Friday, 13 November 2015

Untold Story of my fight with KSA over Orisabunmi – Chief Jimoh Aliyu @ 80 | Says “I was a truck Pusher in Lagos for 7 years”

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Chief Jimoh Aliyu to Asabeafrika....'Young Actors should respect and honor the memory of late actors.

 In this concluding part of the extra-ordinary encounter with Chief Jimoh Aliyu (MFR), you find out the story of a great man who has been persecuted for all the right things he did to benefit an industry he and few others created. The story of Jimoh Aliyu is the story of resilience in the face of persecution and other indices of life.

In this concluding part of the Asabeafrika exclusive, the Septuagenarian producer of epic movies like Arelu, Yapan-yanrin, Fopomoyo and more told us the story of his humble beginning as a truck-pusher in Lagos markets to how he rose from a nobody to somebody who sit, dine and wine with kings. He also spoke about the many controversies in Nollywood and why he is now ready to depart the earth after his 80th birthday.
If you want to wish Chief Jimoh Aliyu a happy 80th birthday or send birthday gift to this great dramatist, you can reach him through his Nigerian contact on (080-3452-5224).
Enjoy the Reading
Chief Jimoh Aliyu to Asabeafrika...People say all sorts of terrible things about me but God always vindicates me'
There was a story sometimes ago that you fought KSA over your former wife, Orisabunmi. That KSA had an affair with her and you dealt with him spiritually, is that true?

It is a big lie. In fact, it is a rumor. My late brother Kola Ogunmola in his life time went to the north for performance and they said because he acted the role of a paralyzed fellow on stage, that was why he got paralyzed. He only had minor stroke and when they were bringing him home, Jebba Bridge was under construction; so they had to take him back to Mokwa for few days before he was eventually brought to Ibadan where he was treated at UI but people said, Kola Ogunmola got paralyzed because he went to the north to act the role of a paralytic. People say all sort of things about me, Some people, if they want to get close to me, those that have something to hide will say “You, if you want to be alive, you better don’t get close to Jimoh Aliyu, he will kill you’ but those who keep saying such dirty things about me are at the receiving end because their lives remains miserable. How many people have they seen me kill? Let them just point to one person that I killed.  Someone once gave me a cheque over a transaction. He wrote the cheque and handed it over to me, and as he was escorting me to my car, he said “Sir, I cant relate with you further because I have been warned that if I value my life, I should stay clear from you; and the person who told him the lie happens to be someone very, very close to me. But upon all the bad mouthing and tarnishing of my name in high and low places, it has allowed me to re-dedicate myself to my father’s trado-medical practice and I didn’t back it with any thing else but truth and that is why I was in Abuja for almost a year because I add credibility to my practice. I am well known among the prophets, the Imams, the kings and even the government appreciates my work.
You were recently at late Chief (Mrs.) Stella Obasanjo’s 10th year anniversary with Chief Obasanjo on October 22nd?
Yes, we were at the remembrance ceremony of late Chief (Mrs.) Stella Obasanjo and something funny happened. As (General) Obasanjo was leaving, I made efforts to join him but I was told that he is heading out of the country. So, I stayed behind. As I stood, I just noticed that my system changed and I was quickly ferried into a car and when I arrived here (LTV 8) I was packed in the car. I didn’t know when my clothe was removed and I almost died and I have been told that some people want my 80th birthday to be done in my absence. But the power of prayer is bigger than all evil intentions. I am here speaking with you, because the prayer sacrifice on my behalf by both Christian and Muslim leaders is working. I used to pray that anybody that wish me evil, God, please, kindly return their intention to them; anybody that prays that I should be well fed, God should kindly bless him to be well fed. But if anyone prays that I won’t be able to spend, God, let that be his own portion. I am living and laughing with them but no one can see their inner mind. I trust only in God.  I have never taken anybody’s wife before and I don’t wish anyone evil.  So, why should people wish me evil?
Let’s talk about your former wife, Orisabunmi, are you still in contact with her?
She is fine, she is well around and I thank God for everything.
Is she the one you said Ifa warned you not to marry which you married and regretted?
No, she is not the one, that particular lady is late. But for Orisabunmi’s case, it was destiny that played it role because we still speak till date and she still respect me. She treats me with utmost respect. She is a wonderful woman.
If there is re-incarnation, would you still want to marry her?
Well, well, well, I don’t know how to answer that question.
I once asked Evangelist Lagun Adesanya this same question, if he can still marry Sisi Abba and he answered in the affirmative.
My idea is quite different; once a woman leaves my house I can’t befriend her any longer.
