Humble Sola Onayiga Leaves Us In A Hurry

Femi Akintunde-Johnson

I just read from two credible sources (Edmond Enaibe and Hussein Shaibu) that the darling wife of my younger friend and former reporter, Sola “Ireti” Onayiga (nee Awojobi) has passed on to higher plains. I have tremendous regard for this unassuming woman of God, a dutiful wife, an exceptional actor and a disarmingly humane and humble personality. I doubt if she has any abnormal human frailty common to all of us – Sola is an uncommon sombre breed in a sea full of piranhas and sharks.
Here is an extract from my book (Reflections – 2021) on Sola and her artistic thoroughfare:

“She is a living testament that the route to excellence in acting begins with stagecraft. The young lady who turned the National Museum, Onikan, premises to a second home, in concert with a group of dreamers, rehearsing and performing on hard surfaces in the late 70s, would later have a stint on Radio Nigeria’s Theatre on Air – before she met thoroughbred professional directors in Jide Ogungbade (popularly called Uncle Jyde – now late) and the reclusive Bolaji Dawodu (also now late).
Ogungbade introduced the then OLUWASOLAMIPE OYEBOWALE AWOJOBI to radio drama, and landed her what she considers the toughest stage role ever – the feisty Queen Odosun in Fred Agbeyegbe’s The King Must Dance Naked (1983). In the course of time, Dawodu saw a vigorous young actress sweating it out in some rehearsal, in 1991, on the grounds of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Lagos – and he locked her in for a role in Isaac-Ene’s Checkmate which later boomed into a national pastime. And she snagged the role of Ireti as soon as the soap’s creator saw her! She also replicated and deepened that role opposite the rapacious Peace (Ngozi Nwosu) in Fuji House of Commotion.
Sola, self-effacing and withdrawn, is the sister to the maverick scholar and inventor, Professor Ayodele Awojobi (who died Sept. 23, 1984 at 47), and she’s married to pastor and former journalist, Tosin Onayiga.
Uncharacteristically, Sola Onayiga is now engaged in political activities in her homeland, Ikorodu, a division of Lagos State.”

Adieu… gentle and kind soul.
And to Tosin Onayiga , her husband…remain fortified by the words of the God you serve, and live for the dreams and mission you both shared. Accept the condolences of Sola’s fans and admirers.

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