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Ogunse: From painting to dance with Afrocentric vision

As a young child in Ijebu Owu-Ikija, Ogun State, Ogunse Adewole Rotimi toyed dutifully with his hands. And he cherished every bit of the environment. He was enthusiastic about everything that was cultural. His idea of adult life was becoming a creative person and earning a decent living.  He found it easier to express himself in the visual art format first. Drawings and paintings are two things that gave him joy initially.
As he grew up, believing that one of the genres of the arts could provide him a means of livelihood, he got more drawn to the field of the arts. Apart from that, he also had a call to venture into an art that will deal with the audience, particularly, dance and entertaining large audience with cultural troupe.
This dream sent him to College of Education to study Fine and Applied Arts, when he completed his senior secondary school at Government Secondary School Tudun-Wada, as a science student. However, when he was to make his choice between science and arts as a career in life, the choice was arts, and thus began his journey which has been growing.

Although his father wanted him to be a refrigerator engineer in order to inherit his job. But Ogunse believed that art is what could make him happy as he did not look back in pursuing his dream by heading to College of Education in Abuja, where he studied Fine and Applied Arts. Thereafter, he came back to Lagos and since then has been involved in many theatre dance and theatre shows among schools in Gbagada area of Lagos.

Ogunse who since 2015, has been teaching Visual Arts in a secondary school at Gbagada, combining it with Theatre Art training and rehearsals at Black Image at Bariga, as well as working with Onileagbon Theatre Company as the troupe manager, headed by Femi Onileagbon (the present chairman Association of Nigerian Authors) ANA-Lagos, said he is eager to break new grounds, not only in teaching youngsters about dance and painting but also the rich heritage of African culture and management.

“I am glad to say that Onileagbon Theatre Company which I have pioneered has made many stage productions which include:  The Trip, Abiku, Home Truth, The Victim, Igbangaladi, the Landlord, The Lost King, Marriage of Princess Fadrera, Olugbon among others.

The passion to promote culture especially dance among young students are what one sees any day on encountering him.  The emerging dance and painting specialist who in 2009, changed from full-time art teaching job to part-time so as to have time to explore more performances and movie locations described himself as a natural talent with a social mission.

His eleven years of art teaching so far has yielded not less than four awards. This includes, the 2006 Overall Best in Art Exhibition for secondary schools by Lufthansa Airline received by Abimbola
Lamina SS II, National College Gbgada, the 2008 third in Graphic Art Lagos State exams board exhibition for junior secondary schools, received by Ezekiel Folorunsho JSS III, Sophia Academy ,
Anthony, Lagos, the  2008 Best Teaching Staff of Sophia
Academy, Anthony, Lagos, 2009 overall best school in Visual Arts Lagos State exams board exhibition for junior Secondary
Schools, received by Sophia Academy, Anthony,

He acted as a police officer in the movie Urine. Others are T’eleda lase (as a king guard). In his personal soap opera Eto mekunnu-2014 (as Balogun son), Arojinle (as teacher), Yemisi olore ofe- (as Doctor), Diana’s verdict– (as Press), British Council Documentary on Bariga artistes-2015 by Fiona Whitty from Ireland, among others.

 Ogunse said his passion is to continue promoting Nigerian culture from grassroots among school children with a yearly cultural event. Nigerian School Cultural Festival (NISCUFEST), which he started since 2008 under the umbrella of Onileagbon Theatre, is today a big brand.

Ogunse, a 2005 graduate of Abuja College of Education said he has worked with Association of Nigeria Author-ANA, Guild of Nigerian  Dancers-GOND, Bariga Artistes Forum-BAF, Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners-ANTP, Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Producers Association of Nigeria TAMPAN among others.

“Though I know I am not yet there because I desire to have my own art academy, studio, gallery and the opportunity to exhibit my talents internationally in Europe, America,” he said.
Ogunse said that before the end of this year, his dance company will do lot of experimentation with schools in Lagos State while also expanding into ventures that will encourage young ones to appreciate and practice the arts profession.
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