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Secret behind my youthful, healthy looks-Taiwo Ajai-Lycett

Taiwo Ajai-Lycett

The arts matriarch and veteran actress, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett [OON], is unarguably one of the leading Nigeria’s greatest and versatile actors that have paid their dues in the film industry. She is famous for her unalloyed passion for acting which started in December 1966. In this interview with ADA DIKE, she speaks on why she still looks good, agile and fit at 82 despite all the problems she had encountered.

The great thespian’s performance on stage is quite entertaining and scintillating. At events, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett dances better than most young women. In fact, whoever watches her dance would be amazed.

Can you tell us how you maintain your stature and good health? She was asked. “It is just love. Just eat, keep moving. Exercise yourself. You don’t have to go the gym. Walk and be always on the move,” she explained.

According to her, one doesn’t need to spend so much to keep fit. Her simplicity and the way she handles challenges have helped her to overcome some horrendous encounters she had faced in the past.

Recall that she became a mother at 15 and a rape victim at 65. She did not allow these circumstances to deter her from discovering her potential; that is why she registered herself for evening school in order to acquire western education. Tragedy struck in 2006 when dare-devil armed robbers robbed and raped her at the age of 65.

In her words, “I don’t have any regrets. Never! The good, the bad and the ugly are the things that have made me strong. We are conquerors. There is nothing that scares us. God didn’t promise us that it is an easy ride. So whatever comes your way, take it with courage and move on.”

Born on February 3, 1941, the multiple award winning screen goddess’ life revolves around acting since over 57 years ago. She first acted in “The Lion and the Jewel,” a play from Prof Wole Soyinka’s novel.

Many Nigerians were excited in the 1980s when they watched a foreign film in which a beautiful black woman spoke Yoruba. The actor is our own indefatigable woman, an embodiment of art, Ajai-Lycett.

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In a popular British TV sitcom, “Some Mothers Do Have Them,” Ajai-Lycett performed with Michael Crawford popularly known as Frank Spencer. She has featured in many plays, soaps and drama both in Nigeria and abroad.

Other notable films and stage plays she featured in, among others include a soap opera, Tinsel, Arnold Weskers’ Shylock, J.P Clark’s Song of a Goat, Fred Agbeyegbe’s The King Must Dance Naked, Laolu Ogunniyi’s TV series, Wind Against My Soul, Rasheed Gbadamosi’s The Mansion, Nigerian Television Authority’s The Honourable, For Better For Worse. Jab Adu’s The Young Ones and Wole Oguntokun’s The Inheritors.

She was the first editor of Africa Woman magazine in the 1970s.

The public speaker advised Nigerian women to have affection and respect for one another. “Help one another. Cooperate with one another. No one is an island. We all need one another. So look after others. Love your neighbour as yourself. Look after the other person, people will look after you. And that is what I am enjoying now,” she added.


“The good, the bad and the ugly are the things that have made me strong. We are conquerors. There is nothing that scares us. God didn’t promise us that it is an easy ride.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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