Chief Jimoh Aliyu to Asabeafrika....'I am on my way out of this world'
But we are talking about re-incarnation here?
If it is possible to re-incarnate, I will hold unto my culture very well. I will continue to raise my culture. Talking about Orisabunmi, if she has a movie today and she wants me to play a role in that movie, I will go there. If I also want to have a movie work, I will invite her; in fact, I shot a movie recently and I called all of them including Fadeyi Oloro. I just had a 52 episode movie for Galaxy TV and I used about 430 artistes and we shot it inside a bush. You need to watch the episodes on Galaxy TV. 
So, what did you miss in Orisabunmi?
If you don’t have God, if people hurt you then you get really hurt. Look at the story of Jesus, look at the story of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and even look at the story of Orunmila and look at the story of most of our traditional rulers, what they went through before they became king. Then, look at all those crying for Jesus, who among them can stand to be crowned with a crown of thorn? Who can be nailed on the cross and will still utter the word “Father, forgive them”, he will say “God, please, sink them all”; even Prophet Mohammed was chased around from one place to another; nobody gave him chance to survive. But today, some people are regretting those actions. Who can be as forthright as Prophet Mohammed (SAW), who can be sincere like Orunmila? I am not afraid of those fighting me o, but I only fear my God because how I became 80 is a mystery to me.
How do you react to people who criticize you?
 I don’t take vengeance on people even though people do tell lies against me but I count it as part of my own destiny. People say quite a lot of dirty things about my person and the irony is that people believe bad things faster than they believe good things. I am rare because I don’t take vengeance. I can even call myself an Alhaji because I have been to Mecca nine times before I was made the patron of the Yoruba community in Saudi Arabia but I don’t over do things. Even if I attend your party I will rather seat at the back until you discover me and decide to draw me to the front table. This coming 80th birthday has opened my eyes to a lot of good things, when I told all the young Fuji artistes including Saheed Osupa, he said he must be there. When I told Kollington Ayinla, he immediately blocked the day and when I told Salawa Abeni, it was like ‘please, sir, don’t say much. I am already there’.
Why do you enjoy such goodwill?
Long years of relationship, I came to Lagos in 1946 and for seven and a half years, I was a truck pusher at Oyingbo and Jankara market.  I was pushing cart and I was also a bricklayer because the money we make from bricklaying comes every Saturday and I will use the money to do my theatre runs. I thank God for making me to be pushing truck and not smoking. If I was a smoker, I won’t become who I am today because God wanted to use my story to teach some people wisdom. I mean for someone who schooled for only six months to be able to receive so many awards and travel to Saudi Arabia and other countries. I was at the point of entry in London sometimes ago and a British official said I should fill a form. I asked him to fill it for me and he became unruly. So, I insisted he must do it. I said ‘Hey, you must fill the form and stop being rude to me. I came into your country to spend your currency for you not naira, fill it and let me sign’. So, he took my passport and started looking at the stamped pages, he saw America, he saw London, he saw Saudi Arabia, he saw Spain and he saw Germany and many other countries I have visited.  Immediately, he left his work and filled the form for me. So, I said to him ‘Young man, I can speak your language quite okay but you can’t force me to write it’.
Chief Jimoh Aliyu to Asabeafrika 'I have never killed a person in my life'
Learnt you had another experience with police in Milan?
I was in Italy and on my way to Paris and somehow my escort got lost in the crowd and I also missed my way but I now found myself at the border of Italy and Paris and I decided I will just visit Paris at once.  After waiting long at that border city, I called one of their police officers and I said to him ‘I think I have missed my way but all the same I will visit Paris’ he looked at me sternly. I told him further; I said “There is an axiom in my country--See Paris and die but now I want to see that Paris and I will not die” he looked at me again, very sternly. He couldn’t understand what I meant. So, he brought a sniffer dog but the Dog became stiff at getting to me, it stopped barking and almost reluctant to do anything; the security man said ‘You are from where?’ I said ‘I am from Africa, Nigeria and I am a High Chief” he asked how much was on me? I said ‘I have twenty five pounds’. ‘You have twenty five pounds and you want to cross into Paris?” I said ‘I will just call a cab, pay him ten pounds to take me round and take me back here” so he left me to go. Initially, before I missed my way, I pleaded with him not to leave me but unfortunately, he wandered away and he was arrested and unknown to him, there was a fake hundred dollars note in the money he had on him. We got over the matter when I returned. Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s daughter, Tokunbo Dosunmu-Awolowo was the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy then and she intervened. It only goes to show the grace God bestowed on people like us. At times, I am at foreign airports and I would have passed the immigration desk and they wont stop me and I will be the one to go back and say ‘this is my passport, check it’ and they will say ‘how did you pass and we didn’t see you?’ But I have passed and you didn’t see me. It is God’s power but we must not boast about it because that is what God hates most. I love to give care to widows and orphans because that is the most important injunction God gave to mankind.
