On Thursday July 28, the National Film & Video Censors Board joined the long list of organisations and individuals celebrating the creative industry’s two icons who clocked 80 last month – Jimi Solanke and Olu Jacobs.
At a beautiful evening attended the industry professionals, government officials and media executives at the Film One studios in Lekki, the head of the NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas delivered a moving address, titled Celebration of Distinction, which truly celebrated these two of Nigeria’s revered creative personalities.
Here the address is reproduced in full:
“I am so delighted to be here, proud that the National Film and Video Censors Board found it worthy to honour two of our living legends, weaving it around the auspicious occasion of their birthday anniversaries. I feel accomplished that tonight is made possible as I join you all to celebrate the splendid life and times of our great icons.
These two idols have tenaciously built extraordinary reputation which would certainly outlive them. They have not just demonstrated excellence and distinction in their chosen fields, but they have also mentored not a few practitioners who are also doing well on their chosen paths. They have never held back in extending tremendous support to the Censors Board, as well. Isn’t it remarkable and a Divine coincidence that they both reached the significant milestone of eight decades in the same month? Maybe, you all will confer on me the singular honour, but a rare privilege, of inducting them into the league of octogenarians.
Uncle Jimi Solanke, fondly called Uncle Jimi and Chief Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs, professionally called Olu Jacobs, both clocked 80 years on this beautiful earth on July 4 and July 11 respectively.
Uncle Jimi is a cultural ambassador, film actor, dramatist, folk singer, poet and playwright who made our childhood memorable. I remember my mum, of blessed memories, made us imbibe the lessons laced in the beautiful stories of Uncle Jimi as the master storyteller of native folklore on the now rested “Tales by Moonlight”, which aired back then on the Nigerian Television Authority. In my youthful years as well, I also vividly remember admiring the beautiful delivery, diction and ingenious role-interpretation of the Egba man, though born in Kano, Pa Olu Jacobs. I am glad he is joined at this event by his delectable, loving and always dependable wife, who is also another living legend, Aunty Joke Sylvia. I do not need to go down memory lane to mention the number of screens and movies of Hollywood and Nollywood this legendary, multi-award-winning, contented and fulfilled actor and producer has graced. Some of us should still remember “The Dogs of War”, “Pirates”, and recently, “Oloibiri” amongst numerous others.
These are the greatest of all times and are widely respected beyond the shores of Nigeria. As a thespian, I might not have had the privilege of gracing the stage or screens with you both, but I count it a greater privilege to be able to stand here to celebrate the wonderful lives of these great giants, who have both served humanity meritoriously for years, unwavering, unrelenting, passionately, joyfully, humbly and selflessly. If it was to be some military celebration, we should be awarding them Medals of Honour today.
Sincerely, my prayers and best wishes are with you both. To the rest of us please, enjoy the evening and take every moment to record memories with these great, affable and accomplished men!
Big thanks to our partners who made this event possible. And thank you all for honouring our call.”