Cover Stories, Interviews

Alariwo, wife admit health challenges


-Won N2 million on Who Deserves To Be A Millionaire?

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, the most popular family game show that airs every Sunday evening on NTA, STV, MITV, DBN and Superscreen transmitted the first in the series of the captivating episodes of its 2016 special edition tagged Who Deserves To Be A Millionaire’ recently where Alariwo of Africa won N2million. The show’s beneficiaries, Rotimi Martins aka Alariwo Of Africa and his wife, bared their minds on the health challenges they are faced with, the intervention of MTN/Ultima Studios, and other issues…


May we know more about you?

My name is Rotimi Martins. They call me Alariwo of Africa. I am a musician and a broadcaster, entertainment is what I do, generally.

I released my first album in 1998 entitled, Yawa Go Gas and I have released two more afterwards. In addition, I used to work at Eko FM. I also anchor events and I do a bit of comedy, this is the reason I am being called the Crossover King.

So it’s not a self-acclaimed title?

Yes, It’s a title I got from my fans. Further to that, people know me as someone who fights for social justice; I am even an ambassador for an orphanage home. I am passionate about causes like that because I believe in giving. I believe that if you do not give, you cannot receive hence I derive joy in helping people.

Talking about helping people, isn’t it worth recalling that you once appeared on this same programme to play for an individual in need?

You are right. I was once on the Who Wants To be a Millionaire? I played alongside Kunle Afolayan for Baba Feyikogbon at the special edition called Who Deserves To Be a Millionaire?  It was a fun experience and I was glad for the opportunity to give the man a helping hand.

Now, what exactly is your own situation?

I have a health challenge called Varicocele. It occurs when veins deprive blood transfusion to the scrotum which leads to other complications when it is not immediately taken care of. I cannot explain how this came about than in this way. I have already done a surgery but I require another one which will be done outside the country. And this is a lot of money.

What about your wife?

In my wife’s case, she has a condition called pulmonary embolism. It started when she was involved in an auto accident on her way to the market. This has complicated things for us because it happened while I was still trying to raise funds for my surgery. I have to sell my car, because at a point I was buying drugs worth N47,000 daily. It has been very challenging.

So, what is the way forward now?

For our survival, as a matter of immediate importance, we would have to undergo surgeries. Mine, for Varicocele, and hers to correct the blood clots formed in the deep veins of her limb. She urgently requires an IVC (inferior vena cava) filter replacement. Owing to huge presence of family members and friends that would take care of us after the medical treatments, we shall be going to America for these operations. Here we are with virtually nothing, especially with this high exchange rate! Sincerely, that is the reason we are considering the MTN’s Who Deserves To Be A Millionaire? a divine arrangement.

Have you a rough estimate of the cost of these medical treatments?

Yes, a total of $46,000 for my operation and my wife’s. A couple of friends have been assisting with their contributions, but we are extremely far from the target yet. I appreciate their good hearts, I remain ever grateful to Ultima Studios and MTN. The treatment given to me during my appearance in the studio was special. I wish the organizers of the show the best. I am grateful.



‘I give God all the glory that we are  still alive’


Can we meet you?

My name is Shola Martins.

How have you been faring, madam?

Things have been tough since I had the accident. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I have been on one spot since August 2015, unable to move around like I normally would. Nevertheless, I give God all the glory that I am still alive and I am also thankful that my husband has been supportive.

We are thanking him too on your behalf, because despite his own challenge…

(Cuts in) Honestly, that was the reason I felt bad when I heard that some people were saying our call for help is nothing but a scam. All I have to say to those people who think my husband and I are just trying to make money from this, they should wish the same fate that has befallen us for themselves.

What is your desire now?

My greatest desire right now is to get back on my feet, and for my husband to also get well. I have a lot of abandoned projects.

Any words for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and its sponsors?

Let me put it this way, the very first day the representative from Ultima Studios came calling, he met us at a session with our pastor here. Since that day, we have become convinced that this is the Lord’s doing, and it’s from that day we knew it would be blessing all the way for the programme and its sponsors. They will triumph over all evils and challenges, and they will keep meeting God at all points of need. My family remains ever grateful to them.


Related Stories:



About the Author