Google, the world’s largest technology company today (Wednesday, April 13, 2022), released a commemorative doodle for Ola Rotimi, one of Nigeria’s leading playwrights and directors.
KAMPALA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Earlier today (Wednesday, April 13, 2022), Google, the world’s largest technology company, released a doodle to honor Nigerian playwright and theatre director Ola Rotimi, who is celebrating his 84th birthday.
- Google Doodle celebrates the 84th birthday of Nigerian dramatist, Ola Rotimi, who has been called “the father of Nollywood.”
- Ola Rotimi was born in Sapele, Nigeria on April 13, 1938, into a family of artists.
- He attended St. Cyprian’s School in Port Harcourt and St Jude’s School in Lagos, as well as the Methodist Boys High School in Lagos.
- His plays revealed traditional Nigerian rituals, songs, and dances to a wide audience. He died on August 18, 2000, at the age of 62.
- Read also: Google honoured Charlotte Maxeke on Thursday with a doodle on its homepage for her 151st birthday.
The man originally called Olawale Gladstone Emmanuel Rotimi has been described as “a complete man of theatre – an actor, director, choreographer and designer who created performance spaces influenced by traditional architectural forms.”
Did you know Ola Rotimi?
In 1938, Ola Rotimi was born in Sapele, Nigeria into a family of artists.
He attended St. Cyprian’s School in Port Harcourt from 1945 to 1949, St Jude’s School, Lagos, from 1951 to 1952, and the Methodist Boys High School in Lagos.
He travelled to the United States in 1959 to study at Boston University, where he completed a BA in fine arts.
The writer and director, Ola Rotimi, was married to Hazel Mae Guadreau in 1965. Throughout his career, Rotimi wrote and directed plays and short stories that pointed out Nigeria’s ethnic traditions and history.
Ola started teaching at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in Nigeria in the 1960s, where he established the Ori Olokun Acting Company and Port Harcourt.
He spent much of the 1990s living in the Caribbean and the United States, where he taught at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, due to political conditions in Nigeria.
A retelling of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex in verse, The Gods Are Not to Blame (played in 1968, published in 1971) is among Rotimi’s later works.
He also wrote Kurunmi and the Prodigal (1969, published in 1971), written for the second Ife Festival of Arts; Ovonramwen Nogbaisi (played in 1971; published in 1974), about the last ruler of Benin; and Holding Talks (1979).
Ola Rotimi had an enigmatic vision of expressing traditional Nigerian songs, dances, and rituals in his productions. He died on August 18, 2000, at the age of 62.
His plays exposed traditional Nigerian rituals, songs, and dances to audiences all over the world.