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Veteran cultural actor Jimi Solanke dead

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A veteran actor and dramatist, Jimi Solanke, is dead.

The folk singer, poet, and playwright died on Monday, just 59 days to his 82nd birthday.

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State confirmed the development in a statement.

Born on July 4, 1942, in Ipara Remo, Jimi Solanke’s artistic journey began as a pioneer member of the Orisun Theatre Group, founded by the renowned Wole Soyinka, in 1961.

His contributions to the global entertainment industry spanned seven decades, leaving an indelible mark on various platforms, from Western Nigeria Television in the 1960s to international festivals in Senegal and Algeria during the 1970s.

Solanke’s versatility shone through epic performances such as “Death and the King’s Horseman,” “Kurunmi,” “Kongi’s Harvest,” “The Divorce,” and “Ovaramwen Nogbaisi.”

The Oxford Times hailed him as a “Skilled Nigerian Actor,” and the New York Times recognized him as the star of an “Excellent Troupe” during a performance of Wole Soyinka’s “Kongi’s Harvest.”

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The late Solanke was also a songwriter, performer, visual artist, and storyteller.

‘A great Ambassador’
While mourning Solanke, who hails Ipara-Remo in Remo North Local Government Area of the Ogun State, Governor Abiodun condoled with the family, describing the death as a colossal loss to the theatre community in the state.

In a statement, 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 b

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Academics, professionals, others storm Ibadan for Ayinde Barrister Festival

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The Ilaji Hotel and Resorts, Akanran, Ibadan hosted a community of fans of the late fuji musician, Dr Sikiru Ayinde Balogun, popularly known as Barrister.

 

Between February 9 and 10, 2024, the fans converged on Barrister’s hometown where they celebrated his legacies in a colourful ceremony, featuring live performances by musicians. Jumat service was observed on Day One at the Mufutau Olanihun Mosque. Prayers were offered Barrister who clocked 76 years posthumously on the day.

 

That was followed by the unveiling of Barrister Cenotaph at the entrance of Ibadan on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Two bossom friends of Barrister, Otunba Adisa Osiefa and Chief Kola Oyadeji jointly performed the unveiling ceremony.

 

Gala Night rounded off the day at the Ilaji Hotel and Resorts, Akanran where all fans groups mixed with one another in a convivial atmosphere and danced to different tracks of Barrister.

 

An Ibadan-based famous On Air Personality, Alhaji Gboyega Lawal joined the fans at the Gala Night and paid a glowing tribute to Barrister.

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He recalled an incident at a party where he would have died save for Barrister’s prompt intervention. “For this, I will never forget Alhaji,” he said.

 

The grand finale on Saturday also featured presentation of awards and premier of “Mr Fuji Barry Wonder”, a documentary produced by a US-based Professor Saheed Aderinto who thrilled the large audience with exclusive memorable images of Barrister, his band members, family and fans.

 

The Ibadan-born Aderinto revealed that he had commenced shootings of the documentary in 2021 at different locations in Nigeria and his US base where he is a lecturer.

 

He said the documentary was not made for commercial purpose but posterity to preserve the role Barrister played in carving out an unknown genre among Nigerian indigenous brands of music.
The scholar also said that the documentary was produced with a view to telling critical knowledge that is close to the heart of the people who use the medium of documentary filmmaking.

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“To preserve the legacies of Barrister through the medium of a film. To place Fuji at the center of global knowledge production. To increase the global attention on Fuji. To take the name of Fuji and Barrister into academic domains where they don’t exist for now,” he said.

 

In attendance at the ceremony was a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Barrister Mutalubi Adebayo who described Barrister as a superstar both in life and in death.

 

The former Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, who received an award from the organiser of the BarryFest, exclaimed that he had never seen a late Nigerian musician as more blessed with dedicated fans as Barrister.


