Cover Stories, Interviews

Gov. Fashola comes to dying Pa Kasumu’s aid

Promises to take care of his liver and heart ailment

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

Succour has come to the ailing veteran Yoruba actor, Kayode Odumosu otherwise known as Pa Kasumu as the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has taken up his treatment.

Pa Kasumu, who has been battling with serious liver and heart related ailments had come out to seek assistance from the public to help raise the sum of N12 million to foot the bills for the treatment.

Sources close to Governor Fashola who would not want his name  mentioned on Saturday, 12 October 2013, disclosed to ENCOMIUM Weekly in a telephone chat that the Governor, after seeing Pa Kasumu’s interview on Channels Television on Friday evening, was moved to assist the thespian and ordered that his case be taken up immediately.

He said, “It was after the Governor saw Pa Kasumu on Channels Television on Friday evening that he texted that Pa Kasumu’s case should be taken up immediately.”

When asked further the exact amount the government was to give the ailing actor, he said, “It is not a specific amount at the moment. He will first be examined by medical experts who will do a proper evaluation of his health status and make recommendations as to the exact treatment he will receive. The fact at the moment is that everything he needs will be catered for by the state government.”

It will be noted that this is not the first time that the benevolent governor will be making such an intervention after making similar life-saving moves in paying actress, Ngozi Nwosu’s medical bills and contributing to OJB Jezreel’s medical bill.

‘I don’t want to die now, I need N12 million’

Veteran actor, Olugbenga Kayode Odumosu, popularly known as Pa Kasumu is not enjoying good health at the moment. The script the comic actor is interpreting right now is not in any way funny. He is battling serious liver and heart related ailments which have affected his sight and memory. He needs about N12 million to enable him travel abroad for intensive medicare. He is, therefore, appealing to all well meaning Nigerians and governments to come to his aid so that he can overcome the predicament.

The Odogbolu, Ogun born thespian opened up on this and more when ENCOMIUM Weekly was at his residence at 9, Alayaki Street, Mushin, Lagos, on Friday, October 11, 2013, at around 6pm…

Since few days ago, social media has been agog with reports about your poor condition of health which calls for urgent attention, especially in terms of financial assistance. What is the actual situation of things now?

Thank you, my brother. All you heard about me is nothing but the truth. What happened was that the whole thing started since 2009 when I had liver, kidney and heart related problem. But thank God, between 2009 and 2010, the first doctor I met at Cardiology Department at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idiaraba, Lagos, was able to tackle the problem by stopping it from affecting my kidney.

Now, it’s only my heart and liver that are not functioning well, which need to be corrected. They have been badly damaged to the extent that the situation has affected my sight, and I have also developed partial stroke. I am not the type that likes broadcasting this kind of a thing, that’s why I have been trying to prevent the situation from becoming a public issue.

If I have spent about N4 million since then till date, you should know what I mean.

That means you might have sold some property or gone into borrowing or did you raise this kind of fund?

Yes, I have sold so many things, including my two plots of land, my BMW car and other things to make sure I get back to my normal state of health, all to no avail.

What’s the next step to save you from this terrible situation?

The medical doctors I contacted had advised I should be flown abroad for intensive medicare. They suggested that I should travel to Germany, India or Israel, where the ailment will be properly addressed.

Are you aware it may involve surgery which may cost you a lot of money?   

I wouldn’t know what it will involve because I am not in the medical line but I have been told that the whole thing will cost me not less than N12 million. But what I am noticing is not encouraging, and time is running out fast. The more I stay at home, the worse the situation is. That’s why I am pleading with all well meaning Nigerians to help me out of this situation with their milk of kindness and mercy.

I am in a serious predicament, and nothing I only can do to save this kind of a situation. It’s beyond me. People should just help me. I don’t want to die now. I want to live long and still be relevant.

Is that exactly what informed the broadcast on social network?

Yes. I am aware of everything. They are trying to help me reach out to the public, to solicit funds from whoever feels concerned about my present condition.

How can people reach you if they want to support you financially?

I have an account with Diamond Bank, Olugbenga Kayode Odumosu as the name, and the number is 0036059543 or the person can as well reach me directly.

Is there any committee that has been formed specifically for fund raised to save Pa Kasumu’s life?

