Friday, June 27, 2014

Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett: The Quintessential Nigerian Actress

Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, OON, Fellow (SONTA)

NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® Second Edition celebrates Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett: The Quintessential Nigerian Actress.

I met Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett before 1980 when I was only 15 and wanted to be an actor and model. She and her husband Mr. Lycett had relocated to Nigeria after decades of living and working in the UK. They started two advertising and media companies called Partnership Advertising Limited (PAL) and Taiwo Ajai Communications in Ire Akari Estate, Isolo, Lagos. My family was living in Shomolu that was miles away from Isolo, but I always found my way to her place and she was a good mentor, even though there were times I felt that I did not live up to her high expectations of me as a young man. But after two years, I left acting and modeling to work as an artist and a script writer and I was a great success locally and internationally. We never saw each other for over two decades, but I was following news updates on her outstanding and laudable achievements in corporate Nigeria. Her corporate engagements took more of her time than acting, therefore she did not feature much on TV and cinema in Nigeria, but she mentored several young people who later made headlines in the Nigerian film industry that is now popularly called Nollywood. I will remain forever glad and grateful for what God did for me on Saturday June 22, 2013, when Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and accomplished veteran actor, musician and orator Jimi Solanke rocked the launching of my Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project at the popular Freedom Park on Lagos Island. They thrilled the audience with their impromptu short performance of anecdotes as they ad-libbed and danced in dramatic rapport. She challenged Nigerian youths and others not to rest on their oars after getting their academic degrees or diplomas. In her signature style of speaking in eloquent Queens English, she said even without degrees they could fulfill their dreams and achieve greater things for themselves and Nigeria with their special skills and talents as many proven successful achievers have done without academic qualifications.

The history of TV and cinema in Nigeria will not be complete without the appreciation of this awesome Amazon I call the quintessential Nigerian actress and a role model worthy of emulation by all young women who want to excel and succeed in the leadership of the new generation of Nigerian youths in the nation building of a New Nigeria.

See more in the 
NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® Second Edition coming out on Monday June 30, 2014.
A collector's treasure, celebrating the best in Nigerian motion picture in 150 pages.

There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.
~ Leo Tolstoy

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