Hubert Adedeji Ogunde needs no introduction, but for those who were born outside the 80s, I will try as much as possible to use some few familiar words to introduce him.
Hubert Adedeji Ogunde was born in the Ososa town, near Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State Nigeria, on the 10th of July 1916, to the family of Jeremiah Deinbo and Eunice Owotusan Ogunde. His father was a Baptist reverend and his maternal grandfather was an IFA priest, an African traditional religion. Ogunde briefly lived within the enclosed environment of his grandfather’s compound and was exposed to IFA, OGUN and many other traditional religious practices at that time.
He had his education between 1925 and 1932, he attended St John School, Ososa, 1925 and 1928, St Peter’s School, Faaji, Lagos, 1928 and 1930, Wasimi African School, 1931 and 1932.
Hubert Ogunde later worked as a teacher in an elementary school before he got enlisted in the Nigerian police force in March 1941 in Ibadan. But in 1943, the police force posted him to the Denton Police Station, Ebute Metta. In Lagos, where he later founded an amateur drama group, known as the African Music Research Party, in 1945.
Both the Christian and traditional religion of the Yorubaland shaped and influenced his world view of life.
And he hence till he died in 1990 remained the Nigerian highly-celebrated actor, playwright, singer and celluloid cinematographer.
Read also: https://thetrailblazer2204.blogspot.com/2019/11/growths-aint-gift-gbadegesin-muftau.html
It is an open truth that Hubert Ogunde was the iconic pioneer of stage acting, and the notable founding father of theatre art across Nigeria and perhaps in West Africa sub regions at large. His immense personal contribution to the growth of the performing art can never be overtaken or subdued easily in the history of theatre art in Nigeria. Hubert Ogunde was not only a professional dramatist (playwright), but a singer, a choreographer and an itinerant folk opera artist.
His other areas of activity can be extended to active politics, taking into the consideration his immeasurable achievement and his legendary contribution in the political arena during the old Western Region of Nigeria. Hubert Ogunde was an iconic public commentator, a political critic, a Yoruba enthusiast and a cultural activist at the same time. His roles in the active politics with his historic supports for the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo against Chief Ladoke Akintola was dipicted in one of his satirical stage drama popularly known as YORUBA RONU.
YORUBA RONU was staged at an Egbe Omo Olofin conference in the presence of all the NNDP leaders including Chief Ladoke Akintola who was the premier of the Western Region at that time.
During the stage performance, Chief Akintola and a few others walked out, felt the play was a direct attack on their personalities for the roles they played in the old Western Region political crisis that bedeviled the entire western part of the country at that time.
And that obviously earned YORUBA RONU a two-years ban across the Western Region of the country between 1964 and 1966.
YORUBA RONU had hence become a religious household phrase to caution and call people to order, and when trying to foster unity amongst the sons and daughters of Oduduwa in the face of political division or rivalry.
In his philosophical and revelationary areas of interest, Hubert Ogunde was able to create his own imaginary world of Occult, and he was successful to paint vividly the unseen evil forces that he believed were in charge and controlled the physical. He believed there were some evil forces somewhere in the unseen enclave where destiny and fate of men were mould, altered and remould. These his own philosophical views were dipicted in many of his works like AYE, AYANMO and JAYEISINMI.
Hubert Ogunde’s vast knowledge about, and his numerous revelations of the unseen evil enclave are still relevant among the Yoruba race till today.
In his imaginary world of the unseen, Hubert Ogunde was able to create many super beings like EDÙGBỌ̀NÀN, ÒSẸ́Ẹ̀TÚRÁ, ÀJÀGÙNMÀLÈ and others who had ever since become sub-pentheons in the Yoruba traditional belief and which have been rooted in the contemporary forklore and literature of the Yoruba race of today.
He constantly referred to himself as Ọ̀SẸ́’TẸ́RÁ, and on many occasions he had plainly referred to Chief Obafemi Awolowo as ÀJÀGÙNMÀLÈ, a notable position among the White Occult, and which corroborated the rumours of AWOLOWO seen attending meeting in the moon while we were growing up.
In one of his musical tributes to AWOLOWO, he categorically praised and openly called him ORISA.
Orisa bí Ògún, kò si l’àgbẹ̀dẹ
Orisa bí Ọya, kò sì l’omi
Orisa bí í rẹ ó Awolowo,
Kò sí n’ílẹ̀ Yorùbá, a wá ti mọ̀.
The string of loyalty and cordial relationship between him and AWOLOWO was very tight, and raised suspicion that they both belonged to the same Occult group.
In the modern stage set-design in any movie about the occult world, the landmark patterns that Hubert Adedeji Ogunde had set are still being followed till the moment. Example of which can be seen in the late Alhaji Yekini Ajileye’s movies.
Ogunde married more than ten wives and had multiple children. The Ogunde Theater was largely a family run business, and all his wives and children took part in the productions at one time or the other. Some of the children were actors and actresses, while others served as drummers, singers and ticket sellers. All of the wives shared the stage with Ogunde at various points in the history of the theatre business .
Hubert Ogunde died in a London hospital after a brief illness on the 4th of April 1990 and he was survived by many of his wives and many children and grand children.
If you live in Ibadan and need ALL the Hubert Ogunde’s musical works and YORUBA RONU audio drama, kindly notify in the comment area for arrangement on how to get them all free of charge. But if you live outside Ibadan and still want them, you will be charged a token for data to have them all sent directly to your email.
Oladele Idowu Joseph