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Jahman Anikulapo @60: Celebrating a Life of Impact

Jahman Anikulapo @60: Celebrating a Life of Impact

By Jerry Adesewo

The Nigerian media was inundated with pleasantries and well wishes as the media and art community paid tribute to one of their own, Jahman Oladejo Anikulapo, who turns 60 on Tuesday, January 16

Leading the park was the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, who speaking through his Senior Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Femi Adesina, extols the virtues of the Jahman Anikulapo, and prayed for his well-being, hoping that “ his zeal and knowledge will continue to be relevant in a dynamic world where values and virtues will shape the future of leadership,”

Professor Wole Soyinka, at the event in honor of Jahman at 60, on Monday, at the Freedom Park, Lagos, summed up the man in this manner, and you cannot but agree with him “In just a few words, the best expression I have for him is that of a ghost worker. By that I mean you don’t know how he achieves what he does. If you give him a task, you don’t ever see him at work on it. I think he’s an instinctive artistic facilitator. He promotes others without promoting himself.’’

Jahman Anikulapo, is a writer, editor, actor, dancer, theatre director, art administrator, literary critic, activist, and mentor to many journalists and artists. His contributions to the world of literature, art, and journalism have been immeasurable, and his passion for fostering creativity and social change has touched the hearts of many.

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Jahman, who rose to the pinnacle of his media career as Editor, Guardian on Sunday, before retiring about a decade ago, has produced many works that have been widely recognized and appreciated for their unique perspectives, depth of thought and the way they capture the human experience, and have been read and enjoyed by audiences across the globe. He served in many committees nationally, and internationally, bringing to bear his wealth of experiences, to help reposition the art and cultural sector of Nigeria and Africa

As an editor, Jahman has been able to provide guidance and support to many young writers and colleagues, some of whom today, are in various leadership roles across media industries. Testifying his productiveness at the event, Mr. Martins Onoja, Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian Newspaper, said “He is a good man who can also be described as a good tree that has produced good fruits for The Guardian. That is why the three title editors at The Guardian today Alabi Williams, (Editor, Daily), Kabir Alabi, (Editor, Sunday), Chuks Nwane, (Editor, Saturday) are coincidentally journalists who have worked well with this same Jahman as editor. Besides, there is a sense in which we can call out Deputy Editor, News, Coordinator (Life) Greg Nwakunor, News Editor (daily), Templar Olaiya are Jahman’s men.”

Such is the personality of the man whom the art and culture community is celebrating. True to the words of Professor Wole Soyinka that he promotes others without promoting himself, Jahman, in the last decade or more, has been what colleagues, in celebrating him, have tagged ‘Celebrating the Celebrator-General’. Indeed, that’s a fitting title, given that, no one who deserved to be celebrated, ever misses his attention.

Jahman’s commitment to social change and the arts is truly inspiring. He has been an advocate for many marginalized voices and has used his platform to raise awareness of the issues they face. He has also played a significant role in promoting the arts in Nigeria and Africa and has been able to create opportunities for young artists to showcase their talents.

Indeed, celebrating Jahman in this manner is a celebration of a life of impact. He is a true inspiration and mentor, and Professor Niyi Osundare said, “may the music never stop for you”, as you journey towards 70, 80, 90, and 100.

Jahman Anikulapo @60: Celebrating a Life of Impact

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