The University has appointed Alagba Tunde Kelani, as a Visiting Fellow in its Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS). Alagba Kelani is to facilitate the teaching and coordination of short courses designed to enhance the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge of film-making to students of the University.
Popularly called TK, Kelani is a respected Nigerian filmmaker, storyteller, director, photographer, cinematographer and producer with a career spanning over four decades. He is renowned for his love of adaptation of literary material into movies, as most of his works have followed that style of filmmaking including Oleku, Thunder Bolt, Arugba, The Narrow Path, White Handkerchief, Maami and Dazzling Mirage. He specialises in producing movies that promote the nation’s rich cultural heritage with deep root in documentation, archiving, education and entertainment.
Kelani, a native of Abeokuta, was born in Lagos in 1948. He attended the Oke-Ona Primary School in Ikija, Abeokuta and had his secondary school education at Abeokuta Grammar School, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta. His grandfather was the Balogun of Ijaiye Kukudi and he was privileged to have witnessed most aspects of Yoruba ways of life such as religion, literature, philosophy, and world view in arts. He was introduced to Yoruba literature from an early stage in life and was greatly influenced by theatre. When he was in secondary school, he was opportuned to see most of the great Yoruba theatre classics including The Palm Wine Drinkard, Oba Koso, Kurunmi and Ogunde, among others.
He got interested in photography from primary school and throughout his secondary school education, and was actively investing money and learning photography. He trained at the then Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) and went further to attend the London Film School, where he bagged a Diploma in the Art and Technique of Filmmaking. In the 1970s, Kelani worked as a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television and Reuter’s correspondent. He co-produced his first film with the late drama icon, Adebayo Faleti, called ‘The Dilemma of Rev. Father Michael’. (Idaamu Paadi Mukailu). After several years in the Nigerian film industry, as a cinematographer, he manages Mainframe Film and Television Productions, an outfit formed to document Nigeria’s rich culture.
An advocate of ‘Alternative Technology’ in motion picture production in Africa, he has successfully produced and directed many digital features. Kelani uses the Mobile Cinema Project, designed to take information and entertainment to the grassroots. An honourary awardee of FUNAAB and a Professor of History, Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, Department of History, The University of Texas at Austin, United States of America, Prof. Toyin Falola has described the appointment of TK, who is also known as Iroko, as “extraordinary”, “deserving” and shows the “warmth and uniqueness of the University’s boundless imaginations and the humanistic vision of its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. (Felix) Kolawole Salako”.
Last Updated on October 28, 2019 by Ona-olapo Damilola