Famous Nigerian cultural icon, dramatist, folk singer, plawright and poet Jimi Solanke has died in the early hours of today, Monday, February 5 after a brief illness.
Jimi Solanke was a pioneer member of the Orisun Theatre Group, founded by the renowned Wole Soyinka, in 1961.
His was a notable face on Western Nigeria Television in the 1960s and toured the world in international festivals including Senegal and Algeria the 1970s.
Some of his epic performances were in: “Kurunmi,” “Kongi’s Harvest,” “The Divorce,” “Death and the King’s Horseman,” and “Ovaramwen Nogbaisi.”
Known for his exceptional stagecraft and theatrical brilliance, he soon earned awards and recognition, both in Nigeria and across the world.
According to the The Oxford Times, he is a “Skilled Nigerian Actor,” and the New York Times says he is the star of an “Excellent Troupe” during a performance of Wole Soyinka’s “Kongi’s Harvest.”
Affectionately known as Baba Agba, the cultural ambassador extraordinaire was more than just an actor; Solanke was a consummate exceptional songwriter, performer, visual artist, and storyteller par excellence.
Solanke was the Founder and Artistic Director of Ibudo Asa in Ipara Remo, Remo North Local Government, Ogun State, Nigeria – where he is from.
Jimi Solanke is survived by his wife, Chief Mrs. Toyin Solanke, and his passing marks the end of an era in Nigerian entertainment, leaving a void that will be felt for years to come.