ROLI ROLLS WITH A BURST OF CREATIVITY
Roli Hope Odeka, Milan-based Nigerian artiste, is one whose creative impact bestrides almost all dominant genres in the arts, yet she sees herself submitting entirely to her act instinctively,
Though it is a mistake for an artiste to speak or write often about his works, for Roli Hope Odeka, Italian-based artiste of a Nigerian descent, writer, painter, poet and music composer, it releases tension needed for her creativity. This is not to say that by trying to express her aims with rounded-off logical exactness, she could easily become a theorist whose actual work is only a caged-in exposition of conceptions evolved in terms of logic and sense.
And though the non-logical, instinctive, subconscious part of her mind must play its part in her works, but she also has a conscious mind which is not inactive. Given the creative texture of all that she has created over the years, she works with a concentration of her whole personality, and the conscious part of it resolves conflicts, organises memories, and prevents her from tying to walk in double directions at the same time. It is certain therefore that she provides, from her own conscious experience, clues to help others in their approach to creativity.
For her, realising a dream is like passing through the gate of hell, soon after which she finds herself in paradise. "Between the twilight, where lost dreams are brought alive, our fears and pains are our struggles, our hopes. And joy is for the present and the future", and she believes that from the height of the twilight, are messages of peace, love and brotherhood which should ascertain the fact that life started from Africa, therefore the cradle of creation ought to be respected.
Her creative impulse permeates the region of good arts which captures both romantic and classical elements --- bristling with order and surprise, imagination, conscious and unconscious --- both sides of her personality play the art, and it is thinkable that the first inception of her creativity started from either end. She also relies on instinct for knowledge. "Listening to my instincts, and according to the tract titled "Eden" in the album, "Twilight Dreams", the temptation in the garden of Adam and Eve, added knowledge to mankind. In the garden, instead of apples, flourished bunches from the plants, the forbidden fruit is the banana.I see the world as a country, where there is:
No division of race or colour
I see the human race
I see the colours of the united rainbow.
I am of the human race and never do paint me
She believes that Life which has been hard could as well be good, and that it is nice for one to realise the both as a dream that runs lyrically;
Cracking the nuts with the burning fire,
Blowing me to shedding fire, The good news, My lyrical opera album is published …
An opera lyrical with different world culture choruses
She calls on lovers of classical and pop music, for a surprise in her opening kit, saying
"Listen to the music that gives you the joy of living and the significance of life.
I have survived and so shall many".
For her love to inspire the world, she is into international charity organizations, making love come to terms with creativity.
Roli's passion for charity tells of her embracing a variety of moods, exploiting her creativity to establish or ensure the hope that is needed for those in need. Her indulgence in love and nature is impressively considerable; also using her creative dispositions to offer Afro- spiritual vibes to which she also dances. Charged as she frequently is with 'freeing' the dance from music, the question often arises, what can be the source and basic structure of her own dancing.
Of course, she cannot define its principles more clearly, even for her literary art, than to say that the fundamental idea of any creation arises in her or, rather, out of her as a completely independent theme. The theme, however primitive or obscure at first, clearly contains its own development and alone dictates its singular and logical sequence.
In terms of performance, she is capable of controlling her act and even indulging it, with pathos that is quite sincere. Though she had no formal training in performing arts, but she has surprisingly worked extensively in the genre of literary art, the effort which has culminated in the publishing of lyrical poetry, which runs autobiographically.
Witnessing her performs with emotions and the capacity to creatively express herself, Roli's artistry is all revealing. Her poetry is embellished and crafted with classical lyrics. Her cosmopolitan experience has perhaps put her ahead of her contemporaries with some level of academic skills in the arts.
According to her, she has had taste of the rough side of life, and her poems are a sort of escape from her many travails in life especially as an immigrant in Europe. That poetry may rise again. Like William Blake, the romantic poet, Roli's is a spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions. As a cultural ambassador, her works pulsates with pages of precious memories and egregious simplicity, making case for children and the less privileged.
She has implored her counterparts to embrace unity and contribute to the welfare of the less privileged, particularly children in the Nigerian society, lamenting the state of poverty in the third world which has invariably affected the children. The artiste, who recorded her classical piece with the Bulgarian Orchestra Sofia, is hopeful to see a united and peaceful world. "I use my music to preach love and peace among all nations because the future of the world is the younger children and for a better world, we have to teach them love and peace".
