Biography and Notes
Professor Agbo Folarin was a well known artist whose work was seen worldwide.
Prof Agbo Folarin is dead.
Prof Agbo Folarin, a renowned sculptor and art scholar, is dead. He was born in Ibadan in 1936. Prof Folarin, a founding member of the Department of Fine Arts at then University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), died in the United Kingdom yesterday, Thursday, 21 October, 2010.
According to Dr. Babaseinde Ademuleya, incumbent Head of Department (HoD), Department of Fine Arts at OAU; Prof Folarin, who was married to a Briton, frequently travelled to the UK, where his family lived; and news of his death filtered in from family sources there.
Although OAU’s Fine Arts Department was formally launched in 1975, Folarin was already working at that institution, years before then, through his involvement in the “Ori Olokun” project, which subsequently morphed into various departments around 1957/1958 added Dr Ademuleya, who further recalled that Folarin was one of the earliest applicants to be interviewed and subsequently employed to work at Ife University those days.
Folarin’s contemporaries at that time included Prof J. R. Ojo and Prof Ola Rotimi (also deceased), who later relocated to University of Port Harcourt. Although “Ori Olokun” had been tactfully phased out around 1972, Prof Folarin finally retired from Obafemi Awolowo University in 2003 or 2004.
Incumbent Commissioner for Tourism in Ondo State, Chief Tola Wewe, is one of the numerous prominent citizens Professor Folarin helped to groom in his many decades as lecturer at Ife University. Other products of the Fine Arts Department of “Great Ife” include Kunle Filani (PhD), Yomi Ola, Victor Ekpuk and Wole Lagunju. The last three of this foursome and Tola Wewe made “Daily Times”, incontestably, the leading force in the Nigerian media as far as illustrations were concerned, while Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi and Dr. Femi Sonaike held sway as MD of Daily Times Plc and Daily Times Editor respectively.
Extracted from Art, Culture, Tourism, October 22nd 2010 by Maurice Archibong Travels.