Jimmy Solanke, the folk musician and leading artist has died. He was 81.
Solanke who along with Tunji Oyelana and others formed the fulcrum of entertainment in the sixties along with Prof Wole Soyinka dies on February 5, 2024.
According to a tribute by Ms Bimbo Esho, the managing director of Evergreen Music, the legend died on Monday. In an emotional tribute she wrote titled:
ERIN WO!! The Folk Music Grandmaster Bids the World Goodbye- Adieu Pa Jimi Solanke
Bimbo Esho said, “Armed with an expressive face, baritone voice and contagious smile Pa Jimi Solanke was one of Africa’s most accomplished performing artistes. He was a man of different parts: a musician, poet, thespian, educationist, producer, cultural ambassador, etc.
“One can’t take away Baba’s gentle mien, humility and his omoluabi trait which many of us have imbibed today.
“As the news of his death broke out today (February 5, 2024) it clearly shows again the type of life Baba has touched in his own little way. As a child, I have fond memories of the role he played in my formative age watching his Storyland series on NTA . Also remembered one of his early years movie For Better for Worse which featured him, Aunty Taiwo Ajayi Lycett and Pa Tunji Oyelana. And how can I forget his Evergreen Folk Songs like Ojoje, Baba Agba, Osupa, Bare Ni Joye, Bi a Ba Jeko, Oil Boom Palava, Omiyale, etc.
“For those of us who understand what it means to lose an Icon in our society Pa Jimi’s death can be likened to a whole Museum of Art and Music being set ablaze.
“My best moment with him was what I will call a Last Super and this was in 2020 when he clocked 80 years. Together our company Evergreen Musical Company and Ogun State Government under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun decided to give him a State Banquet Celebration to appreciate Baba’s contribution to the promotion of arts and culture. The event which had in attendance most top Government Functionaries and friends of Baba remains to date unforgettable moment.
“Baba who hails from Ipara in Ogun State was 81 years upon his passage. He is survived by his pretty wife Mrs Toyin Solanke, children and grandchildren.
“I join millions around the world to celebrate this great man and pray that he finds peace at the bosom of his creator.”