Popular Yoruba actress, Folake Aremu, aka Orisabunmi, has passed on at the age of 60.Her death was confirmed by the Theatre Arts And Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN).
A member of the association, Tunde Ola-Yusuff, announced her death in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Ola-Yusuff wrote: “She left without a goodbye. The sudden death of Mrs Folake Aremu (Orisabunmi) has been announced.
“Really a shock on everyone. Iya Oosa, may God rest your soul among the righteous.”
The cause of death is not known yet.
However, a gospel artiste, Esther Igbekele who mourned Orisabunmi revealed that the last time she saw her was on December 24, 2020 at an event in Kogi State where she was the MC.
Igbekele, who shared the video of a happy Orisabunmi wrote, “I can’t just believe this shocking news that you are gone Mrs Aremu a.k.a. ORISABUNMI.. You are so lively and vibrant when you anchored the program at PONYAN in Kogi State. I never knew that will be the last time I will ever set my eyes on you. Wow 🤩.. Iku doro. Ah ! O mase O ! May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
A Yoruba Nollywood veteran, she was well known from the 80s for her roles as a priestess, pacifist or the good witch in movies
Orisabunmi was born on October 10, 1960, in Ilu Ola, Kwara state. She went to Ilu Ola Primary School and Secondary Commercial College.
She never attended university.
The veteran actress was discovered by her ex-husband in the 80s while working as a teacher in Kwara state. Her ex-husband, Nollywood veteran, Chief Jimoh Aliu (Aworo) had first noticed her and expressed his interest in her. After visiting him on set, Orisabunmi decided to try a role in a movie he was producing. He found that she was gifted in acting and decided to officially add her to the play. She soon began her career appearing in movies produced by Aworo.
She first appeared on a stage play called ‘Ori Ma Binu’ but it was her role as ‘Orisabunmi’ in “Arelu” that made her a popular name in Nollywood in the 80s.
Her appearance in other movies like “Agbaarin” and soap opera, “Yanponyanrin” cemented her place in the movie industry. She was trained by Chief Jimoh Aliu but her special ability to speak incantations comes from her upbringing.
She was born into a family with a masquerade lineage so she already knew some incantations before she had to start acting. She married Chief Jimoh six years after she began her career but they are now divorced.
He claimed in an interview with The Sun that she had absconded with another man. He said, “But when the devil struck, the agent that satan used to accomplish the mission was the man she eloped with.”
There were also rumours about her dating King Sunny Ade but Aworo quickly shut them down, clearing the air that it never happened.
She has played some iconic roles like ‘Asabi’ in “Oluwerimagboojo”, and the priestess in “Ayanmo Eda”.
In more recent times, she played the role of ‘Eyegbemi’, a witch who tries to help her friend out of poverty