The Art and life of Alàgbà Fálétí – A Pic torial, Art and Artifacts Exhibition in Honor of Alàgbà Adébáyọ̀ Fálétí (1921- 2017) curated by Akinsola Adejuwon and Seyi Ogunjobi


Alàgbà Adébáyọ Fálétí to generations both in “town and gown” is a Yorùbá ̀ iconic cultural statement. His life was a window to different historical epochs in Nigeria. A life that spanned and recorded historical trajectories of early colonial, decolonisation, independent movement, First and Second World Wars, and Nigerian Civil War, Military and Civilian Rules experiences of Nigeria, is worth studying. The Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife in recognition of the deep engraving of the footprints of Fálétí in the sands of Yorùbá, indeed African times, called for befitting academic and cultural activities. Among these are this art and artifacts exhibition, a Colloquium, a Playlet and Documentary Film Show. Fálétí’s intense dedication to the promotion of the Yorùbá ọmọlúàbí cultural ethos and his deployment of his God-given talents and acquired capabilities in the promotion of Yorùbá literary and visual arts, history, poetry, orature, cinema and indeed 1 This is a review of the 2-week pictorial, art and artifacts exhibition in Honor of Alagba Adebayo Faleti in 2017 at the Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, curated by Akinsola Adejuwon and Seyi Ogunjobi.


 Reviews 192 Akinsola Adejuwon African arts in general, is not lost on all Fálétí enthusiasts. Furthermore, his remarkable service as Senior Art Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Studies OAU completes the Institute’s resolution to capture the worthy legacy in the appropriate location even with the inauguration of an Alàgbà Adébáyọ Fálétí ̀ Library, Institute of Cultural Studies. Within a lifetime of close to one century, Fálétí delivers perhaps unique classical Yorùbá messages in words matched with action, first to Africa and then the world. This review looks at the pictorial and art exhibition covering the world of Alàgbà Adébáyọ̀ Akande Fálétí. It is an assessment of a thematic display of selected pictures and objects which probably placed the observer within the environment and with people Fálétí related with. The images, pictures, artworks and objects in the display were segmented into five major parts. These focused mainly on Alàgbà Fálétí’s parentage, early childhood, education within pristine Yorùbá-driven legacies of the Ọyọ̀ -́ Yorùbá type, Family life over-written from data flowing from core Yorùbá ethical and artistic ‘motherboard.’ Represented also are years of adolescence and expressions of early youthful forays under various tutelary influences, variegated working periods, writing and acting plus public service careers. Alàgbà Fálétí’s childhood coincided with the period when the British Colonial Government had taken over administration of entire geographical space known as Nigeria. In spite of introduction of foreign culture and customs into Nigeria by the Europeans, Yorùbá culture remained resilient. Hence, we could imagine that the childhood of Alàgbà Fálétí was not radically different from Samuel Johnson’s description of features of Yorùbá childhood as characterised by ‘freedom’ (Johnson: 2009, pp.98-100). These facets of life are arranged in a flow of one hundred and thirty-two frames of pictures and images appropriately hanged on the gallery wall boards, awards, artworks and objects displayed on individual stands. The montage produced by the flow of images on exhibition probably rallied to install both the titular and tutelar toga of ‘Alàgbà’ on Fálétí. Perhaps this also developed from a character evincing deep and cultured qualities over the last century. Qualities projectable only from such roundly home-grown dignitary. An all-round Yorùbá man from the core to the marked skin on his face.
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