There is a fascinating thing about her art, not only the seeming inherent spirit of radicalism, but also the unbending optimism and strong confidence in her God-given abilities. She uses her song to call for world unity. She is one of Nigeria's most talented artistes who after being tortured by a polygamist background, had to identify and pursue her creative career almost as a rebel, and a talent whose creativity is billed to travel round the globe and her message becoming a light to humanity.
No wonder therefore at the presentation of her music and book, former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Segun Olusola, veteran broadcaster and founder of the African Refugees Foundation (AREF) hinted that the Italian- based artiste is a worthy ambassador of Nigeria and Africa. Olusola noted that Odeka's movement from poetry to music is good for arts and culture as well as for the African continent.
At first sight, she cuts the image of a Malian. Her dressing and hairstyle, with large earrings and strong smelling perfume fit perfectly. She is a Nigerian ---"a very proud one indeed". This being the reason she has continued to carry her Nigerian passport, though she has been living in Italy for more than 20 years. While many Nigerians would eagerly jump at the opportunity, to change identity but she says, "it never crossed my mind".
She feels terribly sad that Nigeria, her home, is worse off since she left 20years ago. The problem, as she sees it, is not economic per se, but the people themselves. "People have become more selfish and greedy. It is just money, money, money," she decries, noting that "people respected each other in the past but all that is gone now. It is very sad", while battling to control her emotions over the present Nigerian situation.
Reviving Echo, her published works of poetry contains poems lyrically finished and somehow betraying the fact that most came to her in dreams. It captures a wide range of themes such as premonition, and her experiences when an angel appeared to her while performing in the theatre "like a mother for a lost child".
Her interest years ago in total arts saw her taking part as a nurse in a film in the seventies titled Count Down At Kusini, which featured great black American actors such as Aussi Davies and the wife, Actress Ruby Dee and the Actor of Mission Impossible series, Greg Morris. The film was shot at Badagry Lagos 1975. She also took part as a hostess at the Black festival of Arts (Festac'77) in Lagos Nigeria.
The Italian Artiste of a Nigerian descent, A writer, Painter, Poet And Music Composer.
Like sleeping beauty woke up from a spell after years to produce her pains and joy into something positive.
Born in the Delta State of Nigeria, she has kept her talent hidden, but as she says, she has continued to listen to the voices in her mind, which she simply calls invisible friends; the voices she grew up with, that guided her through her childhood from a polygamous home.
Her mind she says is a projector of transformed pictures, through the inner voices and with her invisible friends she can create.
The artiste first defined her music as divine because she was earlier not aware of any heredity or genetic factor, but she has a gift that runs in her veins, believing she is of a distant European root of complicated German- Jew lineage, precisely in her maternal family.
She taught herself privately and never is never afraid to make mistakes from which she could learn. "I compose and write, listening to my soul without waiting to be perfect. The mind should be left to float in space and so creating good images for the present and the future. My music is also the answer to each and every gene in my blood, and so, I am a universal citizen and my message is for Peace, Love and Unity among men. I am only an instrument and it is in my destiny to show the wonders of Creation of the Supreme because the blood is talking of what has been left many years ago".
She considers herself a primitive poet and composer and loves the beauty of life and a world of honesty and freedom with moving progress. She has been nominated for a number of international awards: European Personality of the Year; Diplomatic Adviser for Children, Italian First Embassy for the Child Rome; and Acknowledging Award, Cinema Mediometraggio Festival.
In 1975, she was involved in a number of projects as in the film, Cound Down At Kusini, playing the part of the Village Nurse. She also features and as much indulges great black American actors like Ossi Davis and wife, Ruby Dee and Greg Morris of the Mission Impossible film of the '70s which include great Nigerian actress like Ibidun Allison, and played a big role in the 1977 Black Festival of Arts in Lagos. Roli has performed in quite a number of shows such as Charity foundation for the Nigerian Child, Teatro Dal Verme, Milan, Italy, Biennal of International Sculptures And Poetry, Ciao Sarajevo, Faculty of Science And Communication, University of Sapienza, Rome, Italy, 47th Cora stampede of Arts, National theatre, Lagos, Nigeria, Recorded Classical Music Rendition with the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, Sofia, Venice Biennale, Poetry reading from the boat, Performance live with the Esemble, Concert and performance, Venice, Theatre Delle tese, with the Esemble from the Orchestra of Alessandria, Italy, Night of the Angels concert, and Mediterranean Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Leonardo Quadrini, in Calabria, among others.