Erelu Ota Play Will Revive Ikorodu’s Culture, Promote Tourism – Residents

Kunle Adelabu

Erelu Ota (standing right) with with Oloja of Ikorodu and his chiefs in a scene of the play, ‘Erelu Ota’ staged at the Ikorodu Ultra – Modern town Hall, Ikorodu.

minent personaElities and guests that attended the staging of ‘Heroine of Erelu Ota’ stage play, have stated that the initiative will further promote the efforts to promote culture and tradition of Ikorodu and help develop its tourism potentials.

This was the position of guests at the premier of the play at the Arch. Olutusen Onafowokan Main Auditorium of the Ikorodu Ultra – Modern Town Hall, Ikorodu on Monday, April 1, 2023.

The play, which was written by Prince Waliu Adeyeri, the Creative Director, D’Bard Creative Media, showcased the impact of the legendary woman called, ‘Erelu Ota’ in Ikorodu, especially her role during the ‘Ogun Agbala’ (Egba war) between a militarily strong Egba warriors and Ikorodu.

The play showcased how Erelu Ota assisted Ikorodu in winning the war in the 19th century.

Erelu Ota in action during the play.

Adeyeri, speaking on the play, said that it was conceived to honour the legendary woman and great women that are contributing to socio – economic and other developments in Ikorodu.

“This project started last year in August, and I thank the family of the legendary woman, Erelu Ota whom we are celebrating today. She has done greatly for lkorodu and female gender. We have come here to celebrate the descendant family of Erelu Ota, the Iya Egbe of lkorodu”, he said.

“Today, we have come to celebrate the current Erelu Ota, Alhaja Nosiratu Shonibare, the Iya Egbe of Ikorodu, because she is the legend that we are seeing in the face of the late Erelu Ota.

The Creative Director of D’Bard also said that the need to change the narrative about Ikorodu and celebrate women making impacts also informed the idea of the drama.

“What led to this story and why are we here? First, we want to use it to correct the impression that Ikorodu is home to immoral acts. It is not just home of people, but home of legends, amazons; a home of people of heroic exploits; a home where we have the likes Alhaja Ogunniyi, a former Principal of Oriwu College, a foremost educationist in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole; Abike Dabiri – Erewa, Asisat Oshoala, Olori Sola Kosoko, Mrs Doyin Kukoyi and Alhaja Modupe Shine-Shine and many other icons”, Adeyeri said.

“Why are we not going to celebrate them and why are we not going to show the people that Ikorodu is beyond what we see out there? That is why we are here today.

Current Erelu Ota and Iya Egbe of Ikorodu Kingdom, Chief (Mrs) Shonibare at the play with casts

“We thank everybody that has been part of this and for making it a success”, he said.

Mr Nurudeen Ibrahim, the Director of the play who led the audience into the drama, said:.

“It is an historical play which can rival any of the legendary plays like Queen Moremi, Madam Tinubu, Efunsetan Anisewura and others. Ikorodu, being the third largest city in the Southwest, needs to be celebrated”.

The Chairman, Ikorodu – Oga Development Association (IKODASS), Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo who chaired the session, applauded the initiative as a call to action to develop Ikorodu’s tourism.

“I commend and appreciate our son and brother for using his knowledge to promote and impact our culture”, he said.

“In Ikorodu, we have many tourism potentials, artefacts and monuments that we are not promoting and I am happy that Waliu is opening our eyes to development of tourism in Ikorodu. Tourism is the third economic potential that many countries that we are running to have.

“Despite Saudi Arabia having large oil exports, the country still prides so much in its religious tourism and Israel, despite its technological advancement and other potentials, still takes tourism seriously. We go to Mecca and Jerusalem for Pilgrimage every year.

“This drama is part of what we can use to bring people to Ikorodu. We must be able to improve on the tourism and festival day, and we are still working on it. The Ayangbure of Ikorodu gave us the permission to start last year and we are still on it”.

When the representatives of the Colonial government visited the Oloja of Ikorodu during to pledge their support during the ‘Agbala’ war between the Ikorodu people and Egbas.

Erogbogbo, however, charged residents to do more research in promoting cultural values of Ikorodu and make them tourist attractions.

“We need to bring out Ikorodu’s tourism potentials, we have masquerades like Meboi and Asa which we usually take to Lagos to perform”, he said.

“We have to encourage writing about our history and promotion of our values, and we must continue to promote that to our advantage. We will be ready to support anyone that is willing to also research and promote our culture.

“I thank the family that allowed Waliu to achieve this and gave him details of the legendary Ota which was written into a drama which is being staged today. In thank the playwright for this great innovation, and revival of history of lkorodu”, he said.

Olori Sola Kosoko, an ace broadcaster, charged the playwright to do more researches and documentations of Ikorodu history.

“Today’s presentation is an eye opener, because a lot of our histories are already going into extinction. This is a wakeup call towards revival. I want to encourage you to do more”, she said.

“My husband likes culture and tradition, I know that he will be willing to support you in the next edition.

Erelu displaying the heart of an Egba warrior after she led Ikorodu to defeat them.

“I charge you to keep it up, do more researches and tell more stories so that the unborn generations will not lose their history, and if they do not, they will not lose focus”, she added.

Alhaja Akinsanya, the mother of Barr. Luqman Akinsanya, the founder of Pepc Foundation, who was an awardee, also commended the initiative and called for support for it.

“This is a very commendable and laudable initiative that deserves our support”, she said.

“The drama has made many of us to be well informed and it will further enhance Ikorodu’s image”.

Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo, Chairman, Ikorodu – Oga Development Association (IKODASS) (middle), Alhaji ,isbaudeen Alejo, an executive member of IKODASS and Supervisory Council, Ikorodu LG (right) and the representative of hon. Abike Dabiri – Erewa (left)

Girl – Child Prime Mover Awards were bestowed on Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Alhaja Modupe Shineshine, Chief Executive Officer, Shine-Shine Cosmetics, Olori Sola Kosoko, Olori Oloja-Elect of Lagos and an Ace Broadcaster and Media Personality, and Alhaja Sherry Ogunniyi, Award-winning Educator and Former Principal of Oriwu Model College

Pepc Foundation, a non – governmental and non – profit making organization which has impacted greatly on women, education and humanity in general, was also honoured.

Prince Waliu Adeyeri, the playwright (left), Erelu Ota (middle), Mr Ibrahim, the Director of the play, ‘Erelu Ota’ with some of the casts.
Erelu Ota casts
Mr Seun Elesho, presenting an award to Olori Sola Kosoko, an ace broadcaster. With them, Prince Abiola Kosoko, the Oloja – elect, Prince Waliu Adeyeri, Mr Oke OlaOluwa Godwin, Kunle Adelabu, Kunle Bada and Samson Bisiriyu.
Alhaji Monzor Olowoshago, Publisher, Oriwu Sun presenting an award to the representative of Hon. Abike Dabiri – Erewa.
Alhaja Akinsanya, mother of Barr. Luqman Akinsanya, receiving an award on behalf of his son’s foundation, Pepc from Builder Adeola Banjo, Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, at the event.
Mr Erogbogbo, IKODASS Chairman presenting an award to representatives of Alhaja Abiodun Ogunniyi, Proprietress, Graceskies Schools, Elepe estate, Ikorodu
Traditional chiefs at the hall
Builder Adeola Banjo, Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, Com. Lekan Oba, Chairman, State NYCN, Hon. Adebola Adebola, Council Leader, Ikorodu LG, Hon. Omotayo Awolesi, Hon. Kemi Buraimoh, and a guest

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