Monday, November 2, 2020 5:42 am
By Odolaye Aremu
He reminds me of my own late dad. The grim look that is more dramatic than miserable. Something I noted for long that he shared with my O’Theophilus. My father wore same expression without the tribal marks- just like him.
Not till much later in my development that I realized how imperative it is for every man to learn to wear his own armor differently. Being affable doesn’t necessarily make a saint of anyone. Being grim doesn’t make another a villain. As long as our hearts are without their peculiar fortifications. My dad was just like that. He was warm, loose around friends and family but smartly grim around strangers. You really have to know him to truly KNOW him.
I see Lere Paimọ in that manner as I fondly remember my old man. I see them as men with beautiful scowls but horrible smiles. His Ogbomoso facial marks are the sharp edges to his own armor. Strangely sinister. But beautifully dramatic. Grimly affectionate. Ẹ̀dá Onílé-Ọla ranks high at the very top of my Yoruba Nollywood star list. Epical even. Definitely rated second best after Baba Wande. Physically imposing then than he is now. Factor aging, bone density loss, gravity and its peculiar law of diminishing returns. He is exactly where a man of his age, physicality ought to be. He personifies to me what either Sango or Ògún Làákàyè – the real legends, could or maybe particularly look like in contemporary times and not anyway close to the imageries of those steroidized, glow-in-the-dark-contact-lenses-wearing gymrats falsely labeled as Social media Orisas.
I don’t think an Orisa necessarily has to be excessively muscular to be brawny. I think they necessarily have to be jazzy, intuitive, sagacious, cunning and mystical. And Lere Paimọ fits all of the above. Damn the man is one mean dancer! A sonorous singer too! Nimble and smooth on his feet. On a good day and in a good play, his bàtà pop and lock moves, play to no rivalry.
The man is simply an Hall Of Famer! Unfortunately we have no damn Hall to house the Fame.
-Odolaye Aremu is public affairs analyst.