Tunde Kelani: A Culture Maverick At 74 – By Femi Akintunde-Johnson

A couple of decades ago, I wrote without any doubts whatsoever, about the self-effacing young-old man: “Cinematographer – perhaps the only active one worth that title (for a couple of decades before the millennium)”. Elder artsman, Tunde Kelani is also a rare movie director (one of the few the critical purists would call an auteur), TV producer, storyteller, photographer, filmmaker and culture maverick.

Still energetic, shooting a biopic (how he loves adaptations) on the late mercurial Apala star, Ayinla Omowura late in 2020 all across Ogun State (and Sikiru Ayinde Barrister is in the works in 2022!) – to think he’s 74 today (February 26, 2022).

Kelani has erected a stupefying wardrobe of gems that eloquently speak to the sprawling gamut of our creative brilliance: Ti Oluwa Nile (1993), Ayo Ni Mofe (1994), Koseegbe (1995), O le ku (1997), Saworoide (Brass Bells, 1999); White Handkerchief (short, 2000), Thunderbolt – Magun (2001), Agogo Eewo (2002), The Campus Queen (2004), Efunsetan Aniwura (2005), The Narrow Path, Abeni (both 2006); Life in Slow Motion (Short, 2008); Arugba (2009), Maami (2011), Dazzling Mirage (2014), etc.

Baba TK…we felicitate you today, as always… for being a true artisan enthralled and empowered by the richness of your culture, and unabashed about showing and leading the generations behind you the true paths to greatness, and immortality.

Happy birthday, sir!

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