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Much-loved Croydon actor John Adewole dies

Much-loved Croydon actor John Adewole dies

A family have paid tribute to a larger than life human rights campaigner and actor who died suddenly from a heart condition last week.

Much loved John Adewole, still to be seen playing the genie on the Sky  (in photo)Broadband adverts, died on February 18 after a short illness.

The 63-year-old, who was well known and loved in Croydon, ran a bookshop in Brixton, was the artistic director of Zuriya Theatre Company and played Nelson Mandela and Idi Amin, appearing at the National Theatre and The Old Vic among other theatres.

He was born in Sierra Leone and left the country to study at Dartington College in the UK.

He continued to be active in Sierra Leone politics, but became disillusioned with the APC government of 1968.

In 1971, he and other students took over the Sierra Leone High Commission in Portland Place for 48 hours.

They were charged with criminal trespass but were successfully defended.

He also appeared on TV in the Omid Djalili show, Little Miss Jocelyn, Ali G Indahouse, The Play on One and The Bill.

His brother, Dan Joko-John, 70, said: “He was a lovely person and always there for us. He was a family man and we cannot speak about him without crying. He was someone you would never forget.

“At 6ft 5in and 16st, he was larger than life, imposing but a down-to-earth person.”

Councillor Maggie Mansell said: “John lived in South Norwood where he supported the Labour Party.

“He lobbied Malcolm Wicks for government action when Sierra Leone was in turmoil again, and his last campaign was to keep South Norwood Library.

“He was to have participated in the read-in, but was unwell.

“John was known to many people in Croydon and across London.

“He was warm hearted, and mentored many young people through difficulties. He had a clear sonorous voice and was tremendous fun to be with.”

He leaves behind several children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.

A memorial was held for him last week on Friday.

by Khirsty Whally, UK

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  • I write in tribuet to my dear comrade, and friend and my Artistic Director John Adewole or ‘ Wole’!!!. I worlekd with him as part of Zuriya Theatre company from 1982 to 1985 and was greatly motivated as was the whole group by this wonderful and talented man. He had an infectious deep bellowing laugh and I fondly remember the plays we took part in under his leadership ie Marcus Garvey, Ijappa, Anansi plays too many to remember, and of course wonderful wonderful singing and drumming. Wole Directed, led and tirelessly drove us up an ddown the country working in gigs, in schools, and at black afro carribean venues and pan afrikan conferences. Bless you dearest Wole, you and your smile will never be forgotten. Wole ‘Ijappa’ onein a million. Please let me have details of his funeral or annual memeorial plse.

    5th March 2011

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