Actors Guild honours late Lari Williams with Tribute Night

Late Lari Williams

The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and the Artistes Village Community on Friday celebrated the life and times of Nigerian multi-talented artiste, late Lari Williams.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that  Williams died at the age of 81 on Feb. 27, after a brief illness.

He was buried on Thursday in his hometown, Yala Nkum in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River.

Late Williams was the founding National President of the Nigerian Actors Guild now known as the Actors Guild of Nigeria.

He was a screenplay writer, drummer, dancer, poet, lecturer, a mime artiste and more.

In celebration mood, the actors gave account of their experiences with the late artiste while some performing groups entertained the guests.

Mufu Onifade, Chairman, Artistes Village Development Committee (AVDC), described Williams as a peaceful artiste who did not hold grudges against anyone.

Onifade said that his presence at the Artistes Villiage during his lifetime was a blessing as he was committed to mentoring young people who milled around him, while they tapped from his wealth of experience.

“Uncle Williams was a devout drummer,  a complete arts man, he enjoyed the company of his drums so much, he was often in the habit of rolling his famous Jembe drums to arouse the village at any time he chose and no one ever complained.

“We have lost a vital part of us, the Nigerian art community will miss the legend of many talents,” he said.

Abubakar Yakubu, National Secretary, AGN, said he lived with the deceased for some years at Satellite Town in Lagos and enjoyed those years of being pampered.

Yakubu said that late Williams was well connected with renowned politicians and engaged those relationships to groom a lot of artistes

“Chief Williams nurtured me like a grandfather would, he used his connections with renowned politicians to groom many of us and we pray God gives him peace wherever he is,” he said.

Emeka Rollas, National President, AGN, said, “Chief Williams gave our profession its best shot, inspiring generations of actors, a thoroughbred thespian, father and role model, he stood apart from whatever vantage position, we knew him as someone special.

“He has left his footprint on the sands of time in our noble acting profession in Nigeria. Indeed, he came, he saw and he conquered.”

Femi Lari-Willaims, son of the deceased,  appreciated the actors and everyone present.

“Everytime I drive through the National Theatre, I experience some nostalgic feelings, I was always with my father then in 1977 when he came back from the United States of America to develop Nigerian arts.

“On behalf of late Lari Williams’ family, I say thank you for coming out to honour our father, thank you and God bless you,” he said.

Performing companies including the Kings and Queens Arts Academy, Society for Nigerian Artistes and others performed to the delight of the guests.

The artistes later had a candlelight procession in honour of the deceased as they moved from the National Arts Theatre office complex to the Artistes’ Village.

Abubakar Yakubu, National Secretary, Actors Guild of Nigeria paying tribute to late Lari Williams during the night of Tribute organised in his honour in Lagos on Friday


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