Queen Moremi Ajasoro’s beauty pageant: Candidates advocate sacrifice, gender equality from nation’s leaders


Some of the 41candidates shortlisted for the final of the second edition of  Queen Moremi Ajasoro's (QMA) beauty pageant have advised the nation's leaders to emulate the heroic qualities of the legendary queen for a sustainable governance.
They told the media from Ile-Ife, Osun, where they were camped for training ahead of the grand finale slated for Dec.3 that the country's leaders must be ready to make sacrifices for national development.
They said that the legendary Queen Moremi Ajasoro (QMA) was an advocate of nationalism, peaceful co-existence, tolerance and exhibited heart of gold in her life time.
These virtues and other attributes made her to find solutions to the challenges that faced the people of Ile-Ife and its environs in those years, they said.
Reports said that the 41candidates were selected out of no fewer than 500 girls that obtained forms.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, also the initiator of the QMA project, provided N5million as payment for forms for those who could not afford the price.
A 24- year-old undergraduate, Miss Adebowale Akanbi-Akinlade, said that she chose to participate in the project because the legend was an epitome of leadership with a heart of gold.
"Our leaders should defend our country and not just their immediate society, because Moremi Ajasoro did not do this for Ile-Ife alone.
"She extended her fight against rape, child trafficking, killings and inhumanity to other areas within the Yoruba kingdom then.
"She exhibited her bravery and courage at all expense.
"As a prospective beauty queen, we have to be brave and courageous if we want to be successful.
"We must not see the contest as just emphasing  physical beauty, it involves the inner beauty which is about our good characters and responsibilities  as future mothers and protectors of our  people," she said.
Akanbi-Akinlade noted that the legendary QMA promoted the Yoruba language and culture which we should strive to promote among youth and leaders.
"We should encourage our leaders to promote our culture and traditions through festivals.
This will encourage our youths to embrace the wearing of their traditional clothes, eat native foods, and encourage them to visit their home towns to learn more about their roots,'' she said.
Also, Miss Theressa Oladele, who runs a skincare business, said that the legacies of QMA were so relevant in contemporary society that it should not be overlooked but should be emulated and exhibited by our leaders.
"The queen's traits are legacies we should all endeavour to exhibit, especially by our leaders to engender effective peace and development,'' she said.
Oladele said that promoting culture and tradition had always been something she aspired to doing since was growing up under her grandma.
"My grandma really helped in teaching and impacting our culture into my lifestyle.
"I can proudly say I do not have difficulties speaking Yoruba language despite English language being Nigeria's language of instruction.''
She said if successful, she would like to set up a foundation that would empower women, defend rape and sexually molested victims.
Another candidate, 20-year-old Ajibade Oluwatomiloba and a graduate of political science,  said she chose to participate in the pageant because she would want to eliminate gender inequality in  the country.
Oluwatomiloba, said that the queen was a model of sacrifice which every leader should possess.
"I will draw from QMA experience that leadership is earned by sacrifice which I will project when I win by assisting the internally displaced persons in Nigeria in particular.
"Her qualities are relevant to the development of our contemporary society, because it illustrates the early involvement of women in politics in Yoruba society and also highlights her heroic deeds.
"I speak Yoruba language very well and fluently and I will be promoting our culture and tradition by encouraging women to speak our language and wear African brands," she said.
Similarly, Miss Fadekemi Folarin, 22, said she chose to participate in the project because she wanted to exhibit selfless service, which she learnt from the queen.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member said,  " I chose to participate in the project because I want to represent my people and project my culture locally and Internationally, and also serve my people.
"The legendary queen was a beautiful, intelligent and selfless leader, who went as far as sacrificing her only son (Oluorongbo) to the Esirinmi River Goddess.
"How many can do that? And that stood her out and made her a relevant leadership model to our contemporary society especially to our Yoruba people," she said.
Folarin, a graduate of Guidance and Counseling urged ladies and women to emulate such courage, sacrifice, intelligence and bravery in promoting the culture and tradition of the nation.
The tenure of the incumbent queen, Miss Blessing Animashaun, a 600-level dental surgery student of the University of Ibadan, would end on Dec.3. She emerged the winner out of 375 contestants and was crowned by Oba Ogunwusi in Ile Ife in 2016.
Princess Ronke Ademiluyi,the ambassador of QMA also said that the overall winner would  get a N5 million investment fund, a brand new saloon car and  become the Cultural Ambassador to the Ooni of Ife for one year.


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