Taiwo Ajai-Lycett is a Nigerian veteran actress. She has been acting for almost six decades. Lycett is a legend when it comes to acting. She is strong, smart, and sophisticated. She is currently an octogenarian and she is not allowing age or time to slow her down.
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett Biography
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Taiwo Ajai-Lycett was born alongside her twin sister on 3 February 1941 in Lagos, known as the Western Region of Colonial Nigeria back then. Her father was of Awori descent in Ogun State.
She studied at Mt Carmel Convent School, Lagos, before moving to Methodist Girls’ High School, Lagos. Lycett then traveled to London to study business and administration. While in London, she took some courses at the Christine Shaw School of Beauty Science, London, and received a certificate in cosmetology. She also studied at Hendon College of Technology, where she received a Higher National Diploma in Business Studies in 1969.
While Lycett was still in school in the UK, she worked as a waitress at Lyons Tea Shop, then moved to the Post Office and later worked in advertising. In the Post Office, she started as a personal secretary in 1962 and later worked as a senior secretary in the office of Lord Hall. Later when she worked in advertising she worked in the personnel department of an advertising firm, Young and Rubicam. Later she worked as a personal assistant to the managing partner of Gresham Broad and Co, an accounting firm.
Lycett made her debut in acting in December 1966 in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel, a two-act comedy directed by William Gaskill at the Royal Court Theatre in London. This debut was an unplanned one as she just happened to be in the rehearsal hall of the play when she was asked by The director to participate. After the accolades and support she received following her performance and several invitations from producers that followed, she made a decision to start a career as an actor so she enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1972, Lycett left her corporate career and became a member of the Traverse Theatre Group for the Edinburgh Festival. She later appeared in a series of television and stage shows.
Lycett joined the world of journalism In 1975 when she was invited to join the staff of Africa Magazine published by Raph Uwechue. As the star that she is, she later became the pioneer editor of Africa Woman magazine, a women’s magazine for Africans in the diaspora. Lycett became a participant at the United Nations International Women’s Year.
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett Movies
Listed below are some of the works Ajai-Lycett has featured in both stage plays and on-screen;
The Lion and the Jewel (1966)
Murderous Angels (1971)
The Refusal (1973)
Life Everlasting (1973)
The National Health (1974)
The Black and White Minstrels (1974)
Edinburgh Festival Fringe (1972)
Parcel Post (1976)
Some Mothers Do Ave ‘Em (Season 2, Episode 5 – Father’s Clinic)
Tinsel (TV series)
Dazzling Mirage (2014)
King of Boys: The Return of the King (2021)
Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman (2022)
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett Awards
Ajai-Lycett has received several well-deserved honors. She has done remarkably well over the years. She is a Fellow of the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA). Here are some of her most notable awards listed below;
On October 1st, 2006 she received the national award of Officer of the Order of the Niger, given by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the time.
In February 2008, she was honored as a leader of British-African theater at an All-Star Gala held at Theatre Royal Stratford East on the 10th anniversary of Tiata Fahodzi.
She was honored with The Industry Merit Award at the 2022 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA).
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett Husband and Personal Life
The veteran actress became a mother for the first time when she was 15 years old. And according to the culture she was ignored and cast away by her parents and family, however, she didn’t let her situation discourage her so she enrolled herself in an evening class. In 1959, She had the chance of traveling to the United Kingdom, through her friend David Akinduro, whom she later married. The marriage only lasted for a few years and she got divorced due to domestic violence. Following her divorce from Akinduro, she remarried Thomas Lycett and fortunately, her second marriage was a long-lasting one.
In 2006, at the age of 65, Lycett was robbed and abused in her house in Abeokuta.
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett Net Worth
According to reports, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett’s Net Worth is estimated to between $2million to $3million dollars. She is also one of the most influential people in the industry.