SINCE Friday, October 5, 2013, when star actress, Ronke Ojo-Anthony, better known as Oshodi Oke buried her dad, Mr. Samuel Oladele Ojo, a.k.a Calypso, the rumour mill has been agog that the talented thespian used the opportunity to rake in money from the public. She was said to have dragged some of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) kingpins, including MC Oluomo, Tajudeen Agbede, Najim Yasin to the carnival-like burial.
She opened up on this and much more when we visited her at her father’s residence in Ijaiye area, Lagos on Thursday, October 24, 2013.
Recently, you staged the final burial ceremony of your dad, how was the event?
We thank God, everything went successfully. It was a fantastic event. It held in Akure, Ondo State.
When did he die?
He died on Friday, June 7, 2013. I was still in the US then.
How did you receive the news of his death?
I was shocked. Although, he was ill for about two days, and my siblings took him to the hospital, to my surprise, he died the following day.
How would you describe him?
My dad was my very good friend. He was very understanding and caring. He was everything to me. He was very jovial. There was always a lively moment with him.
How would you describe his death?
What’s life without him like?
I miss him every minute. It’s a wound that will be very difficult to heal. I still find it difficult that he is gone forever.
What would you miss most about him?
I will miss him a lot. He was an understanding father, he was always ready to listen to your problems, and was always there to proffer solutions to them. He was my adviser. He was a very cheerful man. There was never a dull moment with my dad. I took after him because he was also a very good comedian. When I was in school, my dad was also into acting one way or the other. So, he was my mentor. I will definitely miss much of him.
What was the cause of his death?
He was diabetic actually, and one thing led to the other.
How old was he?
He was 70.
How many children did he have?
We are four, two male and two female.
What position are you?
I am the first born.
How will the family be run now after his death?
That’s one of the reasons I am always here to cheer my mom up because both of them were like Romeo and Juliet when my father was alive. When I came back from the U.S, I didn’t like the situation I met my mother. She was not looking good at all, very sad and down. So, I just decided to come around to take good care of her.
When exactly did the burial ceremony hold?
It was on October 3 and 4, 2013.
But the tale was that it was purposely to raise fund. What is your reaction to this?
It’s funny. Why will I use my father’s burial to raise funds from the public? That’s a big lie. Normally, in Yoruba culture, when you lose your parent, people would come around you. They would come to your aid, and the same thing happened in my own case as well. People came to identify with me, not because I wanted to make money from them. I believe people are just saying that because they just want to talk.
They even added that you visited the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) president, Alhaji Najim Ya’sin and other NURTW kingpins, including MC Oluomo, Tajudeen Agbede and others to solicit fund for the burial. What’s your response to this?
I only met Alhaji Najim Ya’sin once, and that was during the wedding of his step son, which is over a year now. Since then, I never communicated with him. I don’t even have his contact.
But they said he was the chief sponsor of the burial, suggesting that there is something between the two of you…
There was nothing like that. It is a big lie. But MC Oluomo came to my aid, he is my friend. We have been friends for over 10 years. I met Agbede through MC Oluomo, and he sent an ‘envelope’ to me. Even, Mustapha Sego also came to my aid. I met him also through Oluomo.
So, there is nothing like dating between you and Ya’sin?
Ya’sin! He is an old man. Even his wife is like a big sister to me. Nothing like that at all. People only like talking baselessly.
How did you feel when all these came to your knowledge?
I didn’t feel anyway different. I see everything as part of the price that comes with stardom. It has become part of our lives as popular faces, we can’t run away from it.
Since you came back from the U.S, you have not featured in any movie, why?
You’re right. I came back with a new born baby, and I also met my dad’s dead. That alone was enough to weigh one down. And to plan a burial of that magnitude, it’s not an easy thing. It wasn’t staged in Lagos here, we did everything in Akure, Ondo State. But now, everything concerning burial is over. I can now go back to my job, which I am preparing for at the moment.
– TADE ASIFAT