Between being an actor, a military man and a traditional medicine expert, which one gave you the biggest fulfillment in life?
There is none of them I didn’t find fulfilling because I was highly fulfilled as an officer of the Nigerian army. In traditional line I am most respected among kings and very important Nigerians. Among the Islamic clerics both in Ilorin, Iwo and other cities, both late and living, I greet all my spiritual fathers in Lashile town in Iwo, I salute Alhaji Akinlapa, Alhaji Olonode at Iseyin and I do pray that God will not make me to become arrogant to them, may God also bless all the ones that love me. I think I find fulfillment in all my endeavors both in acting, army and trado-medcine practice. I am a holder of MFR based on my achievements as an actor.
Chief Jimoh Aliyu to Asabeafrika...'My only regret will be that culture is dead in our movies and as an ambassador of Culture, I want it restored'
Nollywood should celebrate founders of the industry
At 80, what would you say about Association of Nigeria Art Theatre Practitioners (ANTP)?
I want to talk about association; you see both ANTP, TANPAN and Ambassador and One House, ANTP gave birth to all of them but One House is the first born while TANPA is a grand child. But there is no father that will wish his child to die talk-less of Grand child. This 80th birthday I want to do, I want to use it to talk to my grand children, I want to see how my afterlife will look like. If I die after now, I want to see how prepared they are to handle my legacy. I want to see the character trait of my decision to promote culture and even though I am not rich. I want to see how they are all going to celebrate my legacy on my birthday. If they can now do that for me, then I want to tell everybody that ‘I am going home’. ‘To go and rest’. I can’t be running helter-skelter in one association again. If anyone needs me, you can invite me to be an advisory patron. The one I can support I will support and the one I cannot support I will let them know. It is not about money but goodwill. At the age of 80, if I am running around and I fall and die, they will say “God catch him”. So, if nobody is grateful for my contributions, God himself has commended me. They should go and become one family both Bello (Oga Bello), Jide Kosoko, Dele Odule, Yinka Quadri, Ogogo, Fali Werepe, Saheed Balogun, Ronke Oshodi-Oke, Baba Suwe and everyone of them should become one united family; if you are one, you will be respected; it is the lone walk of the snake that leads it to death, if the community of snake could move in group with the cobra leading, viper and python all following, nobody will dare face them.  So, if you say my own is TANPA and you meet government for support, they will give you twenty million but if you are a conglomerate under a bigger umbrella, Government can even give you five hundred million or more. Then, for the industry to move forward, you must always honor the memory of late actors and actresses, founders of the industry;  great names like Hubert Ogunde, Oyin Adejobi, Duro Ladipo, Akin Ogungbe, Ade-Love, Ishola Ogunshola all of them, you must endeavor to honor their memories every year, there is no how government wont participate and give support. And you must let government know that you want to promote your culture every year; don’t leave promotion of culture to people who are not actors and actresses. Today, they promote culture and invite you as special guests, it should be the other way round, and you should be the one to invite them over. So, my role now is advisory role.
How do you start your day at 80?
Ah, I don’t joke with prayers. In fact, I used to pray that the kind of money I will have and forget God, that God should not give me. Even I equally used to beg Islamic prayer warriors to offer the same prayer for me, initially, they were afraid to do so, but I do insist they do. If I am motivating people somewhere and I say to them ‘I didn’t go to school yet I am successful’ my children will be uncomfortable. Most at times, they ask me not to say it publicly but that is not the best thing. The white man will never lie in his biography. If the white man once stole money, he will say it in his book that at a time, he was a thief but we blacks always love to paint a rosy story. I am not like that. I want to unborn children to read my own story and learn one or two things from it because you will never walk without your head shaking. So, if you are close to God and truthful, you may suffer but God will bless you; and it is not everybody God destined to be rich. You prayed that you want a car this year and that you must just get a car by all means and God in his infinite knowledge knows that that same car could lead to your death at that moment. So, he denied your prayer. 
