Why I did not remarry, Chief Abiodun Duro -Ladipo

” Why I did not remarry”

  Chief [Mrs] Abiodun Duro-Ladipo aka Moremi, Oya, who became a widow in her mid 30s   did not remarry because no man could be like her late husband  the late Yoruba Theatre Legend Duro Ladipo popularly known as Sango.On Thursday March 10, 2018 is the  40th anniversary of the  death of the Yoruba Legend Duro Ladipo. She spoke with taiwoabiodun.com

PHOTO:TAIWO ABIODUN

With her  Yoruba traditional plaited hair  she looks more  beautiful and attractive . Her stature did not betray her age .At  77 she did not look her age. Her   average height combined with her fair  complexion  shows that   she has been taking good  care of her skin coupled with  her good set of sparkling white teeth  yet retains all the 32 teeth in her mouth.

 Dangling on her neck is the beautiful beads supported by a golden chain the goddess wore .Beaming with smiles she answered all questions without bitterness .Her velvet voice is unique and reminds us   the play  ” Moremi Ajasoro “, a play where  she acted  the wife of Ile -Ife monarch   early 70s.

This is the ever smiling  , jovial and one of the most popular and honorable actress in Yoruba land  Chief  Abiodun Duro -Ladipo .However she still maintain her Ekiti accent that reveals  where she came from

My story

”My name is Chief Abiodun Duro- Ladipo also known as Moremi or Oya I met Duro Ladipo  well over 50 years ago, precisely 1962.

The story began when I came to Oshogbo to stay with my sister hoping to become a Nurse. At a time I went to Duro Ladipo show while  he was just setting up his Mbari Mbayo 

Theatre group in Oshogbo where I acted in his play” .

How we started   

Abiodun said her late husband was  a school teacher when he started  his Mbari Mbayo Theatre Group  , “he loved culture and tradition but that does not mean he was a traditional worshiper , there is a big difference between Culture and Religion, whatever you bowed to is what  you worship but culture and tradition is  a different  thing entirely. God says you should worship Him .Duro’s  father was a Catechist, Duro  was conversant with the Bible, he knew Genesis to Revelation.

“We later married but not without problems for my parents did not want me to marry outside my town  because I was the first child of the family. My parents called him and they discussed unlike nowadays when a lady would just go with a man without putting culture and fear into it . My father said he should let me be conversant with home. And I discovered good thing in him  and he  too discovered something good  in me and our body chemistry worked together .I begged him not to let me down and he fulfilled all his promises . I  told him than I am the first born in the family and that I wanted to be a living good  example and a mentor  to  my younger ones who were coming behind me  and who  they would looked  up to.

Infact I have been acting for  him in his Mbari Mbayo Theatre Group before we got married..I am happy to say God used him for me and it is vice versa”.

My Hairstyle 

”The hairstyle on my head is called Moremi, it is different  from Oya style.

I acted Moremi Ajasoro who was the wife of an Ife King.. The story of Moremi is the story of how Moremi gave herself away to be captured by the Igbo King and as a spy got  the secrets of the enemies ( the Igbo) and gained freedom for Ife , this is the story of a woman called Moremi Ajasoro who rescued Ife from the Igbo, she vowed to sacrifice her only son, 

Oluorogbo to the Esinrinmi river in Ife if  she succeeded in her plan to rescue the Ifes from the Igbos”

Dearth of plays 

The woman said ”It’s rare to see such our plays again , it is what happened in the olden days that we used to act as plays.  But today our artistes did  not even bother to do research for most of their plays are parlour plays or arm chair plays”.she however added that it is not all our traditions that are bad

Among the plays we staged  are ;Oba Ko so, Beyi O se , Moremi , Oba Wa ja, Oba Moro, etc

We traveled to  villages/ towns asking questions doing research on what we were going to do , we didn’t just sit down  and act or do guess work. We don’t sit at home doing ” Parlour theater ” or an armchair plays 

But today things have changed , the present crop of artistes are not doing enough’, she said.

Do they observe sacrifices or performed rituals before they go on stage ?

”We don’t do sacrifice and dont offer any rituals  but we put all things in God’s hands”,she said.

Sango

Asked whether her husband used supernatural powers to perform when  fire is coming out from his mouth, Sango? The woman laughed and said ” I don’t know, it is only Duro who could answer such question”, she added ” Duro has taken away his fire

Can we compare Duro Ladipo’s  Sango with today’s Sango

She said laughed and screamed ” May God help us . We have different types of Sango now. Many have seen what they are longing to see in Sango , some in the name of wanting to be Sango would pour ,,,into their mouths and Sango himself will come back and hit them and  wipe their face”

River  Esinrimi 

Did the river Esinrinmi trulyt exist? , she was asked, she replied ”The river is still  there in Ile Ife.  It is there .It is still being worshiped .Yes”

Marriage 

On why she refused to marry despite being young when her husband died , but the woman screamed ”Who will marry Sango Olukoso’s wife? Nobody,

Yes , I wasn’t up to 40 years when Duro Ladipo died .People asked same question but how many men can behave as Duro behaved? .How many can perform the duties and roles  Duro played ? Come . I don’t want to be remembering that …”

His death 

”Yes , I heard a lot of stories about his death, by then he was hospitalized at the UCH and  then I didn’t know where I was . But people speculated  that there was thunder, some said it rained , and some also said series of things happened  but above all the University College Hospital ( UCH), Ibadan  knew they received visitors.”

Many sang his praises 

‘Yes, many sang songs for him ,I  released  a record for him after his death too”

To be continued ..read about Duro -Ladipo’s beard, struggles, costumes,, etc

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Taiwo Abiodun

I am a blogger . taiwoabiodun.com and TAIWOABIODUN.BLOGSPOT.COM

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