Steve Rhodes commemorative photo exhibition debuts May 29

Steve Rhodes and Wole Soyinka Photo:

Wole Soyinka will declare the photo exhibition open.

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, is to declare open the maiden photo exhibition on the life and times of the late musicologist and broadcaster, Steve Rhodes.

The weeklong exhibition will hold in Lagos from May 29, according to a statement signed by the Executive Programme Director of the Culture Advocates Caucus, CAC, Jahman Anikulapo.

He said that the exhibition would be in honour of the entertainment icon.

The photo exhibition with the theme: “Steve Rhodes: Six Years After – A Commemorative Exhibition”, will take place at the Freedom Park.

Rhodes passed on May 29, 2008, at the age of 82.

According to the statement, Rhodes brought phenomenal changes in terms of content and packaging to the entertainment industry in Nigeria.

“‘He is a great musicologist and the conscience of entertainment industry in his time, a disciplinarian and an artiste with passion for standards.

“He pioneered the emergence of highly educated personalities in the entertainment scene in Nigeria.

“The commemorative event is designed especially to celebrate his eminent contributions to the Nigerian and African music industry.

“It is an exhibition of the rich and resourceful collection of photographic recordings of his over six decades of illustrious career,” it said.

It noted that Rhodes was described as an encyclopaedia of the Nigerian music.

“He would be remembered for his originality, consistency and tenacity in his chosen field, which won him recognition, laurels and accolades at home and abroad,” it said.

It said that the Steve Rhodes Foundation (SRF), which was founded posthumously, and the Steve Rhodes Memorial Anniversary Committee decided to honour the late musician with the exhibition.

Steven Bankole Omodele Rhodes was a veteran broadcaster, musician and showbiz impresario who bestrode the arts community for over six decades, producing, managing and creating arts and culture.

He attended CMS Grammar School, Lagos and Dennis Memorial School, Onitsha, Anambra for his secondary education.

He spent 11 years in England and Germany to further his education.

As a jazz musician in Germany, he played with some bands and followed them on concert tours of Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

While in England he met with fellow Nigerians and Africans with whom he shared the passion to return home to contribute their quota to nation-building in the post-independence era.

He joined the Federal Ministry of Information and became the first Nigerian Controller of Programmes of the Western Nigerian Television.

Trained as a musicologist in Germany, Rhodes also worked in the defunct Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), which later became the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

He was instrumental to the setting up of the West African Dance Orchestra at the radio station.

Rhodes founded the famous Steve Rhodes Voices (SRV), a group of young choristers, who won laurels in various music festivals at home and abroad, especially in the 1970s.

The group later metamorphosed into the Steve Rhodes Orchestra (SRO).

Rhodes directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the COJA Games in 2003.


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