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The Ooni of Ile Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Babatunde Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi has reiterated the fact that one of the major ways of cultural preservation is through films, television drama, stage plays and the performing arts generally. He said this yesterday at the world premiere of a new television drama series titled Ladire held at the Grand Reception hall of the Enuwa Royal Palace, Ile Ife. While praising the Ladire series as an authentic and inspirational African/Yoruba story, he enjoined Nigerian filmmakers to treat their film/tv drama stories to illustrate the positive indices inherent within the Yoruba, Nigerian viz a viz the African culture to the world as it is in the Ladire television series.

The Laidre television drama series is a young people focused and campus-based show centered on the life of Bewaji, a 300-level student of Economics at Obafemi Awolowo University; an intriguing drama that follows the journey of a young spirited girl into entrepreneurship while juggling her academics. After seeing a set of recurring visions, Bewaji discovers her destiny – she must re-establish the adire textile business which used to be the trademark of her family until her great grandmother died and the trade with her.

The TV series which features a mix of new and existing screen actors like Jaiye Kuti, Yemi Solade, Akinola Akano, Damilola Oni, Yinka Salau, Joseph Jaiyeoba, Victoria Eniola , Obadare Akinade and Seyi Akinsola is designed to be a high-end drama shot largely on a University campus. The drama is spiced with illustrative dialogue strongly laced with comic anecdotes to ensure that the audience enjoys effective entertainment value at the end of each episode while keying into the general message ideas inherent in it. Simply put, the design is one driven on drama as a pivot with short bouts of comedy and romance in order to drive home the central message in every episode.

Set in the imperial city of Ile Ife where principal photography was done, the Ladire project seeks to use popular media, specifically the drama platform as a proper mentoring tool for young people via creating opportunities for young and emerging actors. Using a sparse admixture of established names in the industry as well as a team of seasoned directors who are willing not just to direct the shoot professionally but to teach-direct these young actors, the result is an enjoyable, entertaining and educative drama show which is able to retain audience discussion for as long as possible. This mixture is extremely ambitious on two fronts: using the theatre troupe style in a television/screen production and leading the show with extremely fresh faces while mixing with just a few experienced and/or celebrity actors as against leading with celebrities and mixing with a number of unknowns. This is affirmed by the Executive producer Mr.

Adeleye Fabusoro PhD, ‘What we have done overtime at Rare Edge Media and which we are doing again now albeit on a larger scale is to use the content to sell the actors NOT using the actors to sell the content: it’s a system style that we have tested and have come to trust.’

The pivotal aim of Ladire, TV Series is not just provision of entertainment for the family but value creation via dialectic illustration of various socio-cultural and socio-economic issues as it affects students and young entrepreneurs.

This is in line with the youth inclusion policy of His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi – Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ile Ife via the HOUSE OF ODUDUWA imprint organization of the Royal father which had initially set up the Adire Oodua Textile Hub, a massive textile brand kaleidoscope which engages in the production and marketing of ancient adire techniques on contemporary fabrics and styles; these two organizations are major partners and co-producers on the project.

Thus, it is safe to draw a conclusion from the words of Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, the Chief Executive Officer of Adire Oodua Textile Hub that, ‘the Ladire tv drama Series collaboration is not just another drama series but a medium of bespoke culture exposition and millennial integration possibilities with the provision of quality entertainment while at it.’

House of Oduduwa

Adire Oodua textile Hub

Rare Edge Media

Sunday, 3rd April, 2022.

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