February 05, (THEWILL) – Veteran Actor, Jimi Solanke is dead. The dramatist, folk Singer, poet and playwright, passed on at the age of 82.
He died on Monday morning, after a brief illness while he was being taken to Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Ogun State, for treatment.
Ironically, he was agile enough to conduct a meeting the previous night. Solanke’s artistic journey began as a pioneer member of the Orisun Theatre Group, founded by Professor 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 captivating stagecraft and theatrical brilliance earned him accolades and recognition, both locally and internationally.
The Oxford Times hailed him as a ‘Skilled Nigerian Actor’, while the New York Times recognised him as ‘the star of an excellent troupe’ during a performance of Wole Soyinka’s ‘Kongi’s Harvest.’
Described by many as a better singer than an Actor, he often referred to himself as an ‘Actor-singer,’ due to how seamlessly he merged his acting prowess with musical delivery.
Solanke is survived by his wife, Chief Mrs Toyin Solanke.