Why Ajai-Lycett is not remarried: ‘My intimidating look keeps men away’


For the younger generation, the name Taiwo Ajai-Lycett might not ring too much bell. But despite her age, the 75-year-old actor still carries herself way better than some young girls.
In a recent conversation with The Point, the actor, who ventured into showbiz in 1965, disclosed that she never thought she was an actor until a particular event occurred.
She did love the theatre though. But she never had the mindset of wanting to be famous. “I went to the cinemas and concerts always,” she said, “but I thought it was all about that until I visited a friend who was rehearsing and the director asked me to join the production.”
After that day, everybody was after her. And by the next weekend, she was working at the BBC.
For years, Ajai-Lycett was a presenter for the BBC’s magazine programme, ‘Calling Nigeria’. “I did photojournalism too and I covered all sorts of things. From acting, people kept pushing me to do one thing or the other,” she recalled.
Due to her likable personality, Ajai- Lycett is always attracted to men. But, according to her, men just stare at her and go their way.
She said, “Where do I get suitors at 75? I think I look too intimidating for men, but a woman can tell when a man wants something from her. People have the impression that I am too hard. In Africa, you know, we like when our women are submissive.”
The thespian who has been a widow for over 23 years, is puzzled that men had developed cold feet in approaching her ever since.
Over the years, Ajai-Lycett has, however, consciously worked at living a healthy life. She dances a lot. And even when the sound blaring from the woofer is not of a song she loves, she dances still.
“I dance to all kinds of music. I am crazy about jazz music. I also have people around who look after me. You should come to where I live now; I am surrounded by love. There is nothing not to love about being old. I don’t drive my own car, but where ever I am going, there is car to take me,” she said.
Ajai-Lycett, recalling the memory of her late husband, says he left England for Nigeria because of her and was supportive of her career. Her husband, Thomas Aldridge Lycett, used to be a marketing and communication executive with Shell.
She said, “I didn’t achieve all these myself; he helped me. My husband in many ways spoilt me for other men. Where am I going to find a man like him? He didn’t feel diminished by devoting his life to me. He thought I was doing something special and was so supportive.”
Well-advanced in age and enjoying every bit of the times, Ajai-Lycett believes that if she dies now, she would have lived a wonderful life.
“I am very grateful for the journey so far and I have just begun. I know of people who are still doing great in their 80s. I still improve myself every day. My only son is a nurse in the United Kingdom.”
For her, nobody owes her anything, including the government. In as much as she tries not blame anyone, Ajai-Lycett insists that what becomes of one in life is the doing of an individual.
“I am not blaming or criticising anybody, but I would tell you how I see life. I don’t think the world owes me anything. What happens to us is a reflection of how we live our lives.
What I mean is that the environment or condition you find yourself is a manifestation of what you have in your head. When you tow a particular path, it could take you down. Why are you not seeing me in nightclubs or where people smoke? Life is about choice, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t extend helping hands to people when they need us,” she said.