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Nigerian artists pay tribute to theatre legend, Jimi Solanke

The artists spoke of how the entertainment industry has lost a rare gem.

Jimi-Solanke

The artists took to their Facebook pages to pay tribute to the deceased, expressing their emotions. Mufu Onifade, a painter, wrote, “Nooooooooo! Noooooooo!! No nah!!!

”Ha! Death! But why?!!! Death will kill the one hailing and still kill the one being hailed. Death has no shame or pity.

“And so it took Uncle Jimi! The great Jimi Solanke! Jimi Solanke, the lion voice whose eyes rove to penetrate hard hearts. Baba Agba whose presence on stage makes the stage shiver.

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“Whether in Kurunmi or The Gods are not to Blame, he is a large masquerade that the audience adores and worships.

“Whether in his music albums or on moonlight times with countless children, his fingers trick the strings of the box guitar, and the sound sings the lullaby that vibrates and resonates in our hearts.

“When he opens his mouth, his voice vibrates through the mic and bursts the speaker. The Lion Voice speaks and the ground trembles.

“When he sings Osupa, Baba Agba, and many more of his original numbers, his voice pushes the music to our souls.

Every masquerade – even the elders’ masquerade – entertain and bless people with dances and prayers and return to igbale to cool off.

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“And so the big masquerade has performed all ordained rituals and has now danced back to ‘igbale’ after his final curtain call that closed his final stage performance! Good night, Baba Agba!,”

Also, a dramatist, Adejumo Emmanuel, popularly known as Boisala, son to the late Baba Sala, said: “The theatre and dance industry lost a gem. First, he is a dear brother, colleague, friend, energetic dancer, acrobat and choreographer from Jos, Plateau State, Kelvin Dada as we all call him.

“A humble fellow, full of life and humour, I call him and his friends Plateau Ninjas because of their energy.

“Dada, may your soul rest in perfect peace. God understands we can’t love you more than the Almighty who took you away at this period. Please journey well.

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“Pa Jimmy Solanke was my childhood theatre hero. His baritone voice always gave me goosebumps. I never miss some of his TV series and stage plays then. The king of folksong is gone.

“The entire arts industry will surely miss him. Journey well grandpa. May you rest in perfect peace baba. Sleep tight sir.”

Veteran comedian and actor, Gbenga Adeyinka wrote, “RIP Uncle Jimi Solanke (1942 – 2024), one of Africa's finest actors, musician, poet, and storyteller.

“Thanks a lot for the memories. You are surely one of the greatest God gave us. You will be sorely missed.”

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Solanke was said to have died while being rushed from his country home at Ipara Remo in Remo North Local Government Area of Ogun to Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan.

Solanke is known for Kongi’s Harvest, Sango, Shadow Parties, and many more.

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