‘Sound health is my priority’
+ Wife, son recount their experiences
REPRIEVE has started coming the way of ailing veteran thespian, Kayode Odumosu, otherwise known as Pa Kasumu. And this is a good omen for the comic actor who has been down with liver and heart related ailments for quite a while.
On Friday, October 25, 2013, Lagos governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) gave the Odogbolu, Ogun born role interpreter N1.5m as part of his pledge to get him back on his feet. Also, on Saturday, October 26, 2013, his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun sent a delegation, led by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, to Pa Kasumu. The team handed over N2m cheque to the ailing film maker.
This was confirmed to ENCOMIUM Weekly when we spoke Pa Kasumu, his wife and son on Saturday, October 26, 2013, at their Mushin, Lagos residence.
‘I believe my father will be back on his feet’
– PA KASUMU’S SON, OLATUNDE
You have been with your dad all this while, what do you have to say about his health condition?
Actually, it all started with hypertension since 2009. We didn’t take it as something serious initially, we thought it wasn’t anything peculiar as every Tom, Dick and Harry can get hypertensive due to one reason or the other. We have been coping with the situation gradually since that time. Glory be to God on that. Truly, we are passing through a very terrible situation. But thank God, he has been receiving medication from here and there, and a lot of things have been done. All other issues that could have come up have been averted.
For instance, it was progressing towards kidney area before the whole thing was controlled. When one is hypertensive, one is prune to many other complications in the body system. So, we thank God that the kidney wasn’t affected. If not, the situation could have been worse. We have been facing the problem all alone in the family, hoping the situation will subside. But suddenly, about two months ago, the ailment relapsed, everything started going the other way round as all the medications were no longer effective. His eyeballs started turning. He began talking slowly, couldn’t even see well again, loss of memory and all that. He started complaining of so many things. It was then we actually understood that the situation was beyond us.
Was that the reason you cried out to the public for help?
Yes, that was the reason we all reached a consensus that we had to make it known to the public.
But since you made it public, has there been any change or hope?
Yes, glory be to God. Since we cried out, a lot of good hearted Nigerians, including those who don’t even want their identities disclosed, have responded to our cry. People have been good to us, I must say that, and by the grace of God, we are very hopeful that Pa Kasumu will be back on his feet.
We were told that people have contributed about N1.8m since Save Pa Kasumu Initiative started, and that Lagos State government has also donated N1.5m. Equally, today, Saturday, October 26, 2013, Ogun State government also brought N2m cheque for Pa Kasumu. How are you going to utilize all these to the benefit of your ailing father?
Yes, everything will be spent on his health. We are putting the funds into his medication. Actually, what the health situation needs now is management. So, it’s a medication thing, it doesn’t need surgery again as we thought. But the way the situation is going, it needs better and improved medication, which he may not have access to here in Nigeria.
That means, it will require taking him abroad?
Of course, that’s why we’re bent on making him travel abroad. We believe by going there, he would be open to better options rather than being in Nigeria, and continue taking just anyhow medication.
Being Pa Kasumu’s first son, how do you cope, playing his role in the family now that he is down?
It has not been easy, I must confess. But God has been on my side. I am coping.
What’s the next step now?
We should start preparing him to travel out, either to India or elsewhere. It mustn’t be delayed again.
We learnt the first plan you had was to relocate him from his noisy environment.
(Cuts in) Of course, yes. But now, we have realized that’s secondary. His health is paramount for now. Relocating him will be later.
But we’re told the noisy environment has contributed to his deteriorating health?
Yes, it’s very true. But what we have on ground right now can’t take care of getting him a nice accommodation in a very quiet environment, medication and all that. That’s why we need to concentrate on his health first, and gradually when things take better shape as planned, we work on moving him out of this environment. But with God on our side, we believe we can, with the support of the good people who are still willing to come to our aid.
What are your words of appreciation to those who have identified with the family throughout the trying period, also Lagos and Ogun State governments?
We’re very grateful to them all. For governors to identify with Pa Kasumu, that’s great. It’s a great thing happening to the family, despite the situation. On behalf of Odumosu family, I am using this medium to say a big thank you to you all. Special thanks to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State and Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State for their outstanding contributions so far while our Oliver Twist is still asking for more. We know they can always do more. May God continue to be with them.
‘How I have been coping with Pa Kasumu’s deteriorating health’
– MRS. MOTUNRAYO ODUMOSU
What do you have to say about the health condition of your husband?
Right now, I want to say thank God because things are taking shape gradually. As far back as 2009 since the sickness started, I would say it has not been easy but God has been my strength, with the support of the family and friends. I thank God for His mercies over my husband and the entire family.
What’s the progress so far?
Lagos State government gave N1.5m cheque yesterday. Today, Ogun State government gave us N2m cheque. And with a Lagos Commissioner who has already dropped N1 cheque. With all these and few other donations, I believe, we are on course. Things are taking shape. But we still have a long way to go. What we’re looking for is N12 million to get him back on his feet. He still needs to travel out to get better treatment so that he can go back to his career. So, we still want all good hearted Nigerians to come to Pa Kasumu’s aide, while we appreciate those that have contributed in one way or the other.
How have you been coping as his wife?
It’s God, not me. I have said, it has not been easy. It’s a terrible experience. Psychologically, I have been affected, coping with the whole situation. But with God on my side, everybody in the family, including his sons, and all my friends, I have been able to cope.
Do you think travelling abroad will make him better?
By the grace of God, we’re sure he would be okay if he travels abroad for intensive care.
Would you like to appreciate Nigerians who have shown concern and support for your husband?
First, I will like to appreciate all Nigerians for their concern and support, but I am still appealing to them to do more for us. On behalf of my husband, I say thank you to everybody who has shown us love at this trying period. We also sincerely appreciate Lagos and Ogun State governments for their roles so far while I believe we can still count on them for them for more.