The Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) has announced a one-year long celebration of its matron, board member and mentor, veteran actress Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, who turns 80 today, February 3, 2021.
According to CORA, the thespian, social activist and culture advocate fondly called “Auntie TAL” means more than just a board member to the organisation. She is a vital force behind the dreams and passions that drive CORA and its various activities. Like other eminent members of the Board, she is ever ready to listen and help to think through programme ideas, offering much-needed advice and critiques as desired.
CORA Programme Officer, Samuel Osaze, explains in a statement: “We indeed cannot quantify her contribution and support to the progress of the organisation this past three decades.
“It is thus with pleasure that the CORA Working Committee (CWC) has dedicated the entire 2021 programme season to celebrating the illustrious life and career of the enigmatic matriarch of the Nigerian stage and screen.
“All through the year, several programmes will be held to celebrate various strands of her blessed life. Some events will also be staged in partnership with other organisations to which she subscribes.
“The climax of the CORA 2021 season is the 7-day Lagos Book & Art & Festival, LABAF, which is entirely dedicated to Mrs. Taiwo Ajai-Lycett.”
With the working theme, ‘A Fork In The Road… LABAF 2021’, the celebration will be a week-long comprehensive open-air carnivalesque ‘feast of Life and Ideas’ featuring a mix-grill of artistic and cultural events including exhibitions of books and arts, live reading sessions; conversations around books; seminars on visual, performing and allied arts; displays of paintings, sculptures, mixed media, installations and crafts; children and youths art workshops; live music, poetry, drama and dance presentations among others.
“All the programme items will have event or section celebrating Auntie TAL. But for the restrictions dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially the strict guidelines by the Lagos State government, the year-long programme would have commenced today, February 3, with a mentorship event that had been exclusively designed to spotlight the very essence of Auntie TAL: Mentoring the Future. The event has now been rescheduled to when the raging pandemic has simmered and the City has reopened”.
However, the CWC has concluded an interview documentary on the matriarch, which will be unveiled in the next few weeks. An excerpt from the documentary will be screened on all CORA communication platforms from today and throughout the month.