British trained actress, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, is no doubt one of the best role interpreters to have come out of Nigeria. An actor of international repute, who thrilled viewers all over Europe and Africa with her role on the set of a popular 70s BBC situation comedy, ‘Some mothers do have them,’ the multiple award-winning actor has indeed left her footprint on the sands of time.
and graduated with the Higher National Diploma in Business Studies in 1969 at the Hendon College of Technology.
Upon leaving the UK Civil Service, in 1970, Taiwo had a brief spell as the Personal Assistant to the Chairman/CEO, Compound Sections, UK, fabricators of component parts for the UK automotive assembly plants. She was also a Secretary to the Personnel Director, Young & Rubicam Advertising Agency, UK.
In 1975, Taiwo joined Africa Magazine, an Economic, Political, Social journal, based in London, as an Associate Editor. That same year, she became the Editor and Launched AFRICA WOMAN, a political, economic and social magazine for Black and African men and women in the Diaspora.
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett covered the inaugural Conference of the International Women’s Year in Mexico and the then Germany’s East Berlin, as a photojournalist, for both AFRICA MAGAZINE and AFRICA WOMAN in 1975.
She was the Secretary to the UK Organising Committee for FESTAC ’77; the Secretary Women’s Organisation of Nigeria (WIN/UK); a Member and Secretary of the Commonwealth Countries League; a Roving Lecturer for the Commonwealth Institute, London, at various institutions of Higher Education, and Teacher Training Colleges in Britain, on African, Art, Music and Dance and lectured on African Arts and Craft and on African Theatre for the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA).
Taiwo is a member of several professional bodies in Nigeria and abroad, including the Black Programming Consortium, USA; The British Actors’ Equity; The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON); The National Association of Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP); The Nigerian Institute of Management; The Governing Council, Nigeria-Britain Association.
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, is the Proprietress and Rector of TALHOUSE PRIVATE SCHOOL and also the President of The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Alimosho Local Government Education District, Lagos State. she is a Member, Advisory Board of the National Council of Women’s Societies; Member, Board of Trustees of the Media & Development Centre; The Millenium Pictures for Development Trust; Member, The African Network for Book Development; Mentor, and Member of The Strategies Board of the National Academy for Future Leaders (Nigeria); Mentor since 2001, for FATE FOUNDATION’S Aspiring Entrepreneurs Programme.
She is a member of the Editorial Board of Nigeria’s Media Review, and has been for the last fourteen years, a Member of the Award Nominating Panels of both The Nigerian Media Merit Award (NMMA) and the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME).
Taiwo started her acting career at the prestigious Royal Court Theatre, Sloane’s Square, London, and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). (1969-76). During this stage of her professional life, she combined acting on the UK stage, television and films with print and electronic journalism.
She was for years the weekly presenter for the BBC’s magazine programme, CALLING NIGERIA – broadcasting from Bush House, London, produced by Florence Akst. She was produced in many radio productions by John Gordon and Gwenneth Henderson.
She was also regularly seen on the popular children’s programme, PLAY AWAY for the BBC. She was co-founder, joint Artistic Director, her Pat was Amadu Maddy and Louis Mahoney of the GBAKANDA THEATRE.
Taiwo attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, City Literary Institute, (City Lit.) and the Dance Centre, Floral Street, Covent Garden, London, studying Acting, Music, Voice, Singing, Ballet, Modern and Contemporary Dance.
She is professionally trained in front and behind the camera, qualifying as a Television Producer/Presenter at The London School of Television Production.
Taiwo has performed in many leading theatres in the UK, such as the Traverse Theatre at the Edinburgh International Festival; the Gaiety Theatre, at the Dublin International Theatre Festival; The Bristol Old Vic; The Hampstead Theatre Club; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Richard Wagner’s Tannhauser; The Royal Court Theatre; The Palace Theatre, Westcliffe; and The Mercury Theatre, Colchester.
She appeared recently, in July, 2007, at the Almeida Theatre in the Almeida Opera’s & Streetwise production, Critical Mass, directed by Emma Bernard and Composer Orlando Gough.
Her stage appearances in Nigeria and on Nigerian National Television include, Song of a Goat by J P Clark; Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman; The Lion and the Jewel; Wale Ogunyemi’s The Divorce; Fred Agbeyegbe’s The King Must Dance Naked; Wole Oguntokun’s The Inheritors; Arnold Weskers’ Shylock; Laolu Ogunniyi’s television series, Winds Against My Soul; Jab Adu’s The Young Ones; and Nigerian Television Authority’s The Honourable; For Better for Worse, Eyo Fancy and Rasheed Gbadamosi’s The Mansion. She lost her husband in 1993, After her husband’s death, she founded Talhouse Private Schools and Talhouse Worldwide Limited for the promotion of the Arts and the training and nurturing young artists.
Taiwo Ajai Lycett has over the years attended many Seminars and Workshops including the Black Programming Consortium (a film-making, distribution and networking convention) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Personal Development Seminar; Energy Champion Workshop; the Pre-Volunteer Programme for the London Olympic Games 2012; Business Development Workshop; Communication Workshop; Writing Skill Workshop; Child Care Business Workshop; and Workshops in Understanding Equality & Diversity; Understanding Effective Customer Relations; Emergencies & Basic Fire Awareness; Public Safety; Conflict Resolution in a Public Setting; Developing Team & Interpersonal Skills; and Prepafring for and Reflecting on Volunteer Work.