I Need 2milion naira for treatment – Ailing Pa Kasumu - NATIONAL TRUMPET

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I Need 2milion naira for treatment – Ailing Pa Kasumu

Mr. Kayode Odumosu a.k.a Pa Kasumu is one of the very few actors that have carved a niche for themselves in the Theatre Industry. He picked up acting and left his former place of work in 1973 to put smiles in the faces of Nigerians particularly his teeming loyalists in the south west. Nine years ago, he was struck by an ailment which almost took his life, but thank God, he is alive today. Enjoy the interview:

TRENDING METRO: Your name and when did you go into full time acting?
PA KASUMU: I am by name Olukayode Olugbenga Odumosu. I was born over sixty years ago. I am from Ogun state. My father is from Odogbolu in Ijebu while my mother is from Abeokuta in Egbaland. I refer to myself as an Ijegba. I went into full time acting in 1973. Then, I was working as a staff with a transport company in Lagos. I resided in Iporin. Whenever I was coming from my place of work, I used to see a group of people acting. I now said to myself, that I could be part of them and also do well in that line. I went to the leader of the group and he accepted me. That was how I jettisoned my former work for acting. When I started, it was interesting. I did not see anything difficult there.Because I needed money then, I had to drop my primary job, though at that time, there was big money in acting.

TRENDING METRO: Did acting add anything to your life and which association did you belong to?
PA KASUMU: Yes, as a matter of fact, acting did a lot in my life. It made me to be wise. I must confess to you, I learnt so many things from my colleagues. Their life pattern and behavioural attitude are different. I have been to ANTP. I don’t think there is anything like ANTP again. TAMPAN is what I hear about now and it is for Yoruba actors.

I was thought acting by a man known as Afolabi. He owned Simbad Concert. Afolabi was thought acting by one Olorun Egbon. I took part in many plays like Wole Wole, Arufin and another one, Iyawo Orun. Iyawo Orun, which earned me accolades. They were looking for someone to act a role in the play, I volunteered to do that and I did it very well. My boss was happy, that he gave me applause and handshake. That was a very big honour then.

TRENDING METRO: Why the disunity among Nigerian Actors?
PA KASUMU: Actors are very difficult to bring together. Since I came here (Mowe) as a result of my illness, none of my colleagues deemed it fit to visit me. Even when I was in Abeokuta, I did not see any of them. The disunity among we actors caused this mess. The disunity might be a product of envy, but God knows best. Look at Olumide Bakare. He stayed very long in hospital before his demise; I do not think our colleagues visited him. Though I was down then, Olumide Bakare and I were still communicating. The case of Pastor Ajidara too, was something that touched my heart and pained me to the bone marrow. If we were together, what he went through would not have terminated his life. Now I have been neglected by my colleagues, too bad, but my family members have not neglected me. I have missed the dead ones, Olumide and Ajidara.

TRENDING METRO:What is the nature of your illness?
PA KASUMU: It has to do with my sight. I partially see. Things get muddled up and I see double at times. As you are standing, I am seeing you as if you are two. I want to thank my son. He has been up to the challenge, taking me from one place to another. I was at an Eye foundation in Ikoyi. I have equally travelled to India, for treatment. The problem started nine years ago, precisely on the 9th of December 2009. When it started, my son was the only one staying with me. He was very humble. I was paying between #34,000.00 and #36,000.00 per week for my treatment. Then I had some money in my bank account. I generated the money from what we called Back-to-back. I seldom use the money because I kept it there for a purpose. I wanted to spend it to roof my house in Ogijo, I had about #4m, then, but when I fell sick, the whole money went into it.

TRENDING METRO: Can one say that the calamity befalling the Theatre industry is made? At least, we heard about Moji Olaiya, Olumide Bakare and Ajidara, among others.
PA KASUMU: Not really to the actors alone. It is a general thing. I do not see it as man made because there are still some actors that are not popular, but were also struck by illness. In my own case, I am giving thanks to God because for the past nine years, if He does not want, me to do something in life, he would not have kept me till this moment.

TRENDING METRO: Now, you are no longer acting. Can anybody act like you, any magic behind your success story?
PA KASUMU: To me, it is God. Talking about if somebody else could fit into the role I play. It might take time but definitely, somebody somewhere, would occupy the position and probably, do it better. Mind you, I am not dead yet. I am an optimist. I still have the hope that I would be on my legs again. I am still coming to the industry to perform. I have no problem with my leg, though I now walk slowly, but I believe God the Healer would take control. If you are looking for somebody to wear my shoes, it might take time. I don’t know. I don’t know. But if you are saying there is nobody to wear the shoes, let me tell you that we have actors who can do it. That is life. There is nothing special about my performance.

TRENDING METRO: Like how much will you need now to take care of your illness and who are those that have assisted you?
PA KASUMU: I told you, I was once in Indian. What they did for me then is evaluation. They tried their best. Had it been that I was able to meet up with the second appointment they gave me, may be things would have changed. I could not go because of money. My first trip to the place gulped over #2.5m and the second trip was to cost #1.8m, which I could not raise. Their bill must have gone up, astronomically. I would have said, I prefer going back to Indian but if I go there again, they would have to start all over for me. What I need now can’t be more than #2m, to buy drugs. The drugs I use are very expensive. One of them is #12,000.00. Though my son does not like me asking for money from people but there is nothing, I can do now, than to open up because he can no longer do it alone. I went to somebody at Meran in Lagos who said he would take #500,000.00 from me. You can see the situation, I am in, now.

Those who have helped me? OH! The Ogun state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been very wonderful. The total money I have received from him is #3m. He promised to come and see me and he did so. He is a man that should be taken for his word. Aside from Governor Amosun, the former Governor of Lagos state, Raji Fashola also did well for me. He was in Mecca when he heard about my health problem. His men took me to First Cardiology in Ikoyi and later gave me #1.5m.

The former Governor of Oyo state,Chief Alao Akala was the first to give me money. He gave me #5000,000.00. I thank all of them and also pray that God will always be with them.

Source: Village News (May/June 2018 Edition)

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