No fewer than 500 young girls have registered for the second edition of Queen Moremi Ajasoro (QMA) beauty pageant which comes up in November in Lagos, the coordinator of coontest, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sunday in Lagos.
Ademiluyi said that the the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, offered N5 million to the first 1,000 girls that were interested in obtaining forms to participate in the cultural contes but could not afford the cost.
“Oba Ogunwusi, because of his love and mission to promote our tradition and culture; instituted this contest, and donated N5 million to offset the registration of the first 1,000 would-be contestants.
“The monarch said the amount is to encourage more young ladies who may not have the financial means to participate in the contest which has given opportunities to over 500 registered candidates so far,” she said.
According to her, excitement is high and registration entries will close by September 30.
Ademiluyi said that participation was exclusively meantyoung girls of Yoruba descent, who would be expected to sustain the historical and the thematic virtues of the legendary Queen Móremí Àjàsorò when emerged and installed.
“The cultural contest is a way of promoting our heroic legacies which will continue to endure in the chronicles of both Yoruba and world histories,” she said.
She said that the winner of this year’s edition would receive a cash prize of N5 million, which was meant for investment as part of the empowerment programme of the Ooni of Ife, the patron of the pageant.
“The winner will go home with N5 million, a brand new saloon car and a wardrobe of designers’ outfits from leading fashion brands.
“The new QMA will automatically become a cultural ambassador to the Ooni of Ife, who is expected to be a model of the heroic attributes of Ife’s greatest queen,” she said.
She said that Queen Móremí would represent an indelible new dawn of great awakening for the development of the Yorùbá culture”. and this was the mission of Ogunwusi for the Yorùbá culture.
Ademiluyi said that the idea behind organising Queen Moremi contest by the Ooni, was a recreation of the legacy of the revered legendary queen.
She said that the contest would prepare present day young girls for the future, reawaken their cultural identity and imbibe decent morals in them.
“As a cultural promoter and ambassador to Queen Moremi, I encourage young girls to embrace decent and culturally edifying outfits and brands.
“A lot of morals have been lost, the new generation of women don’t have much value for themselves and the Moremi project is trying to instill back those values such as selflessness, courage and discipline, which Queen Moremi Ajasoro exhibited in her lifetime,” she said.
She noted that the vision of the Ooni was to restore those unique values associated with the Queen, through the cultural pageant.
She said that the current queen, Blessing Animasahun, a 600-level Dental-Surgery student of the University of Ibadan was crowned by the Ooni of Ife out out 375 contestants in 2016 in Ile Ife.
Ademiluyi said the cultural contest, first of its kind, was to boost our culture and tradition, especially among youths.
“The contest is open to young ladies from ages 18 years to 25 years, of which at least one of their parents must be of Yoruba lineage from Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, Kwara and Kogi states,” she said.