From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan, Damilola Fatunmise, Lagos
A veteran Nollywood actress in Yoruba movies, Folake Aremu, fondly called “Orishabunmi”, is dead at age 60. She died at her residence in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The President of the Theatre Arts And Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Mr Bolaji Amusan, popularly knowns as Mr Latin, has confirmed the death in a statement he issued on Wednesday.
Orishabunmi, who was born on October 10, 1960, in Ilu Ola, Kwara State, according to Amusan, breathed her last on Tuesday night. But he did not give details of how she died and the circumstances that surrounded her death.
The actress came to limelight in the 1980s through television soap operas. The TV series includes Arelu, Koto Orun, Opa Aje, Agbaarin, and Yanponyanrin. Some of the creative works also starred ace actors, including Ojo Arowosafe, fondly called Fadeyi Oloro, and her former husband, Jimoh Aliu, known as Aworo.
She usually played the roles priestess, pacifist or the good witch in movies. She would confront evil characters in movies such as Fadeyi Oloro and Ogunjinmi Ajagajigi-Oogun, whose real name is Ganiyu Oyeyemi.
She was discovered and brought into the film industry by Jimoh Aliu, her ex-husband in the 80s while working as a teacher in Kwara State. But the duo separated before Aliu died in September 2020 at the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, at the of 86.
In the statement issued by TAMPAN, Amusan said: ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? It is so sad we lost a priceless jewel, a very rare gem in Nigerian Film Industry, Chief Mrs Folakemi Aremu aka Orishabunmi, to the cold hands of death last night. She passed on at 61 after a brief illness at 11 pm, Tuesday 5th 2021.
“Though good people die every day, yet not all of them affirm for us the goodness in humanity the way Orishabunmi did. She passed away leaving a legacy of positive experiences for anyone who took the time to know her.
‘If oratory is the masterful art, the world will surely miss Orishabunmi for her talent. She was an orator who would perfectly chant eloquently with her resounding sonorous voice. Iya Oosha, we will surely miss you.’
Amusan stated further that the burial arrangement would be announced soon.
Also reacting, veteran actor, Jide Kosoko described the late thespian as a thoroughbred that was respected and valued for her contribution to the motion picture industry.