Actors, colleagues and well-wishers have mourned the demise of veteran dramatist, Chief Jimoh Aliu, popularly known as Aworo, who died on Thursday, September 17, 2020, at the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, after a brief illness. He was buried on Friday, September 18, 2020, at Okemesi, Ekiti.
Speaking with Saturday Beats, his friend and colleague, Kareem Adepoju, popularly known as Baba Wande, stated that Aworo’s death was shocking to him because he was on set with him two weeks ago in Ado-Ekiti. He said, “I have known Jimoh Aliu for a very long time since he was an apprentice under Chief Ogungbe. Then I was also an apprentice with another person. We are friends and have worked together. He is a nice man, a dancer, writer, singer and a good actor. He wrote many plays to entertain people and it was in one of his plays that he inherited the nickname, ‘Aworo’.
“Two weeks ago, I was in his house in Ado-Ekiti shooting a film with him. We spoke a lot during the shoot of that movie and I did not know about his sickness. I just received a call from one of his sons that my friend had passed on. I was so shocked and lost for words when I heard the sad news. I will really miss him because anytime we see, we always discuss the good old days when we were both apprentices.”
Also extolling the late Aliu’s virtues, Antar Laniyan told Saturday Beats, “Chief Jimoh was like a father to many of us because anytime we wanted to learn more, he would come to mind. There is no time one gets to him that he would not give one an answer to whatever problem one has. He was always there for everybody when there was a problem with the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners and the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria. He took everything so calmly that we realised there shouldn’t have been any problem at all.
“He was a strong man. He rounded up work on his own movie just a week ago and he was actively involved in it. Nobody knew that was going to be his last project.”
On his part, Akin Lewis, said, “Pa Jimoh Aliu was a veteran in the Yoruba movie sector. We used to think people like him don’t die because they are larger than life. He had been around for a long time and his death has left a big vacuum for us. He was a great dramatist of his time and I remember him from the days he did drama for the Nigerian Television Authority in Ibadan. He was very versatile and I thank God for him. As much as we want him alive, we cannot hold him down. I pray that the rest of them from his era will also grow very old while the rest of us hold their memories in our hearts.”
The president of TAMPPAN, Bolaji Amusan, aka Mr Latin, also described Aworo as a pathfinder in the industry. “Chief Jimoh Aliu was a legend and pathfinder who contributed immensely to the development of entertainment in Nigeria and beyond. TAMPPAN will be collaborating with other professional bodies to give him a befitting outing but we are waiting for his family’s lead,” he added.