But because you are insistent, he allows you to get a lone and buy the car. You celebrated the car and made sure imams and pastors prayed on the car. But unfortunately, out of your exuberance, you had an accident with the car. And you became a victim of the hospital and even spent a year on bed. After you got healed, you will now do a thanksgiving service that the car didn’t kill you. God has only taught you a lesson. So, the prayer should be ‘God, this thing I am asking for, if it will kill me, don’t give me. If it will put me in trouble, don’t give me. Give me the one that will befit my status at this time that does not mean you are no aiming for good thing’. You must explain your prayer point. You see, every professional goes to church, the bricklayer, the panel beater, the doctor, the lawyer and the casket maker. Then the pastor urges you to pray and demand for your wants with a strong voice and all of you ran into marathon prayer, begging God to answer your prayers and supplications. One of the prayer points is that the casket of death should be broken in your life and in your midst you have a casket seller, definitely your prayer will harm his business because his job will be affected; or you are praying against having a court case and yet a lawyer is in the gathering, do you expect him to say “Amen” to such brand of prayer or you pray against sickness, so, where do you expect our doctor friend to get money to pay his children’s school fees? So, everyone has his own prayer point because your own prayer point is a curse for another man and your curse might be a prayer point for someone else. (Laughter) and after those prayers, a bell will be rang and the priest will ask that each and every one’s prayer be answered accordingly and they will leave and God will start allocating their prayers to them; those that will die and the casket maker will make his profit. Another one’s car will have a minor accident and the panel beater’s prayer will be answered but that is God for you, He is wise in His doings and He will never do things without a reason. 
He that creates us in different Languages and culture is only telling us that we should keep to our culture and be different. Today, most of the English cuisines we eat are what is killing us and lead to death but our ignorance has taken the better part of us. The second one is illness, someone that supposed to be treated with just minor herbs will now be taken abroad and he will die there. How many of our big men have ever been taken abroad for medical treatment that came alive? They always die because their illness has its roots of healing here but they will tell you ‘I can’t allow those dirty trado-medical people who don’t measure their drugs, rob their hands on me. Whereas that is where his or her healing lies, ‘oh, I can’t visit a Prophet or Imam for spiritual consultation’ whereas, there lies his miracle. But God that created herbs said we should use it for our wellness but we refuse because of our ignorance. A black man or woman will bleach to become white, are you telling God that He didn’t get it right with your specimen? So, I have learnt a lot of lesson from the stupidity of the man. Somebody brushes your car and you turn yourself to parrot and you start cursing and threatening fire instead for you to thank God for giving you the sign. So, my advice for young men and adult is for us to believe in God and seek wisdom in everything we do because I am on my way out, I am going the way of the world. This birthday I am going to do, I beg all invitees to just come and celebrate with me, I think it is my last show for them because even right now, I don’t have appetite again. I eat slim meals and that says a lot. At times, I eat at 7pm. The other day I was with the Alaafin of Oyo, I arrived so very early and I didn’t leave Baba’s palace till 5pm in the evening and I returned to Lagos to eat. God has done it for me. I greet Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, I greet the Governor of Lagos, Akinnwunmi Ambode, I greet the Deputy Governor and the Chief of Staff. I equally greet the Oba of Lagos and all the Obas in Lagos state who holds Aworo in high esteem.
The GDA with Chief Jimoh Aliyu
On a last note, advice young actors and actresses, what is your parting word of wisdom for them?
You know I only stopped at Standard Six but most of our young actors and actresses of today are highly educated. But when you want to advice them, they will say ‘oh, what is wrong with this Baba that is not educated? He can’t tell me what to do’. But they have forgotten that India and China built their economy around their local dialect. Myself and Hubert Ogunde, Duro Ladipo, Kola Ogunmola and Oyin Adejobi, I was the one with them in Oshogbo, including KSA  and I was a stage boy with my brother, Kola Ogunmola but all the history today is hidden because our young ones don’t have a sense of history and they don’t want to listen to the elders. They will say ‘Who is that Jimoh Aliyu?’ Some people will just start writing distorted history and I will say ‘Oh, my God!’, because they don’t know but instead for them to organize a seminar and invite Chief Jimoh Aliyu to come and enlighten, they will say ‘Oh, we are the one that established Nollywood’. They will say ‘that Jimoh Aliyu is evil’ and I think this young ones should be praying that where Jimoh Aliyu stopped today, God let me take it from there. I pray for them but instead, they will say, please, don’t go there o. don’t even invite him for your location but that is not supposed to be. So, God has always been nice to me because anytime I call unto Him, he answers in very mighty ways.  So, for the young ones, they should seek wisdom and stop the habit of sleeping around with colleagues’ wife or being randy. It is an abominable thing. Actors should stop this abominable act because that is what is responsible for the low success in the industry. Lastly, I must thank you journalists for your watch dog role but please, stop hiding artistes’ iniquities. If they mess up, publish it. don’t say because someone is your friend and you will cover his or her atrocities, get it published or in worst scenario, visit their organization and report to their leadership but if they will not take it, get it published and sanitize the industry.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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