STILL IN LOVE WITH THE ARTS

Filed in Arts by on March 30, 2012

Still in love with the arts
March 30, 2012 by Maureen Azuh

The zeal and excitement with which local drummers beat hard on their drums as they tried to outdo one another reinforced the importance of the man being celebrated.

The venue of the ceremony was Ostra Hall, Ikeja, Lagos where a large crowd of well-wishers gathered to celebrate with Chief Segun Olusola who turned 77 that day (March 18). The distinguished Nigerian was everywhere, shaking hands with guests, dancing with the entertainers on the stage and generally ensuring that the event went well.

He later told our correspondent that he was the happiest man in the gathering that day. “I’m grateful to God, the giver of life. I never thought I would live this long but God has been faithful. For this reason, I am looking forward to making good use of these additional years. There must be something that I have not done that God wants me to do. So I will find out and work on it,” he said.

But he seemed to have the answers already as he said he would spend some time advocating the cause of refugees and asking political leaders in Africa not to create more of them in the continent. Beyond this humanitarian pursuit, Olusola is also patriotic to a fault. He is perhaps, the only Nigerian whose phone caller voice response will say ‘NIGERIA’.

He described the past 77 years as quite eventful. Born March 18, 1935, Olusola an accomplished veteran broadcaster, arts and culture enthusiast, served as Nigeria’s ambassador to Ethiopia and Nigeria’s representative to the Organisation for African Unity – now African Union – between 1987 and 1993.

Incidentally, those years as an ambassador were, according to him, the most difficult in his entire life as his arts career suffered a setback.

He said, “I lived and served as ambassador to Ethiopia when the political leadership in the country was under trial. It was a difficult time as I had to relate with the leadership and at the same time not lose contact with the people. But the great thing was that it enabled me to establish a foundation. My arts career suffered too, when I was called to work in the field of refugee and peace-making.”

However, fate seemingly compensated him for the difficult years. In recognition of his contributions to arts and culture, the Civic Enlightenment Association of Nigeria, where Olusola holds sway as the Chairman, Board of Trustees and the Yoruba Council of Youth conferred on him the title of Atunluse Oodua 1 of Yoruba land.

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