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Steve Rhodes A Brilliant Musician- Soyinka

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LAGOS- Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has described the late musicologist, Steve Rhodes, as a brilliant musician worthy of emulation.

Soyinka made the observation while declaring open the maiden photo exhibition on the life and times of the late musician and broadcaster.

Reports state that the exhibition had the theme: “Steve Rhodes: Six Years After’’.

It is taking place at the Freedom Park, Lagos and will end on June 5.

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

“We all know the contributions that Rhodes made in the music industry; I recall COJA, with Rhodes at work.

“We know his productivity and contributions to the society in general, which is what exactly to celebrate on Democracy Day,” he said.

He commended the organisers of the exhibition, the Steve Rhodes Foundation (SRF).

In his remarks, the Chairman, of the Steve Rhodes Foundation, Prof. Johnson Ekpere, said that the exhibition was aimed at keeping the works of the musician alive.

“I hope that whatever he do will be sustained, and that some people will learn from it.

“I enjoin everybody to learn from the legacy that he left behind, and key into it,’’ he added.

Gloria Rhodes, the second daughter of the music icon, expressed delight at the huge turnout of people.

“The aim of the foundation is to preserve the musical culture.

“The plan is for the exhibition to go on every year, and for it to travel around the country and from university to university to promote music,’’ she said.

Reports state that Steven Bankole Omodele Rhodes was a veteran broadcaster, musician and showbiz impresario.

He 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, Rhodes met fellow Nigerians and Africans with whom he shared the passion to return home to contribute their quotas 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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