Yes, something like that as decided by my niece, Mrs. Idowu Olajide, who is also a medical laboratory personnel. She is to coordinate the committee.

That means members of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) that you belong have not initiated a committee in respect of your situation?

Let me come out straight on that. I am yet to hear from ANTP. I must say the truth now because everything is getting out of hand.

But we learnt they have raised N1 million for you?

So, I heard but I am yet to get any alert from Diamond Bank. Maybe the cheque is still with somebody, I don’t know anything about that for now.

But are you sure they are fully aware of what you’re going through right now?

Yes, they are fully aware because a lot of them, including Jide Kosoko, Yomi Fabiyi, Henrietta Kosoko and few others visited. It was Yomi Fabiyi who called their attention to my health situation, and they were all here together on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.

What did they promise you when they came?

They only came to see the situation of things first but it’s only Jide Kosoko that moved closer, and told me we would talk later. But since then, I have not heard from him.

Who donated the N1 million you talked about?

Yomi Fabiyi said it was donated by one of my fans, but he didn’t mention the person’s name.

What do you want the government to do for you as a matter of urgency?

I want the government to help me out. Either Lagos State government or that of Ogun State or anywhere in the country. All I need is the money that will take care of my medical needs abroad, if God gives me the grace to travel out as soon as the situation demands.

Can you eat all the regular foods now?

No, I only feed on fruits day and night. I can’t eat regular food.

How regular do you take your medication?

I do that regularly. In fact, since 2009, I have not stopped taking my medication which has cost me a lot of money. Between 2009 and 2010, it was a must for me to visit LUTH for medical attention three times in a week. In a week, I used to spend nothing less than N35,000.

But  now, how much do you spend to take care of yourself?

I need not less than N40,000 in a week for physiotherapy alone because I have also developed arthritis. Had it been I have money, they advised it should be on a daily basis and it will cost N10,000 per day.

I have blurred vision, I can’t walk well and it has also affected my memory. It’s even better now, before if I talked and you ask me to repeat what I just said, I would say something different. But with the situation of things now, I only spend N40,000 monthly on everything.

How long did they say this can continue before you travel, if you get the money?

That I can’t say. The advice I was given was the earlier, the better. That’s why I am appealing to all good Samaritans, home and abroad to rally support to save my life.

But are you assured that if all these are done, and you finally travel abroad, you will be back on your feet?

Yes, I have been assured by God’s grace.

Since this problem started, did you ever act?

I did one with Ultima Productions, Ray’s Family Biz. It was directed by Bayo Alawiye, who invited me to the production, and I played the character of Uncle Joe. That was in 2012.

When last did you feel you couldn’t continue with acting again because of the sickness?

That was the movie I featured early this year but my performance wasn’t satisfactory to me as an actor. And when I discovered I couldn’t continue, I had to quit. Since then, I haven’t been myself.

What do you now miss the most due to this ailment?

My happiness, of course. I need to be happy. It’s when I am happy that I can make my fans happy as well.

Are you still able to play your conjugal role as a man with your wife?

Don’t let us talk about that at all because the sickness has affected me from head to toe. So, no part of my body is spared.

What was even the cause of the ailment?

That I can’t even explain. It could have come from anywhere, anyhow.

Do you smoke and drink alcohol?

I drink sometimes but I stopped smoking since 1977. That was the year I had my first born.

How many children do you have now?

They are four – three boys and a girl.

How many wives?

My first wife is late. She had three children but the one with me is Motunrayo Odumosu, who gave birth to the last boy in the house. His name is Oluwanifemi Odumosu.

Has your wife been very supportive, especially during this trying period?

Yes, she is not only my wife, she is my mother. Apart from money, she is very caring. She stands by me all the time.

Also, all my family members, including my children, Tunde, Babajide and Abiola Odumosu, my niece, Mrs. Idowu Olajide, and my nephew, Dayo Olorode. They have all tried for me. They all live around me all the time. I pray God will be with them also in all their endeavours.

There was a time we learnt you wanted to celebrate your 60th birthday but nothing was hard about it again…

(Cuts in) It was due to my sickness. I clocked 60 in March this year. But I couldn’t do that. I had it in my plan to even celebrate my 45 years on stage. But man proposes, God disposes. But all I need now is sound health. I believe there are still more years ahead by the grace of God.

 – TADE ASIFAT and DANIEL FAYEMI

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