Over the years, many entertainers, especially veterans, have come to the public space to beg for financial assistance to take care of their health, family and other responsibilities. In recent times, some of these entertainers have pleaded with their fans to help them with homes and cars. And luckily for them, their fans have come to their aid, with some buying them houses and cars; while others doled out cash gifts. Saturday Beats’ Oghenovo Egodo-Michael takes a look at some entertainers who have been in this situation in recent times
A popular Nollywood actress, Margret Olayinka, aka Iya Gbonkan, caught the attention of many after a video of her asking fans for help went viral. In the video which was posted on the Internet sometime in May, the 64-year-old actress disclosed that despite working in the movie industry for decades, she still could not afford to buy a car. Pleading with fans to celebrate her while she was alive, the actress asked for help to buy a car and complete her housing project in Osogbo, the Osun State capital. She said, “I have been acting for decades, yet I don’t have a car. I rely on buses every day. If I were to die now, they would slaughter a cow (for the funeral). Celebrate me now while I am alive. I need a car from my fans.”
On June 8, 2023, a well-meaning fan and the Chief Executive Officer of Alexes Promotion, Omobolanle Olatise, granted the veteran’s wish. A car was presented on her behalf to Olayinka in Ibadan, Oyo State, by one Mustapha Jayeola.
In appreciation, Iya Gbonkan stated that she would drive the car to movie locations. She said, “I pray that the Almighty God will continue to bless my benefactor richly. I promise that I will make good use of the car. I will learn how to drive the car. Even if I have to support myself with a pillow, I will do that. I also have people that can drive me. From now, the car will be taking me to movie locations.”
Meanwhile, the elderly actress also received over N4m in donations for her housing project after a cleric, Prophet Agbala Gabriel, took to his Facebook page on June 6, 2023, to champion a fundraising drive for her. The next day, Gabriel stated that some money had been raised. He wrote, “N4.1m for Iya Gbonkan’s house. Work has started already.”
Thanking everyone who contributed money, Iya Gbonkan said, “I am thankful. I don’t have power but you all are my backbone. You will not get tired. My matter will not get you tired, and you will not be indebted for the good things you are doing to me. In the name of God, you will have enough to spend.”
In a video posted by the cleric, the actress was spotted with four other women dancing and praising the former for his help.
Born on September 14, 1958, Iya Gbonkan is well known for the wicked character she often plays; most times, acting as a witch.
Following the positive response from fans towards Iya Gbonkan, another veteran actor, Fatai Adetayo, aka Lalude, solicited a car gift from his fans.
A content creator, Akinyoola Ayoola, aka Kamo, noted that he was concerned about Lalude’s situation after he invited him to feature in one of his skits, only to realize that the veteran thespian did not even own a car.
In a video posted online, Kamo and the actor pleaded with Nigerians for help, with the skit maker pledging a sun of N1m. Kamo added that it would be best if they could buy a small car that would not give Lalude maintenance problems.
Shortly after, an anonymous fan sent N3m as his contribution towards the actor’s car after seeing a post on a blogger, Temilola Sobola’s social media page. Appreciating the positive response that greeted his plea, Lalude recorded a video, saying, “Aunty Temi, I thank you a lot. I am happy. Baba Olorire, they delivered your donation of N3m to me. May God be with you, and your money would not be exhausted. You won’t witness the untimely death of your children. Thank you. I really appreciate that you assisted with my problems. God will not leave you alone.”
Days after, the veteran acquired a red Toyota Corolla car, which was presented to him by Kamo and others on behalf of the actor’s fans.
Returning to social media to thank fans, Lalude said, “I thank Nigerians, home and abroad, for what you have done for me. You will not die uselessly. The person that gave me N3m; I thank you again. I also thank the person who gave me N1m.”
On his part, Kamo said, “Baba Lalude is now a car owner. He does not board okada again. Thank you so much. We love and appreciate you.”
Born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the actor started his career in 1970, and mostly plays the role of a herbalist in movies. He has been featured in films, such as ‘Aishepa’, ‘Akinlaja odeogun’, ‘Mayegun’, ‘Ibinu Balogun’, and ‘Olowe Odumosa’.
Yet another veteran actor and filmmaker, Ganiyu Nofiu, popularly known as Alapini Osa, seemingly borrowed a leaf from Lalude’s playbook and reached out to Kamo to assist him in soliciting a car gift from fans.
Kamo wrote on social media, “Baba Alapini reached out to me. It is so sad that our legends are not getting the accolades they deserve. He is the next (person) we will be making happy, guys.”
