Jimi solanke america has got magic

Mr Bode Ola,who appointed you as the spokesperson of Nigerian voters?You have every right to speak for your self and those who share your have certainly not spoken for me.

I started out in Ibadan and moved over to Ile-Ife. Between 1971 and 72, we were doing plays by Ola Rotimi, the amazing playwright, as well as dance and choral productions. However, it was when we produced at the Ori Olokun Theatre, the story about Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi written by Ola Rotimi, the then military governor of the Mid-Western State, Brigadier-General Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia requested the production be brought to Benin. So we performed two nights at the Ogbe Stadium, which the governor had built. At the end, the governor said he believed that I was the king I portrayed in the play and that he would prefer I stayed back because an oba cannot stay outside of his dominion! (laughs!). That’s how an arrangement with the Mid-Western Art Council consumed me for years. I was a senior cultural officer at the council, so you can imagine. It was while I was in Benin that preparations for FESTAC 77 began.

Not at all. When I was working, I totally forgot about my family background. I was just thinking of what I wanted to become in life. My passion was for performance. At a point, I was working as an assistant in Mbari Club in Ibadan. The club was owned by an old Lebanese man who fed me very well. I didn’t like relating with where I came from; all I was concerned about was where I was going to in life and how I would get there.

How were you able to convince the daughter of a reverend to get married to you knowing well that at the time, the society frowned on thespians?

I guess it was the story telling attitude and the ability to draw graphical illustration to accompany the story that did the magic. We had recorded two episodes in Jos, at the Plateau Radio Television (PRTV), and when we all came back to watch the two episodes, everyone had agreed that the programme was good and was already on air. It was when those people got back to Lagos that they spoke about it and they had to call me back to come and start the programmes there. I enjoyed doing it because children everywhere, appreciated my cultural interactions in their life.

Jimi Solanke America Has Got MagicJimi Solanke America Has Got MagicJimi Solanke America Has Got Magic