Nollywood veteran actor Mr. Olukayode Odumosu, nationally renowned by his stage name, Pa Kasunmu, is on the verge of completely losing his sight, memory and mobility due to a debilitating heart disease and partial stroke.
The unfortunate news came to public prominence recently on the social media when his children took to Facebook to make a short appeal to charitable members of the public to help save the financially-challenged actor from the ravages of heart and liver disease- a malaise he has battled with since 2009.
During an exclusive interview with Friday Flavour at his Mushin-Lagos residence, the 60-year-old Pa Kasunmu showed visible signs of ill-health– his barely audible voice trembled and he suffered shortness of breath.
“When the sickness started, it was actually moving towards my kidney, but the doctors in LUTH (Lagos University Teaching Hospital) were able to arrest that. Later, I started battling with partial stroke. Now, what I’m trying to prevent is the secondary stroke and apart from that, I’m gradually losing my sight already and I can’t walk well”, Odumosu explained.
Asked why he was coming out at this time to let Nigerians know about this ailment, he said; “My state of health has now reached a chronic stage that I can no longer handle alone, that’s why. I have been with LUTH since 2009 and I have spent a lot of money; over N4 million personally. I have sold two plots of my land and my BMW car. Although I have my family’s support, which I’m happy about, but right now I have no money anymore and my family has also done a lot.
That is why I’m calling on Nigerians to help me”. Pa Kasunmu’s son, Olajide, who corroborated to our reporter his father’s health and financial challenges said the family is doing the best in the situation to help the man overcome emotional depression. “It is difficult seeing the way he is now, but we are doing our best. He is also afflicted by memory loss and in recent times, he gets double vision”.
Regrettably, although he was never an in-patient at LUTH, the actor’s dwindling resources means he can no longer afford the costly, but vital medication and treatment necessary to fight the heart and liver diseases.
“I have never been on admission. I should have been, but I didn’t allow it simply because I can’t stand seeing another human being giving up around me; so I go from home. I have spent lots of money.
There was a time I attended three clinics in a week at LUTH which are ‘cardio’ (cardiology), ‘neuro’ (neurology), ‘uro’ (urology) and my medication in a week cost about N35,000. I was told by the doctors that it’s a lifetime thing and I must be on medication to manage my health. It must be regular and constant in order to prevent the secondary stroke. I was also told I will need a physiotherapist”, he said.
To achieve the goal of managing his health and preventing a secondary stroke, Kasunmu made known that he would require a total sum of N12 million. “I don’t have money anymore; I am only pleading with Nigerians to contribute to my survival to raise the money for my treatment. I promise them that once I am fully recovered, I won’t retire. I love to make people happy and laughing, that is what I love to do”, he assured.
Odumosu also revealed that colleagues in the industry from which he made his fame and fortunes have not given him the support he expected. “None of them have given me assistance since 2009 or since I stopped acting. Nobody checked up on me until when they saw the recent publication on Monday. Jide Kosoko ‘Oriental Kosoko’ reached out to me and Muyiwa Londoner usually put calls through to me as well”.
Born on March 16, 1953 in Odogbolu, Ogun State, Kasunmu studied Business Administration at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. At the age of 15, he found his calling on stage and carried on his theatre practice until the full advent of the home video industry, Nollywood, in the 90s.
The crossover actor is predominant for his roles in the Yoruba film genre– often times comically portraying a literate, but verbose character; however, he has featured extensively on Super Story, the hit English Language TV drama series, created by Wale Adenuga. Kasunmu’s last public appearance was at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award held in March in Lagos.