A Life in the Arts

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Live on stage 

Early Sketches

His first professional outing was in Wole Soyinka’s epic for Nigeria’s Independence, A Dance of the Forests in which he played an enthusiastically reviewed Murete of the trees.
The success of that Nineteen-Sixty Masks’ production was followed up the next year with the production of Sierra Leone’s Independence play, Sarif Easmon’s Dear Parent and Ogre in which again he was specially remarked on as Charlie Randall. Continue reading A Life in the Arts

On Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett's 70th Birthday – Time and after Time

TIME AND AFTER TIME

Commemorative Discourse

Spoken by

SEGUN SOFOWOTE

 on Sunday, February 20, 2011

at the Mother Teresa Multi-purpose Hall, Idimu, Lagos

after the Thanksgiving for the 70th Birthday

of

Mrs Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, OON

 

Mr Chairman, the Celebrant, our elders, our age-mates, our juniors, officials and adherents of our cherished faiths, ladies and gentlemen…you are welcome to this gathering.

Today we celebrate one of us, a well-loved one especially, Mrs Taiwo Ajai-Lycett. She has attained that special signpost in age. The occasion duly provides us this opportunity to celebrate her. We should wonder however: would she have been equally worth celebrating last month? Last year? Five years ago? Her country has certainly not waited for her to attain age 70 before honouring her officially. Yes, it says in the good book: “Teach us to count the number of our days,” but it does not say that we have to be 70 before we “apply our hearts unto wisdom!” Continue reading On Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett's 70th Birthday – Time and after Time

Tribute to Segun Olusola – Memories in Miniature

In writing of Chief Segun Olusola (whom I learnt to call egbon for more than mere Yoruba social courtesy) there is quite a lot that one had better conveniently leave to his biographers, and he had quite a little crowd of those. The family background, educational development, work and professional career and more are usually expected to feature in their accounts, and there is no need at all to compete with them here. But even in limiting myself to our cosy private relationship, there are still a lot of features and elaborations that I must leave out as there is neither the time nor the space in the present setting.

It simply cannot be otherwise inreflecting about someone who has always been there at almost all the significant points that have dotted one’s adult life. One would have to set out to write either his biography or one’s own auto-biography. Continue reading Tribute to Segun Olusola – Memories in Miniature

Tribute to Ulli Beier

ULLI BEIER

A TRIBUTE BY SEGUN SOFOWOTE

OSOGBO, JULY 2, 2011

As the host on Artists Showcase, which was regarded as the definitive Art and Culture programme on the Nigerian Television Service (NTS) Lagos in the decade from the mid-nineteen sixties to the mid-nineteen seventies, I once asked Ulli Beier a question which I should not have been obliged to pose.

He had lived and worked in the country fortwo decades. During that time he had cultivated quite a wide local circle of friends, a circle however that hardly extended beyond the interesting mix of the culture crowd, traditionalists, writers, dramatists, painters, sculptors and other categories of artists, Continue reading Tribute to Ulli Beier