In a video posted on Kamo’s social media page on June 25, 2023, Alapini stated that he previously owned two cars, but had to sell them to take care of his then 40-year-old son, who later passed on after months of receiving treatment. He said, “I had jeep and a small car but I sold them and lost other valuables when my first child took ill and became bedridden. It was a difficult time for me. He was a 40-year-old man but he died eventually, and I accepted it as an act of God.
“I am not asking Nigerians to raise money for me to take care of my health, because I am fine. However, I need a car, and I know that Nigerians who bought a car for my friend, Lalude, can do the same for me too. I am trusting Nigerians and my fans outside the country to make this dream a reality.”
In an interview with Saturday Beats, the actor gave his reasons for going down that route. He said, “Actors have worked a great deal but they have not got the benefits of the work they have done, so, they have to seek help from their fans and those who really love them. A son actually called me to say that they needed to talk about how to get me a car. That was after they (fans) did the same for my friend, Lalude. I responded (positively) to him, and people are responding to that need. I need the appreciation now, and I am grateful to those that have been responding well.”
The actor added that the government had not done enough in taking care of veteran actors. He said, “There are many things the government is supposed to be doing. If the government decides to be giving old actors N50,000 each as pension, that’s not bad. The government has also benefited from actors. During the campaigns, many actors support politicians.”
Maintaining that there was no shame in begging for one’s needs, the veteran actor said, “There is no shame in it. It is not a crime. There is nothing wrong with one making use of what one has to get what one wants. Many people think that movie stars are rich (but that’s not so). If anyone feels that we are beggars, maybe, the person should pray to be in our shoes.”
As of July 5, 2023, well wishers had contributed over about N2.7m towards buying the actor a car.
Thanking all who contributed, the actor noted that though he had not got the car gift yet, a fan has bought him a phone.
Alapini started his acting career in 1977 as a street jester, but has acted as a native doctor in many movies.
Another veteran actor, Olusola Olaonipekun, aka Pariolodo, took to Facebook to congratulate Lalude on his new car, and also used the opportunity to seek the same favour. He said, “Congratulations, Lalude, you have got a car. It is God’s doing. Bring my own here. ‘Emilokan’ (I am the next). Help me bring my own car too. I don’t want to be walking about or riding a motorcycle anymore. God bless Lalude and all that supported him.”
He went on to attach his account number and phone number to the post.
Four days after, on June 19, 2023, Prophet Agbala Gabriel, once again, took it upon himself to raise funds for the veteran actor. Posting a video of the actor, he wrote, “Baba Pariolodo, needs car. Lovers, supporters…are we good to go? If you really love him, let me see your comments.”
Some days later, the Gabriel showed up at Pariolodo’s house, and the visit was streamed live on the Internet, with many fans donating different gifts. Gifts were also extended to the actor’s wife and children. Some of the gifts included N180,000 school fees for his kids, N30,000, N100,000, and N200,000 from a fan in Maryland, United States of America.
Pariolodo and wife were so overwhelmed with the contributions that they burst into tears. At the end of the live contribution, over N3m was raised for the actor, while his wife got over N1m. His wife was also given money to buy a fridge and generator to help her business.
In a heartfelt appreciation, Pariolodo thanked all those who donated. He said, “I thank all of you that have contributed to our matter. I thank Jesus Christ and God. I thank Agbala Gabriel Foundation for all they have done for us. They will not get into trouble for our sake. More anointing for you.”
The next day, the pastor bought a black Toyota Camry car for the actor.
On June 24, Pariolodo posted a video of him riding in his new car. He added the caption, “I appreciate all my fans and all (supporters of) Agbala Gabriel Foundation, both at home and abroad.”
Pari Olodo started his career in 1976, and has appeared in several films over the years.
Veteran actor, Ganiu Oyeyemi, Baba Ogunjimi, has also appealed to fans to assist him in building his house.
In a video posted on TikTok by a blogger, Princess Oloko, on July 3, 2023, the actor said, “There was a time I had stroke, and my limbs were paralysed. At that point, I thought I would never be successful. There was also another time I had an accident and suffered internal injuries. However, God continued to uplift me. Many things have happened to me, and I can only beg for God’s mercies. I then bought a land, but I could not erect a building on it. But, I told my children that I should be buried there. However, anybody that is led by God should assist me in building the house.”
The actor started his career many decades ago but in 2014, he was allegedly detained by the police in Osogbo, Osun State, for reportedly raping a daughter of his friend.