It is no longer news that famed Yoruba actor, Ojo Arowosafe, who is more popularly known as Fadeyi Oloro, is sick and in need of medical attention.
In this interview with DUPE AYINLA-OLASUNKANMI, the actor, who is down with complications resulting from tuberculosis and presently staying in Ado-Odo, Ogun State, away from the buzz surrounding him, speaks on his state of health and other issues.
There have been lots of reports on your death?
Emi ma re o (this is me). I am not dead o.
How are you feeling?
I am not okay, that is because I have exhausted all the money with me for treatment. This is not my house. It was when the whole thing started that my family brought me here to keep a low profile. I used to stay at Meiran, Lagos State.
And I have been reaching out to the public, but I had to face my God. I was not like this before, I could not walk. But I am better now. Right now, I don’t have enough money for the treatment I need. I cannot work at the moment; my shoulder, hand and legs are not responding well. I cannot stand on my own, I am usually assisted whenever I want to stand or use my walk (ing) stick as support. I am just pleading with my fans and lovers to continue and stand up for support, some people have tried, but I need more financial support.
Why are you just reaching out to the public?
I didn’t want to at first because I thought it was something I could take care of. I was paying for my drugs and treatment all by myself. It is because I don’t have the capacity anymore that is making me reach out to the public. I sold my car but the money was not enough, and I became handicapped. That was when I reached out to the public for assistance.
When did the ailment start?
It was about five years ago if I am not miscalculating.
You are reaching out to the public for support but what exactly is wrong with
My doctor is the one in the right position to tell what the ailment is. He has been discussing with some foreign doctors on my case. I have been treated, but there is no difference. If there is money, the ailment is something that can be treated here in Nigeria. There will be no need to waste money travelling abroad for treatment.
Could this be a spiritual attack, being a prominent actor?
I can’t really say. I have been instructed not to take any herbal medicine, except the drugs being given to me at the clinic. And with the way things are, the drugs are not working as expected. By now, I should be walking unassisted. And I have discussed this with my doctor; I was given drugs, but no changes.
Have you considered all you described as aging symptoms?
Excuse me, I am a young man. I am not old.
What is the next thing for you?
I plan to continue seeing my doctor. But I have to also consider alternative treatment now; herbs. I am not feeling fine. I just started talking and I was not like this before. If I can be walking unassisted and the parts of my body that are not responding well get back to their normal condition, I will be okay.
What do you want from the public and have your colleagues reached out?
No, I haven’t heard from them. And I do not blame them. They did the same to Baba Suwe and Alabi Yellow. Who am I to complain? It was when I saw that I might be dying that I called out to the public.
You are a known actor, but why is getting help taking so much time?
Yes, I am a known actor and I have worked with so many politicians while acting. If I could walk, I could have gotten into my car and gone to meet them. But I don’t even have a car anymore. There is no politician that I will stand in his presence and will say he cannot recognize me. I have also stopped producing movies too, because of the market we have. Movies are no longer sold out at the marketer’s places.
Why did you stop producing?
I had stopped producing about five years ago because of the high rate of piracy then. And also nobody could pay my money, just like the likes of Jide Kosoko, Taiwo Hassan. We are only being called to help them feature in movies. And because I was so passionate about my job, and the name I wanted to make, I had no choice but to help them. Some would come and say they want to pay me 50,000 or 100,000 for a week job. And I am a socialite.
Do you plan to return to acting when you fully recover?
I have not quit acting. As I am now, not being able to walk, if I have people call me and say I don’t need to walk about, I will gladly put on my costume and get into character.
We are yet to see anybody take up your character since your absence?
It is God’s gift. If I am coming back again and it will be my own production. I will not be coming under any group. It will be a personal production and will be telling people I am back again. I am not dead. This I believe will pull more crowd.
How much are you looking at for you treatment?
Even If I am given a million, I cannot really say this is the amount I need. The call I received some minutes ago is from a doctor who is based abroad and presently in Nigeria. He said he is in Osun State at the moment, but will send me a message to go to a hospital in Ogun State. He asked what the cause of my sickness is and I said tuberculosis, which can cause a whole lot of other things. And I asked him about the cost, he said I should forget about money for now and go there first. He said I should forget about the past treatment that they will have to start all over again. That they will treat me until I am back on my feet and then money can be discussed.
What is your wish?
I want people to stand up and help me now that I need help. I don’t want people to come to my grave when I am no more and come and be crying. It is now that they should come out and help me financially because I want to be back on my feet. I have a long way to go in this industry.