By Chris Onuoha
Thursday July 25, 2019 would sink deep in the memory of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Wendy Laing as she deferred the heavily rain and was welcomed to rousing cultural grandeur at Enuwa palace of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
The High Commissioner who was a special guest of Ooni at Moremi women empowerment programme coordinated by Princess Ronke Ademiluyi was fascinated at a rich cultural display of the Ife people, and a special performance of traditional obeisance by the palace chiefs, showcasing the endowed cultural heritage of the Yoruba race.
Moved by cultural enthusiasm, Amb. Laing possessed an African attire, traditional Yoruba costume which she wore on the occasion.
Rapt in her seat, she consummated every performance specially packaged for her, ranging from the dancers, to the traditional greetings of all the palace paraphernalia that include the Obatalas, the Esu, the palace enchanters and others.
The fanfare heightened when she stood to dance along with a lad musician, Eezybee who performed one his songs, “Be happy: Suicide is not an option”.
Amb. Laing, overwhelmed by the total display of culture, packaged to entertain her, was also gifted with an artwork, a bronze artfect by His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Ogunwusi who also reminded her that the gift signifies her connection to where she belongs, the cradle of civilization.
The High Commissioner who had a mentoring session with the participants of the Moremi Mentorship and Entrepreneurship Pitch in her speech, advised the ladies to live up to expectations. she reminded them of how her entrepreneurial passion grew while with friends from African countries. Her Excellency also distributed participation certificates to them.
The main event which attracted large number of people including the over 100 young female entrepreneurs that pitched their business interests had the former first lady of Ogun State, Chief Mrs Olufuno Amosun as a guest and as a model of living Moremi Ajasoro legacy to the ladies.
Mrs Amosun in her short remark advised the program participants to utilise the opportunity well.
“If not you then who. If not now then when. Make use of opportunities that come your way and don’t procrastinate with your precious time in life.
Mrs Amosun also admonishes the girls to be disciplined and obverse good morals all time. She hinted on dressing code noting that shabby and indecent dressing cannot promote prospects. “Dress the way you would like to be addressed. Indecent dressing cannot attract any good favour rather it will diminish your reputation,” she said.
Seed Funding Grants were given to 25 out of the 137 participants who attended the Moremi Entrepreneurs Pitch Program by Chief Mrs Olufunso Amosun, the Moremi of Yoruba land.
The coordinator of the programme, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi disclosed that the aim of initiating the project endorsed by His Imperial Majesty is to empower 1000 women in Ife with seed funding grants.
She also noted that the grant will be reviewed by September. At the end of the programme, the presentation of the seed fund grant to the lucky ones was done by Queen Toluhi Adedamola, Queen Moremi Ajasoro 2018/19.