Armed with an expressive face, baritone voice and contagious smile Sir Jimi Solanke is one of Africa’s most accomplished performing artists. He is a man of different parts: a musician, poet, thespian, educationist, producer, etc
Some of us have strong memories of the role his storyland series on NTA played in our formative years. He always held us spellbound with his educative and entertaining stories which he brilliantly and convincingly told moving between characters and settings.
There is no doubt that Sir Jimi Solanke is a complete entertainer. His gentle mien, humility and omoluabi trait is worthy of emulation.
My dad often reminisce his musical romance with Sir Jimi Solanke which started over 55 years ago. I remembered the day Sir Jimi Solanke visited us at home and my dad slotted in a VHS tape of the popular movie series For Better For Worse which featured Sir Jimi Solanke, Aunty Taiwo Ajayi Lycett, Pa Tunji Oyelana, etc.
He didn’t stop there but told me that Sir Jimi Solanke composed popular songs like Onilegogoro, Ore Titan, Khaki No Be Leather, etc for popular Highlife Musician Roy Akintola Chicago.
For me my best moment with this music mind is watching him on stage. His stage craft effortlessly sends me on a journey of no return (lol) especially when he sings his song Baba Agba, Molosoko by Tunji Oyelana and Jaimaca Farewell by Harry Belafonte .
Time won’t permit me Sir to go on but DADDY JIMI SOLANKE I want you to know Sir you that you have touched our lives in ways you can never imagine.
Happy Birthday to the AFRICAN GRANDMASTER OF FOLK MUSIC….