Newsbreak: Playwright icon, Jimoh Aliu is dead

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Newsbreak: Playwright icon, Jimoh Aliu is dead

By Abidokun Oludare

Playwright and popular film maker, Chief Jimoh Aliu is dead. Aliu died today in his Ado-Ekiti home after a brief illness.

Born on November 11, 1939, Aliu had not formal education but rose to become one of the most iconic playwright in Nigerian history with him focusing on Yoruba mythology, culture and values which influenced his activities on the theatre stage spanning 65 years.

Aliu is also a Nigerian dramatist, sculptor, film writer, playwright and director.

He began acting in 1959 when Akin Ogungbe, a Nigerian veteran dramatist visited his hometown, the same year he joined the Akin Ogungbe theatre group where he gained some experience in drama.[4] In 1966, after he spent seven years with the Ogungbe troupe, he established “Jimoh Aliu Concert Party”, a group based in Ikare in Ondo State southwestern Nigeria.[5]

He later joined the Nigerian Army in 1967 but retired in 1975 with the aim of focusing on drama as well as promoting independent artist under the platform of Jimoh Aliu cultural group.[6] He had produced several television drama series such as Iku Jare Eda Yanpan yanrin and Fopomoyo that featured king Sunny Ade[ Some of his outstanding plays were Fopomoyo, Yanpanyaninm, Ajalu, Arelu, Igbo Eleje, Irinkerindo, rukerudo. He once said a former military Governor in Oyo State invited him for a chat following the charm grip of his evening stage performance on Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA) which saw millions of residents rushing home to watch the film which used to start at 8pm. “The military administrator’s main concern was that if a theatre play could keep millions of people at home under locked doors, then it means theatre could be used to overthrow any government,” Aliu once told Irohinoodua at his residence.

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