Veteran comic actor, Babatunde Omidina fondly referred to as Baba Suwe, died at 63 on Monday, as confirmed by the president of the Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Producers Association of Nigeria, Bolaji Amusan also known as Mr Latin.
Though Baba Suwe hails from the Ikorodu local government area of Lagos State, he was born on August 22, 1958, in Lagos Island, the same area where he started his acting career.
Rise to stardom
In an earlier interview with THE Punch, Baba Suwe had stated that he began his career while he was in secondary school by joining a group known as the Osumare Theatre Group.
From a major stage play titled, Baoku, the group became popular and moved to Lagos Television for their stage plays.
He said, “While at LTV 8, we had gone for a stage play, and after the performance, some people walked up to me and asked if I was the one in costume that just left the stage. I told them I was the one and they asked if I could perform at their station, which was NTA Channel 7.
“They also invited me to the National Theatre where we used to have 10-minute performances. We were then told to perform at their station. Their producer then was called Gani Kasumu.
“They really loved our first performance and we ended up recording 13 episodes of the programme. That was how the ‘world’ got to know about Baba Suwe and we became very popular.”
Baba Suwe’s movies
Movies acted by the Yoruba veteran include Iru Esin, Oju Oloju, Baba Londoner,Ko tan si be, Aso Ibora, etc.
He has also produced films including include Alfa Nla, Ayedun, Baba Jaiye Jaiye, Baba Londoner, Eku Meji, Ojo Ale, Agbefo, Oju Oloju, etc.
The actor’s health battle was made public in 2019 when he was said to be battling an undisclosed sickness.
In 2019, Mr Latin said TAMPAN had been taking care of the veteran actor’s medical bills since 2017, under the administration of immediate-past President, Dele Odule.
Baba Suwe’s ailment landed him at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Idi Araba, Lagos and according to Mr. Latin, the development was as a result of the approval of the association’s appeal to the Federal Government to foot the medical bill of the veteran.
Mr. Latin said the ailing veteran comedian was promised first-class treatment by the Federal Government at LUTH.
The actor also spent a month in a hospital at Rhodes Island, near New York, in the United States, where he received treatment for complications arising from diabetes and other ailments.
At that time, his benefactors included Rev Esther Ajayi, also known as Iya Adura, of the Love of Christ Generation Church, Cherubim and Seraphim, who donated N10m to the actor, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who also donated N1m.
Last year, there were death rumours about the actor, which came a day after his 62nd birthday. His son, Adesola, at that time, dispelled such rumours, stating that his father was used to the death rumours.