Veteran Nigerian actress Peju Ogunmola remembers her late father, Pa. Elijah Kolawole Ogunmolade (Kola Ogunmola) 50 years after his death.
Elijah Kolawole Ogunmola is a prominent actor and regarded as one of the most brilliant actors in Africa in the 1950s and ’60s.
According to report, Ogunmola suffered a stroke in 1970 and his health continued to decline until he died in 1973 at the age of 48.
Remembering his late father Peju Ogunmola shares photo of her late father with the caption: “Keep resting in the bosom of the Lord Dad. I love you.”
Dele Odule also took to social media to remember the late actor, he wrote:
Exactly 50yrs ago, you left this sinful world to the great beyond, you might have gone but your good work lives.
Pa. Elijah Kolawole Ogunmolade (Kola Ogunmola),
Continue to live in the bossom heart of the lord, we all appreciate your artistic dexterity.
SUN RE O Lanke omu.
About Elijah Kolawole Ogunmola
Elijah Kolawole Ogunmola was a Nigerian dramatist, actor, mime, director, and playwright. Ogunmola is also regarded as one of the most brilliant actors in Africa in the 1950s and ’60s. He developed Yoruba culture, especially folk opera into a serious theatre form through his work with his Ogunmola Travelling Theatre.
In the 1950s, Ogunmola’s theatre traveled extensively throughout the Western region of Nigeria, performing in schools, churches and halls. Though the group performed the same set of plays in every city, the audience can get a unique feeling from seeing each play. Ogunmola’s plays allowed for improvisational acting on stage and with each performance, he left room for the unexpected. His acting is also influenced by the feelings of the moment while his knowledge of Yoruba culture and human nature grew with each performance. One of his popular plays, “Love for Money”, is a story about a wealthy man who fell for a temptress and as a result separated from his wife. However, his relationship with the temptress ruined him.
In 1955, he moved to Oshogbo from the Ekiti region.
In 1962, University of Ibadan established a drama school and Ogunmola was offered a grant to become a resident artist. The artist in residence program was sponsored by Rockefeller Foundation and it provided Ogunmola funds to buy equipment that soon allowed him to go fully professional. Ogunmola’s most famous play, a loose adaptation of Amos Tutuola’s the Palmwine Drinkard was a result of his collaboration with the School of Drama at Ibadan. When Ogunmola was at Ibadan, he was given a script written by Tutuola to translate into a Yoruba drama. The results was”Lanke Omuti” also known as Palmwine Drinkard. The premier of the play was at the university, Ogunmola was assisted by Demas Nwoko in the production and stage design of the play. In the 1960s, Palmwine Drinkard received recognition in Nigeria and abroad. He became more popular after his six months residency at Ibadan partly due to the success of Palmwine Drinkard. The play was a serious contender with Ọba kò so, the eventual nominee for Nigeria’s nomination to the Commonwealth arts festival in 1965.