Why we reloaded Moremi the Musical —Ooni
AFTER two successful outings, the acclaimed musical production from the House of Oduduwa, ‘Moremi the Musical’, will return to the Nigerian stage this December.
But to further give cinema lovers a refreshing and unique entertainment experience, some improvements have been made to the production in terms of costumes and folksongs.
Showing at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, it will feature a mix of old and new cast members. Its name has also and been changed to ‘Moremi the Musical: Reloaded.’
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and Head, House of Oduduwa promoting the production shared more insights about the revamped play at a recent interaction with select journalists.
He disclosed his interest in the life of the heroine who made a personal sacrifice to save her race from vicious marauders and why he is making it accessible across the world.
Oba Adeyeye explained that his most considerable interest in the play is to advance female empowerment with it. “The story of Moremi motivated me to speak more for the weaker sex. I don’t like to call them the weaker sex. They are stronger than us; the men and that is the truth. I decided to give more effort to women empowerment and leadership; to ensure leadership and empowerment for women.
“So, we’ll use a story like this; in the form of theatre; movies and workforce training and development, to encourage the girl-child. Moremi is a story that will continue to resonate. To me, it has become a movement; not theatre. And it’s a powerful movement. That is why we are reloading it.”
Oba Adeyeye further disclosed that the reloaded version would be shown in Nigeria before it is taken abroad because “charity begins at home.”
The Head of the House of Oduduwa also explained the choice of Moremi among other Yoruba heroines, noting that “there were a lot of courageous women, but they came after Moremi. She was the first in history, the others followed.”
He also explained that Moremi was reloaded to have an exportable product.”When I travel abroad, anytime we play traditional music, they [foreigners] are always delighted. The reason for the refinements is to have a marketable export. Exportable product because eventually, it will become a made in Nigeria product. We are projecting what belongs to us and for the world to accept us for whom we are, it’s vital to bring our tradition into it. This time around, the reloaded version has been refined to blend tradition and modernity.”
Oba Adeyeye reiterated his commitment to promoting the girl-child through every available means and called for more funding for theatrical productions.
“Theatre is not well funded in Nigeria, and it requires long term planning. It is capital intensive compared to movies, but an essential initiative for us. We are looking to birth a movement, and are committed to it entirely.”
The Cultural Ambassador, House of Oduduwa, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, and some cast members including Chidi Okeke, Julius Obende and Joshua Alabi were with the Ooni at the interaction.