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

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?

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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
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
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 DosunmuAwolowo 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
in Iwo, I salute Alhaji Akinlapa, Alhaji
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.
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. 

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
, 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.


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