A popular Nollywood actor, Chief Jimoh Aliu, has died on Thursday at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti at the age of 81.
Aliu, a seasoned artist, producer, location designer, director, make-up artist, and singer was born on Nov. 11, 1939, in Okemesi-Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deceased was a highly respected classical Theatre Arts Practitioner with a passionate interest in the life of the community and its cultural heritage as well as a commentator on Nigeria culture abroad.
He was a former President of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Practitioners (ANTP).
His father, Aliu Fakoya, was a Muslim and Ifa priest, who hailed from Oke-Imesi, but his mother was from Iloro-Ekiti.
As an itinerant Ifa Priest and Diviner, Fakoya took his son, Jimoh to places like Ijebu-ode, Ifo, Ota, Odogbolu, Sagamu, Ada, Aagba, Iresi, Otan-Aiyegbaju, and Lagos.
The deceased attended the old St. Peter Catholic Primary School, Okemesi, and was taught the art of divination by his father, as well as the use of herbs.
When Jimoh was in Lagos, he learned the trade of bricklaying, tailoring, and driving.
In 1959, Aliu joined the Ogungbe Theatre and remained there until 1966.
With Ogungbe Theatre, he toured almost all towns in the old Western Region now Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, and Ekiti.
In 1966, he left Ogungbe Theatre, and formed Jimoh Aliu Concert Party; this group was based in Ikare Akoko in Ondo State.
Aliu began his acting career in 1959, when Akin Ogungbe, a Nigerian veteran dramatist visited his hometown, but became famous for his hit TV productions, “Arelu” and “Yanpon Yanrin”, which bore famous characters like Fadeyi Oloro, Orisabunmi, and Aworo.
He is survived by two wives, Bola and Folashade Aliu.
After years on the airwaves, he was honored with a National Merit Award of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in December 2005.
He is expected to be buried in his hometown, Okemesi-Ekiti, on Friday.