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Olofaana, Jinadu: Prophets honoured at home

 By AKEEM LASISI     

 Eluyemi (Jinadu) shaking hands with Governor Aregbesola while Mrs. Duro Ladipo, Ayedun and Braimoh watch

Veteran Yoruba actors, Deji Aderemi (Olofaana) and Samson Eluyemi (Jinadu) are among the stars on the red carpet when Osun State government honoured artistes from the state as part of its 20th anniversary, writes AKEEM LASISI.

Olofaana and Jinadu are two veteran Yoruba actors with similar stylistic traits that the audience or viewers can hardly resist. While Olofaana, whose real name is Deji Aderemi, is famous for the rich Yoruba proverbs and idioms that punctuate his lines in various films, the latter (Samson Eluyemi) is a custodian of biting cracks that can make his target lose their sense in the course of a theatrical conflict.


Both are, however, also from the same state: Osun, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. They are among the several stars celebrated by the state government on Wednesday, as part of the celebration that has featured lectures and performances, among other programmes.

In all branches of art and culture, Osun, which prides itself as the Ipinle Omoluwabi, parades practitioners that have positively projected the country and Africa in general. This is part of the reason the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration had earlier declared that it would build its tourism development programmes around the big names.

According to a statement signed by the Director, Bureau of Communications & Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, it was the mix of the dead and living artistes that were recognised at the event held at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Abeere.

Incidentally, one of such is Rotimi Makinde, actor-turned politician who is now a member of the House of Representatives.

Popular comedian, Moses Adejumo (Baba Sala), veteran actor, Oyewole Olowomojuore of the Kengbe Oro fame; star drummer, Chief Muraina Oyelami; popular artist, Chief Jimoh Braimoh; dramatist and performing poet, Chief Yemi Elebuibon; and renowned visual artist, Mrs. Nike Okundaiye were all recognised as ambassadors of the state.


Deceased culture promoters, Ulli Beier and Susan Wenger, also got post-humus honours alongside the late Twin Seven-Seven, Oyin Adejobi – of Kootu Asipa drama series fame – and Duro Ladipo, whose wife, Mrs. Abiodun Ladipo, also got an award.


At the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori, the Orangun of Oke Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; and the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Sikiru Adetona Ayedun


 While Okanlawon noted that the recognition was in furtherance of the drive by the “Aregbesola’s administration to promote culture and tourism as a way of enhancing the revenue profile of the state,” Oba Abolarin commended the Governor for according culture a prime place in its programmes.


The Chairman of the Osun at 20 Programme Planning Committee, Prof Siyan Oyeweso, is also quoted in the statement as saying, “It is our belief that by recognising those who do the state proud in the area of culture, the government will be expanding its revenue base through revenue to be generated from the sector.”


Among other artistes, Dr. Demola Onibonokuta and Funmilayo Omilani enlivened the programme with performances.

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