Google is celebrating Olawale Gladstone Emmanuel Rotimi, Nigerian scholar, playwright and Designer with a doodle on its page as he would have clock 84 today.
Ola Rotimi was born on 13th April, 1938 and grew up in a family of artists, where his mother managed a traditional dance group and his father well known for organising a community theatre. However, the mixed parentage of Ola Rotimi and their passion for the arts triggered his desire for the career, having a Yoruba Father and Ijaw mother in the same line of art.
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, before travelling to the United States in 1959 to study at Boston University, where he obtained a BA in fine arts. In 1965, he married Hazel Mae Gaudreau; Hazel also studied at Boston University, where she majored in opera, voice and music education. In 1966 he obtained an MA from Yale School of Drama, where he earned the distinction of being a Rockefeller Foundation scholar in playwriting and dramatic literature
Throughout Rotimi’s career, he wrote and directed many plays and short stories that emotionally examined Nigeria’s ethnic traditions and history and also was known to have an impressive vision and embraced dance, music, and even mime within his productions.
Google extended their wishes to the prolific writer and said “Happy birthday to “the father of Nollywood” and one of Nigeria’s foremost dramatists, Ola Rotimi”.
Ola Rotimi died on August 18, 2000 at the age of 62.
By NWANKWO, Grace Chinasa