A veteran actor and dramatist, Jimi Solanke has passed on just 59 days to his 82nd birthday.
The folk singer, poet, and playwright who died on Monday, February 5, began his artistic journey 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.”
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state who confirmed his death in a statement, condoled with the family, describing it as a colossal loss to the theatre community in the state.
Abiodun stated that 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”.