Tourism at Ife is gradually gaining momentum as visitors from various parts of Africa and other continents travelled to the state to experience its annual renowned cultural show, Queen Moremi Ajasoro (QMA) cultural pageant 2021 and the Africa Fashion Week.
Experts have said the consistent involvement of many nationalities with diverse cultural backgrounds at the Africa Fashion Week and Queen Moremi Ajasoro (QMA) can facilitate relationships which can boost tourism.
The events which helped showcase the indigenous cultures and heritages of the State also helped bridge the gap between culture and learning.
Present at the occasion were the Ooni of Ife, Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja I, who gave the occasion a royal splendour and Olufunso Amosun, wife of the former governor of Ogun State, royal fathers amongst other prominent personalities.
Speaking at the event, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, who wears several caps as Moremi Global Ambassador, Founder, Africa Fashion Week London and Africa Fashion Week Nigeria said the ideology behind putting Africa Fashion Week and QMA cultural pageant together is to enable them show the indigenous and heritage fabric of the Queen Moremi Ajasoro beauty pageant.
Ademiluyi said most of the costumes and outfits that the participants wore were fabrics that were made at the Adire Oodua Textile Hub and were also designed by Africa Fashion Week Nigeria designers and was the reason both events were merged.
“The Moremi contest is in its 5th year, so this is its 5th edition and it is to enable us to institutionalise the legacy of the legendary queen Moremi and everybody knows what she did and how she gave up herself for sacrifice. People know how selfless she was, so we are trying to instill that into young women of today.
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“We want her story to be impactful, so whoever emerges as a queen, which has happened over the years, has to have an impact on what they do. They need to live their trademark within the community and outside the community as well,” she said.
The princess said the Ooni of Ife’s throne tries to bridge the gap between culture and learning and what he did at the event is rather than just focusing on the students who are the participants, he also invited the professors so they could be recognised and appreciated because nobody really recognises people in Academia.
“I started Africa Fashion Week London in 2011, to enable me showcase our heritage in fashion. The quickest way to get people’s attention, especially the youths because we do not want them to forget our culture; is through fashion. I learnt this through Africa Fashion Week, London and Nigeria.
“We don’t just show our fashion on the runway, we bring our culture and heritage. This is what I am doing with the Adire. I am making it so creative and innovative so that when the new generation of designers sees it, they will use it to make their designs,” Ademiluyi said.
She noted that through the journey of a year when the winners wear the crown, she and her work with them.
“We have been so successful because the first lady who won the crown is a dental surgeon, the second one is a female auto mechanic, the third one is a graduate of Language, the forth one is also a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University.
“So, we try to ensure they don’t put aside their education because we know the value and importance of education especially to the girl child in Nigeria and at Moremi, for us, it is about promoting female leadership because Moremi herself was a leader,” she explained.
Oluwabukunmi Grace Akinwale, who emerged winner of Queen Moremi 2021 edition, said her emergence as the winner of the show came as a big shock to her.