Outstanding heroes of poetry honour for veteran actress, Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett

There was a standing ovation for the legendary actress, Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, after she was invited to receive the maiden Amos Tutuola Palm for Poetry award.

The award was conferred on her by the Delta Book Club during the maiden opening of the Profiles of the Lagoon and formal launch of a book on J.I.C. Taylor, written by Sir Akin Ajose-Adeogun.

The event, which held at the Freedom Park in Lagos, attracted quality guests, including wife of the former Lagos State governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, the artiste, Edeaoto, and actress Sola Awojobi-Onayiga.

Ajai-Lycett award came after two other outstanding heroes- Joop Berkhout and Akin Ajose-Adeogun.

Described in the citation read at the occasion as an actress with a superb stage craft and whose status seems to attract deafening ovation that would never die down, Ajai-Lycett, born 77 years ago, is a world-class actress who has done so much and has achieved so much and equally demonstrated indefatigable energy and zeal.

An actress of vast credit, who has a pouch filled with awards and recognition, including the Fellowship of the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA) and the national honour of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), has had a remarkable career as an actress, singer, voice artist and dancer.

She is an alumnus of the London City Literary institute, Actor’s Forum, The Dance Centre at Covent Garden and the Britain elite Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

A stage and screen actress, who has over the years performed in some of the world’s famous theatres in varied stage and television production, Ajai-Lycett’s notable stage and screen performances include A Warm December, Some Mothers Do’Ave’em, Dazzling Mirage, Oloibiri, Tinsel, Hear Word, King Must Dance Naked and The Divorce, amongst countless others.

In her post-award speech, she paid tributes to Tutuola, who she described as an intellectual giant.

“Tutuola remains one of the intellectual giants of our world. He remains one of the most creative users of the English language and this is no disrespect to all the others- Soyinka, J.P. Clark, Chinua Achebe, etc.

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