Vice-Chancellor of Ojaja University, Eyenkorin, Kwara State, Professor Jeleel Ojuade presented a paper which dug deep into Barrister evolution as a force to reckon with in Nigerian indigenous music industry.

 

Chairman and Secretary of the BarryFest Planning Committee, Alhaji Olaide Olawumi and Agba Akin Ademola Adesingbin expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the event, which they both described as an improvement over the maiden edition held at the same venue and Barrister’s Fuji Chamber residence, Isolo, Lagos.

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“All we need to say is to thank God for His grace over the planning committee. We faced few challenges along the line due to the state of the nation’s economy. But God helped us to overcome those challenges.

 

“We thank all our members for their enthusiasm towards the BarryFest. They are all wonderful. We also thank all our invited guests for honouring us with their presence and support. We shall continue to hold them in high esteem,” Adesingbin said.

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Controversial actress Nkechi Blessing gets N6m twin bracelet gift from boyfriend (Video)

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Xxssive, the partner of Nollywood actress Nkechi Blessing, has invested N6 million in a set of matching bracelets for both of them.

 

The actress, originally from Delta State, was pleasantly surprised by the extravagant gift from her boyfriend as she marked her birthday today.

 

In a video shared online, Xxssive was seen presenting the luxurious bracelets to a delighted Nkechi, who couldn’t contain her happiness.

In his accompanying message, Xxssive explained how he didn’t give her any gifts on her birthday last year, citing the Urhobo cultural perspective that doesn’t prioritize extravagant gestures.

 

However, recognizing Nkechi’s worth, he arranged a last-minute birthday dinner to celebrate her.

 

“Like I said last year I didn’t get you any gift because we Urhobo men don’t see it as a big deal and to be honest @nkechiblessingsunday you deserve all the love
So I hit up @royalhugssurprises with very short notice and told her I needed a private dinner and she still delivered her pulling unit

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Then my guy @g.aboki1 wan b cut my neck with the price before but regardless she deserves it all
Had to bring @_mrstats all the way from the States I love you baba mi

 

Thank you so much @okopi_peterson for blessing us with your voice yesterday it means a lot
I will talk about this suit later I dey come suit of over half a million guess the designer”.

 

In an earlier birthday post, Xxssive had affectionately wished her a happy birthday, acknowledging her as the most stubborn person he knows, but emphasizing her amazing qualities nonetheless.

“Happy birthday big 35 Nkechi blessings Sunday.
May the good lord bless your new chapter and grant you your heart desires amen.
The most stubborn person have ever come across in my life, but it doesn’t take away how amazing you are HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND HAPPY VAL”.

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Alleged fake money transfer: Six Lagos traders arraigned for assaulting actress, Liz Anjorin

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Six traders at the Oba Akintoye Market in Lagos Island have been arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Court in Lagos Island Local Government on Thursday for allegedly assaulting and blackmailing Nollywood actress, Lizzy Anjorin-Lawal.

 

The defendants—Qudus Jokogbola, Suru Olawale, Edu Shakirat, Fausat Mohammed, Kafayat Ahmed, and Opere Simiat Morenike—were charged while two other suspects are currently at large.

 

According to the prosecution, led by Sola Samuel, the six defendants and two others conspired to commit the offence by forcefully pushing and dragging Anjorin-Lawal, causing her grievous bodily harm around 1:30 p.m. on Monday inside Oba Akintoye Market in Lagos Island.

 

Samuel told the court that the defendants’ actions caused a breach of public peace.

 

He said the offences contravened Sections 411 and 413; 168(d) and 170(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015, and are punishable under the same Act.

 

All defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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Defence lawyer, Ade Oshodi, urged the court to grant them bail in the most liberal terms, stating they were traders.

 

In his ruling, Magistrate A.A. Paul granted each defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with one surety each.

 

The sureties must be Lagos residents with evidence of tax payment.

 

The defendants were remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services until they meet their bail terms.

The case was adjourned till March 11 for mention.

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