Jimi Solanke, one of Nigeria’s esteemed cultural figures, has passed away.
The 82-year-old dramatist, folk singer, playwright, and poet died this morning, Monday, February 5, after a short illness.
He was on his way to the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital when he died.
Born on July 4, 1942, in Ipara Remo, Jimi Solanke began his artistic career as a founding member of the Orisun Theatre Group in 1961, under the guidance of the renowned Wole Soyinka.
Over the span of seven decades, his contributions to the global entertainment industry were extensive, leaving a lasting impression on various platforms.
From the Western Nigeria Television in the 1960s to international festivals in Senegal and Algeria in the 1970s, Solanke’s talent shone bright.
He displayed his versatility in epic performances such as “Death and the King’s Horseman,” “Kurunmi,” “Kongi’s Harvest,” “The Divorce,” and “Ovaramwen Nogbaisi.”
With his captivating stage presence and theatrical brilliance, Jimi Solanke was celebrated and recognized both locally and internationally for his talent.
Affectionately known as Baba Agba, Solanke was more than just an actor; he was a consummate quintessential songwriter, performer, visual artist, and storyteller extraordinaire.
Jimi Solanke is survived by his wife, Chief Mrs. Toyin Solanke, and his passing marks the end of an era in Nigerian entertainment, leaving a void that will be felt for years to come.
The cultural ambassador extraordinaire has left an indomitable imprint on the history of African arts and will be remembered for his contributions to the enrichment of the nation’s cultural heritage.