Written by Moshood Adebayo, Abeokuta

“The works men do live after them’’. This popular saying was demonstrated last week in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital as governors in the South West, frontline traditional rulers and other eminent Nigerians eulogized the works of the late pioneer Coordinator of the National Troupe, Dr. Hubert Ogunde.

Ogunde, the veteran artiste and dramatist, who hailed from Ososa, in Odogbolu Local Government Area of the state, died 20 years ago.

At the inauguration of the complete musical works of the late theatre impresario, which held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, the personalities submitted that the messages of the late Ogunde still held much meaning to the society, especially the Yoruba race 20 years after his death.

During the ceremony, a 95-track of the works of the late composer among which was Yoruba Ronu launched into a disc format.

One of the daughters of the late Ogunde, Mrs. Olasumbo Ogunde-Bademosi, said the 95-track package was to ensure that people have access to the works of the late doyen of Nigerian theatre especially his songs.

In attendance were the Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr. Segun Oni; Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, while other state governors in the South West sent their representatives.

Prominent traditional rulers in attendance included the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade; Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona; the Aloko of Iloko Ijesha, Oba Oladele Olashore; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo;

Others included the former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Chief Segun Olusola; and renowned Yoruba scholar, Chief Adebayo Faleti; Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and businessman, Chief Ajayi Olanihun, among others.

Daniel, who said the state government decided to collaborate with the Ogunde family for the inauguration of the musical works to ensure that the timeless message of the musical impresario was preserved.

Olusola said the clear message that had been passed at the ceremony was that the Yoruba would support any good cause at any time.

His words: “You can see the turnout of eminent traditional rulers, important personalities and the governors that had gathered here today.

‘’It has shown clearly that the Yoruba are ready to support a worthy cause at any time. We, the artists, and others are particularly delighted at this opportunity to preserve the works of an eminent Yoruba son, especially the timelessness of the messages of the late Ogunde.”

The first son of the late Ogunde, Ayo, revealed the plan of the family to set up a museum in Ososa, Ogun State, where the works of their late father would be kept for future references.

“We noticed that some of the works were gradually being forgotten, which we considered not appropriate. So, we decided to preserve the works, including Yoruba Ronu, which was banned in the 60s as a result of politics,” he explained.