17th September, 2020
By Taiwo Okanlawon
Nigerian dramatist, sculptor, film writer, playwright, and movie director, Jimoh Aliu popularly known as ‘Aworo’ has passed away.
He died on Thursday aged 85.
The death of the Nollywood veteran was announced by actress Foluke Daramola-Salako an Instagram post.
She wrote; “We have lost another veteran again o 😭😭😭😭Baba aworo is dead.
“We thank God that he was one of the old veterans we celebrated last year, but for covid we haven’t been able to do much this year, but we thank God when baba was alive we did our little quota, may God grant him eternal peace in Jesus name.”
Popular for his hit movies in 80s and early 90s, such as Arelu, Yanpan yanrin, Ajalu, Igbo Eleje, Irinkirindo among others. Jimoh Aliu was the first Nigerian to present a Yoruba film at the Rio Cinema, London in 1991.
He was born in November 1939 to an Ifa Priest at Oke-Imesi, Ekiti State.
He started his acting career at the age of 23 when he joined Hubert Ogunde Theatre.
He toured most of the towns in the old Western Region, performing on the stage and the cinema with the group.
In 1966, after a tutelage of seven years, he left the group to form the Jimoh Aliu Concert Party.
Aliu later joined the Nigerian Army, 1967, at the age of 31. While there, his theatrical nature gave him away as a man best suited for the arts rather than arms.
Some of the plays he acted as a soldier include Arugbo Soge, Fesojaiye and Ojuenimala before leaving the army in 1975, to settle down as a full-time dramatist, playwright and producer.
Aliu also performed in a number of radio plays, including Afopina, Igba-Oro, Agba-Arin, and Maboreje, but it was Igbo Olodumare, his television play commissioned by Yemi Farounbi, veteran broadcaster, that shot him into the limelight.
The play, an adaptation of D.O. Fagunwa‘s novel, established Aliu as a professional.
The play was aired in all states in the South-west.