Veteran Yoruba actor Jimoh Aliu ‘Aworo’ dies at 86

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Chief Jimoh Aliu, one of Yoruba’s most popular theatre practitioners, is dead.
Popularly known as Aworo, Aliu died today during a brief illness at the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital. He was aged 86.
The corpse of the former President of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Practitioners may be moved to his residence on Jimoh Aliu Street, Adebayo Area, off Opopo Gbooro in Ado-Ekiti before being taken to his hometown, Okemesi Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government Area of the state where he hailed from.
His remains, according to Muslim rites would be interred tomorrow.
Aliu was working on five movie projects expected to feature top Nollywood actors. He died while producing the first one titled, ‘Olowo Ite’.
Popular for his hit movies in the 80s and early 90s, such as Arelu, Yanpan yanrin, Ajalu, Igbo Eleje, Irinkerindo among others, Jimoh Aliu was the first Nigerian to present a Yoruba film at the Rio Cinema, London in 1991.
Born 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.
He broke away in 1966 to set up the Jimoh Aliu Concert Party. He, however, 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 Dr. Yemi Farounbi, veteran broadcaster and later ambassador to The Philippines that brought him to 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.

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