A few weeks after veteran comedian, Baba Suwe sought public help on his failing health, a video of Ojo Arowosafe popularly known as Fadeyi Oloro, another veteran yoruba actor, who was then critically ill surfaced online.
Fadeyi, who was quite popular in the 80s and 90s for his role as a herbalist in movies, especially with his trademark costume, was hospitalized at Ile Epo General Hospital, Lagos and begged Nigerians for financial assistance.
Fadeyi Oloro, originally christened Ojo Arowosafe, is the old Yoruba cinema’s Deimos – the quintessence of terror in Greek mythology and one distinct thing defines his stage persona. Dread.
Fadeyi’s darkened face, sometimes made more horrific by excessive cosmetics, was perhaps a reflection of what dwelled in his ‘cinematic’ heart.
Unlike the loquacious Arakangudu, Fadeyi rarely talk; and he made no pretension to long, winding chant of incantations. All Fadeyi would not say with his mouth, he said loudly and, yes, violently through the barrel of the gun.
Fadeyi himself despised death, and he rarely acted in movies in which he would, by whatever design, be pronounced dead. Yet this man who would not accept to die, even if momentarily, killed people with fiendish delight: with a single shot, Fadeyi would snuff out the life of a hundred villagers. And his gun was no respecter of the dead; Fadeyi would kill a ghost again and again, transporting him to the place beyond the place beyond the great beyond.
.“Suke,” that’s the old man’s trademark refrain, often said after a life has just been cut short. In the world of Fadeyi Oloro, no life is too important to be taken away from the owner, with or without consent. For his dexterity as a disciple of the grim reaper, Fadeyi towers above his peers and his exploits remain etched in every movie lover’s memory.
A master dribbler, Fadeyi was the old Yoruba Nollywood’s response to Maradona. He would hide at the side of a lonely path and ambush villagers, mostly innocent travellers, make them wet their trousers––or more appropriately now, ‘Kijipa’––and, after a while, assure them he meant no harm. “Ko si wahala, e moo r’elu yin l’alaafia… “(No qualms, you may go to your villages in peace), he would say, tongue-in-cheek. The villagers would give thanks to Eledua and Obatala and their Ori for saving their lives. “E seun baba o,” (thanks, Old man) they would say and Fadeyi would retort, with cancerous smiles: “Ah, aidupe ara eni, eeyan’re nimi…eeyan’re nimi o…”(Never mind, I am a good man). Before seconds would chameleon into minutes, and just before the innocent villagers would finish counting their blessings, Fadeyi would have performed wonders.
“Boooooooooooooom!!!,” that’s Fadeyi speaking eloquently in the language of betrayal, through the barrel of his gun. The result was always a marvel: in split seconds, the innocent villagers would have had their lives mercilessly looted by Fadeyi and his marauding men. “Olorooooo Baba o!”, his disciples, all messengers of death, would scream.
For some wierd effect, Fadeyi would stagger backward for a few minutes, then stumble onward, his huge Agbada flowing behind him, and his men would surround him, providing an unsolicited agency of support. “Suke!” the old man would say, with maniacal nonchalance.
Ah, Fadeyi was a delight on the big screen!
‘Fadeyi Oloro’ is gone!