Ogunde’s daughter, protégé remember theatre icon 31 years after death

Hubert Ogunde

Family and acolytes of theatre icon Hubert Ogunde are remembering him on the 31st anniversary of his death.  

Ogunde, who founded the first contemporary professional theatrical company in Nigeria, died on April 4, 1990 in a London hospital.

Thirty-one years after, one of his daughter Dayo Ogunde wrote a tribute to her father in a Facebook post.

Her message read in parts: “This day..

“31 years ago..

“You went on to be with the Lord..

“Today we remember you as always..

“Chief Hubert Ogunde…”

Ms. Ogunde added the Yoruba praise poetry (oriki) of her father who is universally regarded as Doyen of Nigerian Theatre.

“Continue to rest in the bosom of your maker..

“Miss you Daddy..

Sun re o (Rest in peace),” she concluded her tribute.

Similarly, journalist, performing artist, film critic and academic, Dr Shaibu Hussein remembered the man he calls daddy.

“The legend who bathed me with the professional water of theatre and film died on this day 31 years (ago). He called me “King Hussein” and his children and wives still call me “Omo Daddy”. Continue to rest in peace Chief Hubert Adedeji Ogunde, the Doyen of Nigerian Theatre. Miss you Dad!” Hussein wrote in a Facebook post.

Born on July 10, 1916, Ogunde premiered his first production – a church-financed play called The Garden of Eden – at Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos in 1944.

He would go on to release over 50 plays, five films and music albums.

Ogunde was the pioneer artistic director of the National Troupe of Nigeria, recruiting Hussein as one of the early members.

Immortalised as the Wizard of Ososa, his hometown in Ogun State, Ogunde’s last project was Mr. Johnson, the first Hollywood film to be shot on location in Nigeria.