For the first time in Nigeria, queens of traditional kingdoms held a conference on Thursday 30 March to commemorate the Black Women’s History Month.
About 120 queens from across Nigeria attended the event held at the Palace of Ooni of Ife in lle Ife, Osun State to discuss the impact of royal queens in national development .
The conference was organised by Ronke Ogunwusi and Janet Mba-Afolabi under the Queen Moremi Ajasoro initiative and Olori Janet Afolabi Foundation.
The conference, titled, “The Impact of Oloris ( Royal Queens) In National Development”, examined the impacts of queens in their kingdoms.
In her welcome speech, Mrs Ogunwusi, a wife of the Ooni who is also the founder of Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria Week and CEO of a Adire Textile hub, explained the reasons for the conference.
She said, “Today for the first time in history we are coming together to see how we can all work together on different projects to impact our communities.”
She invited the queen’s to take advantage of the Adire training which is free, adding that she has trained over 500 women and youths in the trade.
Mrs Mba-Afolabi, who gave the keynote address, said there are are so many challenges in Nigeria today.
“Our husbands, the kings, are in the forefront of solving those problems. But we should also rise up and support them.”
She urged the queens to identify problems in the domains, do a problem analysis and strategy on how to solve them.
Mrs Mba-Afolabi said if queens make impacts with their projects in the communities, such impacts can be replicated at the national level.
Encouraging the Queens to start small, she narrated how she personally teaches English language for free and also feed her students with snacks.
Recalling that she started with 10 students, she said: “Today I have over 150 students. I also empowered some set of traders with 20,000 Naira each and ask them to pay back 5000 Naira monthly so we can give the money to others. None of them defaulted. They all paid the loan back and on time too. This means that you do not need huge some of money to impact on people.”
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The wife of Osun State Governor, Ngozi Adeleke, who was the special guest of honour, in her goodwill message commended the organisers the event.
She said she is committed to supporting and empowering women to develop Osun State. “I am ready to collaborate with you whenever you need me,” she added.
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