How time flies on June 21, 2012, Nigeria lost one of its best-known arts and culture aficionados, broadcasters, diplomats, and conflict resolution experts, Ambassador Segun Olusola. A versatile and pioneering figure in Nigeria’s theatre, he was also an extraordinary broadcaster, gallery owner, and an engaged culture activist. His death threw the Nigerian arts community into mourning and left all those who stick to professionalism in their virtues in celebration of the exemplary life that he led.
Born in Iperu-Remo, Ogun State on March 18, 1935, the late Olusola and his early education at St. John’s Catholic School and Wesley school, Iperu-Remo from 1941 to 1947 after which he also got admitted at the Remo Secondary School, Sagamu, for his secondary education. He proceeded to United States of America for his university education between 1948 and 1961 where he attended Syracuse and Pittsburgh University respectively. After his University education, he returned to the country and worked with the Nigeria Broadcasting service (now FRCN), Ibadan, as Broadcasting Officer (1955–1959). He was also Executive Producer, WNBC/WNTV Ibadan, (1959–1964).
The late Olusola was the founding Director of the Players of Dawn (1958–1964) and Theatre Express (1966–1969). Later, he was Controller of programmes, NBC–TV, Lagos, from 1965 to 1974. He became Director of Programmes, NTA Lagos (1974–1976); General Manager, (1976–1978); and Director, (1978–1987).
In 1987, he was appointed Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia and the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU). He also served the country in various capacities.
Olusola was a lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, between 1973 and 1974; the Chairman, National Festival Committee and the Nigeria Arts Council (1970); Director, Second All-Nigerian Festival of Arts and Culture (1971); and the Vice Chairman Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria Planning Committee for the second All African Games in 1973.
He was the creator and producer of the popular television programme, “The village Headmaster” and Chairman, Programmes Committee Management Board, University of Lagos, Centre of Cultural Studies. He also wrote the following books: Tele-cape: 20 years of TV in Africa (1979) and The Motorist Company.
The late Olusola was the Jibulu of Iperu Remo; President, Remo Secondary School Old Students Association and Vice President, Alumni Association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, 1993. He was also Chairman, International Centre for Arts, Lagos; founding President, African Refugees Foundation and Ajibola Moniya Gallery; past President/Fellow, Society of Nigerian Broadcasters; and Member/Trustee, International Institute of Communication since 1976.
A year after his death, the late Olusola, literarily speaking, came alive recently as eminent Nigerians took turns to extol his virtues once again.
The eulogies came at a memorial lecture organized by the African Refugees Foundation (AREF) in his honour at Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, with theme: “Promoting humanitarianism and social development as a value system in Nigeria: The role of government and private sector.”
Speaking at the event, Governor Ibikunle Amosun praised the late Olusola, adding that he deserved the honour, noting that this was the time both the private and public sectors come together to promote humanitarianism and raise the living standards of the people.
Also speaking, Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Wale Ojo, lauded the late diplomat, adding that he played meaningful roles that affected humanity positively by ensuring good relationship among countries.
He added that the late Olusola performed his duties while alive with dignity and steadfast devotion as an ambassador of peace not only in Africa but worldwide.
Earlier in his remarks at the lecture, the President/Chairman, Institute for humanitarian Studies and Social Development (IHSSD), Senator like Nwachukwu, urged participants to be good ambassadors of the good idea behind the event.
He further urged participants to be good citizens and show compassion for others, adding that governance was not all about money making but service oriented.
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