The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has expressed profound sadness over the death of Mr. Moses Olaiya, popularly known as ‘Baba Sala’, saying the death has robbed the nation of an incomparable Thespian and a colossus of his time.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, the Minister described Baba Sala as a trail blazer, as he – along with his contemporaries – laid the foundation for the theatre and comedy that have now taken Nigeria’s creative industry by storm.
”Baba Sala’s sacrifices, contribution and commitment played a great role in launching an industry that is now a huge employer of labour and a significant contributor to the nation’s economy. Through it all, he lived a life of honesty and service that qualified him as a great role model,” he said.
Mr Mohammed condoled with the family of the late foremost comedian, and prayed that God will grant repose to his soul and also grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Recall that the foremost Yoruba comedian, Moses Adejumo , popularly known as Baba Sala, died on Sunday in Ilesha, Osun at the age of 82.
He was a popular Nigerian comedian, dramatist and actor who was born in 1936.
His media assistant, Mr Isaac Hastrup confirmed the death of the veteran comedian to newsmen on telephone, Monday in Osogbo.
Hastrup said, “Baba has died. He died some minutes to 10 pm on Sunday night.
“His remains have been taken to the morgue. He died of old -age related sickness.
“He came to church two Sundays ago and he was the one that said the benediction.
“Baba has gone to be with the Lord and he will be missed by many people including his fans.”
It was gathered that his body had been deposited at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex Annex, (Wesley Guild Hospital), Ilesa.
One of his sons, Emmanuel Adejumo, aka Boisala also confirmed his father’s demise in the early hours of Monday, on his Facebook page.
“My Daddy is gone. Finally gone home to glory. King of Comedy finally says bye-bye to this world.
“I will miss you so much Daddy. I love you so much but God loves you more. Good night my mentor, father, teacher, gist partner. My daddy is gone,” Boisala stated on Facebook.
Baba Sala was regarded as the father of modern Nigerian comedy, alongside other dramatists like Hubert Ogunde , Kola Ogunmola, Oyin Adejobi and Duro Ladipo who popularised theatre and television acting in Nigeria.
A prolific filmmaker, Baba Sala started his career in show business as a Highlife musician, floating in 1964 a group, the Federal Rhythm Dandies where he tutored the Jùjú music maestro, King Sunny Adé who was his lead guitarist.
Some of the films acted by the late comedian include; Orun Mooru (1982),Aare Agbaye (1983), Mosebolatan (1985).
Obee Gbona (1989), Diamond (1990 Home video ), Agba Man (1992, Home Video)Return Match (1993, Home Video), Ana Gomina (1996, home video, ), among others.