Nigerian Foremost Dramatist And Folk Singer Jimi Solanke Is Dead

Nigerian Foremost Dramatist And Folk Singer Jimi Solanke Is Dead
Nigerian Foremost Dramatist And Folk Singer Jimi Solanke Is Dead

Nigerian folk singer and veteran actor, Jimi Solanke popularly known as Uncle Jimi is dead.

Solanke was said to have died on Monday morning at the age of 81 in Ogun State.

The lawmaker representing Remo North State Constituency at the Ogun State House of Assembly, Dickson Awolaja, confirmed the death of the veteran actor to Punch.

He said the legendary poet and playwright was said to have been in and out of hospital from December until he died today.

Awolaja said Solanke died while being rushed from his country home at Ipara Remo in Remo North Local Government Area of Ogun State to Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilisan when he succumbed to the cold hands of death.

He said “I got wind of the demise of Pa Jimi Solanke not long ago. His death is no doubt another big loss to us in Remo North and Ogun State as a whole given his worthy contributions to the development of our dear nation. May his soul rest in peace”.
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Solanke is known for Kongi’s Harvest, Sango, Shadow Parties, and many more.

All You Need To Know About Late Jimi Solanke

1. Jimi Solanke, a native of Ipara-Remo, Ogun State, was born on July 4, 1942, in Lagos.

2. He was fondly called ‘Uncle Jimi’ or ‘Baba Agba’

3. He was a Nigerian storyteller, film actor, dramatist, folk singer, poet, and playwright.

4. He attended Olowogbowo Methodist School for his elementary education before proceeding to Odogbolu Grammar School, Ogun State.

5. He graduated from the University of Ibadan, where he obtained a diploma certificate in drama.

6. Solanke joined the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU) in 1969.

7. After graduation, Solanke moved to the United States, where he created a drama group called The Africa Review, focusing on African culture. Members of this group usually put on African clothing, specifically Yoruba costumes.

8. Jimi Solanke established himself in Los Angeles, California, where his storytelling career began. He was described as a “master storyteller.”

9. In 1986, he returned to Nigeria with three members of the African Review Group to work with the Nigerian Television Authority. Then, he came up with Storyland, where he tells stories with the insertion of artistic works by artists. At the same time, he plays his guitar with kids surrounding him, singing and dancing.

10. Some of his songs include Onile Gogoro, Eje ka jo, Jenrokan, and Na today you come. He also produced albums such as Eke ka jo (Let us Dance), In the Beginning, Ase, Storyteller, America Has Got Magic, Orin Orisa, Multiplicity of Praise, Hidden Gold, and Once Upon a Time.

11. He starred in several shows on Nigerian Television (NTA) starting from the 1960s to date, including The Bar Beach Show, For Better for Worse, Village Headmaster, Family Scene on Lagos Television (LTV), Children’s Half Hour, Storyland, African Stories on (AIT), and Sango.

12. He began his professional acting career in 1961 as one of the pioneer members of the Orisun Theatre Group, founded by Wole Soyinka.

13. He was part of the team that made the film Kongi’s Harvest by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

14. As an actor, he played different characters in movies such as Kurumi, Chattering and the Song, Ovoramwen Nogbaisi, The Divorce, Death and the King’s Horseman, and Siswe Bansi’s Death.

15. He was the voice of the narrator in Nollywood movie, Jagunjagun.