Legendary actor Jimi Solanke is dead, Tinubu, Abiodun, Tola Adeniyi mourn

A legendary actor and playwright, Jimi Solanke has been reported dead, but details of the demise was still unknown as at the time of filing this report, while the presidency in a statement confirmed the incident.

Penpushing reports that Presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale in a statement said the, dramatist, folk singer, poet, playwright and creative icon passed on Monday, adding that President Bola Tinubu mourned the passage

“It is with a heavy heart that President Bola Tinubu receives the news of the passing of Nigeria’s creative icon, Mr. Jimi Solanke, who died on Monday. Baba Solanke was an actor, dramatist, folk singer, poet, and playwright’ Ngelale wrote.

“President Tinubu mourns the literary and cultural virtuoso and describes him as one of the finest of Nigeria’s creative artists and bastion of our cherished mores and cultural heritage. The President condoles with the Solanke family and all those who mourn this painful loss while praying for the peaceful repose of the beloved departed’, the statement reads

Penpushing further reports that Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State in reaction to the death noted that Solanke was a worthy ambassador, describing the death as a colossal loss to the theatre community and Ogun State.

The Governor equally condoled with the family of the veteran poet dramatist and the people of Ipara-Remo in Remo North Local Government Area of the State, noting that he’s mostly remembered by many for his television programme ‘Story land’, on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA),

Penpushing also reports that Abiodun in the statement said Solanke reportedly died on Monday morning after a brief illness, was said to be 82, adding that he was survived by his wife, Toyin, children and grandchildren.

The statement, added that the late Solanke had consistently put the name of the state in the limelight for very good reasons, especially in the arts right from his days at the University of Ibadan School of Drama.”

Penpushing reports that Abiodun in the statement urged relatives and other loved ones of the late poet to celebrate his life and ensure that the many legacies he left behind are preserved even for generations yet unborn.

“Renowned for his tireless dedication to the arts, Baba Agba as he was widely known by his numerous fans across the country was a great ambassador of our dear state. He promoted the culture and tradition of the Yoruba race on the global stage with his drama, music, poetry and other works of art’, Abiodun stated

‘In 1961, he emerged as one of the pioneer members of the Orisun Theatre Group, founded by Professor Wole Soyinka. He went on to put in several decades of diverse exposures and experiences into the global entertainment industry across several broadcast stations, countries and festivals, impacting on the sector greatly’, he added.

‘Many of his admirers still recall with nostalgia, his epic performances at the Western Nigeria Television, WNTV, Ibadan in the 1960s, his unforgettable stagecraft at the World Festival of Negro Arts in Senegal and the amazing skills he exhibited at the Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algeria, all in the 1970s’.

‘Also to his credit are brilliant performances in epics like Death and the King’s Horseman, Kurunmi, Kongi’s Harvest, The Divorce and Ovaramwen Nogbaisi. These performances and his numerous talents turned him into a global icon of the arts’.

‘He was at different times described by the Oxford Times and the New York Times as a ‘Skilled Nigerian Actor’ and an ‘Excellent Troupe’ respectively, owing to his performance of Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest, during a tour of Europe’.

‘He sang with Highlife music Legends like Roy Chicago, Eddy Okonta and Chris Ajilo. He also worked with many global musicians, including Chubby Checker of Twist fame and Millicent Small of Rock Steady. He was with Ralph MacDonald, the lead voice in the chartbuster, Ona La, The Path,” the statement said.

Penpushing further reports Abiodun recalling Solanke’s sonorous voice, impressive gesticulations, near perfect mimicry and electrifying dances while reeling out folklores with ease, adding that the deceased will be greatly missed by all and sundry.

The President, Tola Adeniyi Foundation for Theatre and the Arts. (TAFTA), High Chief Tola Adeniyi in reaction to the development pointed out that the news of Solanke’s death splashed on his face and ruined his breakfast

‘The news of the demise of Africa’s greatest and best stage actor of all time splashed on my face this morning ruined my breakfast. Thespian, folk singer, Poet, playwright, dramatist, producer, director, choreographer, theatre teacher, painter, sculptor and guitarist etcetera. Bundle of talents.

‘Africa has lost her greatest naturalist actor in the tradition of legendary Stanislavski. Please accept our shared condolences. May his outstandingly creative soul march on in the Continuum’, Adeniyi emphasised.

FOOTNOTE: You want to share story with us? You want to advertise with us? You need publicity for product, or service, or   event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348073463653 or email [email protected]




Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button