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By Ben Tomoloju

UNCLE B. I still marvel at this enigma in life or afterlife. The news of your transition hit me like  a mound of molded wet clay.

It tugs heavily, but spares you another moment of reflection. Fatherly, but tough, a disciplinarian, but amiable; that’s who you are, UNCLE B.

You socialise across generational levels, releasing that throaty laughter that puts minds at rest wherever you are.

Maverick, legendary Director of the first generation, a pace-setter of no mean dimension. And a go-getter, too. People wonder how it is that you get whatever you want in the circles of socio-political and academic juggernauts and still maintain a simple profile. It’s just because you are born great and do not have to contest the plums of destiny with anyone.

 UNCLE B., for you, greatness given, brilliance a cosmic co-habitant, genius a roommate.

These are virtues behind your immutable confidence; a man whose reputation of ingenuity as a creative individual, director of directors, father, leader, mentor and counsellor has remained intact since I met you in my First Year at the University of Ibadan Theatre Arts Department in 1975.

Oduneye, with Iyabo Aboaba, left, at the Lagos Fringe in 2019

 You don’t even care to be a hero. But you are more than one; a legend. I am using the present tense for you because you have sowed seeds and cultured gardens that transcend your mortality.

Why do I say so? I am a living testimony of your creative transcendentality. I may have carved a niche for myself in a strange kind of mix as a creative personality, but we are also inspired by models.

UNCLE B., my testimony is this; as a Theatre Director, I take after you in terms of artistic temperament and perspicacity of creative vision. It’s a secret I am divulging for the first time, of the very way you impacted on me as a sophomore, and it lives with me like forever. It gives me fun in the curiosity it generates among our folks. But, more importantly, it emblazons your artistic legacies in most enthralling hues.

 Adieu, Grand Thespian. Rest peacefully in the bosom of the Almighty God IJMN. Amen.

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One thought on “Bayo Oduneye: Greatness Given, Brilliance, a Cosmic Co-Habitat, Genius, a Roommate

  1. Goodnight, Uncle B. You are a theatre genius, an exceptional director and a humane personality.Ben has said it all. Live on then, immortal genius.

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