By Olufemilade Oyinade
The Chief Operating Officer of Voyage Afrique Cruise and Tours Limited ,Abuja, Omoba Abiola Ogundeko has described Sir Jimi Solanke, a popular Nigerian film actor, dramatist, folk singer, poet and folk singer who turns 79 today July 4, 2021 as a man endowed with enigmatic prowess.
Ogundeko who said this in a signed statement on Saturday said Solanke has contributed a lot to development of Arts, Culture, Tourism, Entertainment and Creative Economy the world over.
He stated that Solanke, famed for his uncommon style rendition and narrative songs is currently the Artistic Director at Ibudo Asa, Ipara Remo, Remo North Local Government, Ogun State, Nigeria.
“This bundle of talents and indescribable gift to the world whose songs and story telling profile is robust was born on July 4, 1942 and graduated from the University of Ibadan, where he obtained a diploma in drama.
“Baba Agba”, a nomenclature he earned with one of his numerous songs, after graduation, moved to the United States where he created a drama group called ‘The Africa Review’, focusing on African culture such as promotion of African attires and allied interest. During this years of yore, members of this group usually put on African clothing, specifically Yoruba costume.
They performed in black African schools and in no time, Solanke established himself in Los Angeles, California, where his storytelling career began. His dexterity, found in the niche of storytelling earned him “Master Storyteller” from CNN.
Solanke, in 1986 returned to Nigeria with three members of the African Review group to work with the Nigerian Television Authority where his presentations enjoyed a kind of cult following. His scholarly and flawlessly reputation earned him lead roles in most of Ola Balogun’s films. He featured prominently in kongi Harvest, one of the works of Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.
Ogundeko who ascribed God’s benevolence to the life and strides of Sir Jimi Solanke said words could not truly and adequately locate his personality, but used the occasion to pray for him longevity of life and bountiful blessing of God. “Happy birthday to you Sir Jimi Solanke, KCW. Many happy returns, long life and prosperity Baami”, Abiola Ogundeko quipped.