Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has described the death of renowned African culture ambassador, Olujimi Solanke as a colossal loss to the theatre community and the state.
Abiodun stated this in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran.
Solanke was born on July 4, 1942, in Ipara-Remo, Remo North Local Government Area of the state.
The governor condoled with the family of the veteran poet, dramatist and the people of Ipara-Remo.
Mostly remembered for his television programme ‘Story land’ on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Solanke died on Monday at the age of 81 after a brief illness.
Abiodun said 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.
The governor urged relatives and other loved ones of the late poet to celebrate his life and ensure that the many legacies he left behind were 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.
“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 said.
Abiodun recalled Solanke’s sonorous voice, impressive gesticulations, near perfect mimicry, and electrifying dances, adding that the late poet would be greatly missed by all and sundry.