected in ten months mirrored the strength and enterprising nature of the women folk in business and the home front. More importantly, it showcased how a woman used wisdom to deliver the town from tyranny.
Jerome hinted the choice to stage play was in response to the demand by the parents. “In Atlantic Hall, we have presented different culture from different ethnic groups. Last year, it was from the Benin kingdom and some of the parents kept asking, when are we going to visit the Yoruba land and I promised them that something will be done about it.
He added that the play presented an opportunity to celebrate and respect the women folks around the world. “I believe the passion they have for their children and the community is enormous; unchallengeable.”
Moremi, as told by the Yoruba people, is the story of a very brave and beautiful woman, who surrendered herself to the Ugbò people as a way of unravelling the mystery behind the powers of Ugbo warriors. She also offered her only son in sacrifice to the Spirit of the River Esimirin to fulfil her promise to the water goddess.
To accomplish her task, she allowed herself to be taken as a slave by the Ugbò and, due to her beauty, married their ruler as his anointed queen. Under a false pretense, she was able to deceive her new husband, the king, where she got to know the secret of his army. She later escaped to Ile-Ife where she revealed what she learnt the secret to her people and, subsequently, were able to defeat their enemies.
Impressed by the students’ creativity, tenacity and professional delivery of the play, the principal, Mr. Andrew Jedraas, said, he was proud and happy with the students’ performance. He noted that Raheemah Oyekan, who played the lead role of Moremi, was the school’s Head Girl, while William Anosike, who acted as the Ooni, was the Head Boy in the school.
He further commended the production crew, particularly the director, for his ability to co-ordinate the students and organise production. Besides, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, Global Ambassador for Moremi Ajasoro Initiative of the Ooni of Ife, made a donation of 100 copies of Moremi Ajasoro story book to the school’s library, while Miss Oreoluwa Toluhi, current winner of the Queen Moremi pageantry, made a donation of some tickets to the cast to go to the Muson Centre to watch the play.