My life as a fool– Baba Suwe, who just survived auto crash

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bPopular comedy merchant, Alhaji Babatunde Omidina, popularly called Baba Suwe is currently not having the best of times. The comedian last Friday survived an automobile crash together with three members of his household in the early hours of the day.

Baba Suwe was on his way to Lagos from his Ikorodu residence to receive medical attention, since he was just recuperating from a protracted ailment.

Earlier, Baba Suwe, national treasurer, Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP), and husband of Alhaja Monsura Omidina, a.k.a (Omoladun Kenkelewu) was rumoured to have been involved in drug trafficking when he travelled to the United States late last year. The troubled waters got more turbulent as the couple comedian were recently alleged to have been deliberately sidelined by some of their colleagues who "envy" them. The two artistes said they now depend on their video productions for survival.

And for all sympathizers, who stormed the Elepe, Ikorodu residence of the couple, the question on everybody's lips was: "Who wants the Omidinas down?"
A visit to their home shortly after the crash revealed that the ace actor-cum- comedian is, indeed, responding to treatment. He told Daily Sun:

The accident
I was on my way to a Lagos-based hospital from Ikorodu about 6a.m that Friday. Suddenly, I just saw that I had landed in hospital. I was told to pull off my clothes and I wondered why. It was then that I was reminded that I was involved in a road accident with a tipper at Idiroko area and three members of my household on board.

As I learnt, the three other persons were my driver, his child and one of his siblings. They sustained serious injuries on their heads and faces. I am still having pains in my arms and neck. But thank God, nobody died.
The V-boot Mercedes Benz car, in which they were travelling, is a write-off. Though, I have not seen the car since then, people told me the car had been taken to the police station.

Any foul play?
Although, he said he does not believe in juju and charms, he, however, expressed shock at the rate certain events unfolded in his life in quick succession. “Before the accident, I was just recuperating from an illness. I spent almost one week in hospital. I was going to Lagos for treatment on that day when I had an accident again together with my people.

“You see, many things have been happening to me and I don't know where they are coming from. All I know is that in this kind of job, we need so much protection. But I am sure my wife and I are not fighting anybody over anything. And if people stop calling us for movies anymore, we are not vexed. We are trying to manage the meager income we are making from our own movies. So, we would not know the source of the tragedies.”

Many troubles
So many things happen under the sun. There is no profession without its difficulties. Before one comes into limelight, one would have many things to contend with. Before now, people have rumoured that I was into cocaine business and that I had been caught. That was late last year when I travelled to America and the rumour is still on today. There have been so many confrontations and many allegations, the latest tragedy is the accident.

I have to strengthen my relationship with God through prayers. I have been praying. It is prayer that lifted me up to the present level and it has sustained me all the while. If not for Him, I would have been buried. But I thank God for everything. I'm into this profession with my wife. They do not call us for movies any longer. But we believe in our ability and whatever we do, God's blessing will always be on it. Our movies have been able to showcase our capabilities.

How I started
We didn't start the way it is now. I started about 30 years ago. In those days, you'd buy drums and other things before you can be accepted to learn the trade. I didn't start with Erinkeke; I started with NTA 7 and 10. I was on ground when Channel 8 was established.

I learnt theatre in school. When I was at Ife Oluwa Grammar School, Osogbo, a man called Baba Opebe used to perform and teach us how to act. He used to dress like the late Jaguar. It was then I developed interest in acting. One day, while returning from my place of work on Victoria Island, I stopped over at Tinubu Square (market) to buy a drum and sekere (local percussion instrument) for recreation during my spare time.

During my time, one must have drums and sekere before being recognised as a theatre practitioner. Then, I used to assemble people in my neighbourhood in Inabere area in the neighbourhood of Glover Street, Lagos. Then, a day came when we were invited to a show on NTA Channel 10. It was after the programme was aired on television that I became a star because all those who watched it appreciated my talent. I became popular with name of a lunatic called Gba Jesu (meaning accept Jesus Christ).

The drug peddling rumour
I travelled on December 29 last year to the United States on the invitation of a promoter named Larry, who is based in Houston, Texas. I went on the trip with Chika Okpala a.k.a. Chief Zebrudaya Okorigwe Nwogbo, alias 4:30 for the shooting of a movie entitled: Obasanjo, but we ended up not shooting the movie because the producer was not forthcoming. I returned to the country on February 7 and started hearing all sorts of rumours. I don't know what could have led to the rumour that I was in jail over drug related-offences, but I am not bothered about it because people would say and peddle all sorts of rumours when one is not around. I have long decided to move on in life and ignore what people say.
When we got to Houston, we were given different scripts to go through. And as professionals, we were trying to master our scripts before we discovered that the promoter could not meet up with some of our demands. We were even on location at a time where Zebrudaya had his costume on before we knew the producer was not ready to work. I did a few stage performances and was Master of Ceremony (MC) at some events.

I came into the country unexpected. I didn't even tell my wife I was coming. I wanted to catch all the rumour mongers unaware.
I have been travelling abroad for a while now and I have never been arrested for any offence. So, all the stories that I engaged in drug trafficking are false.

Is Baba Suwe a sadist or a snub
I am a disciplinarian to the core, as I am now, without costume, I am not funny but when I wear my costumes, I would easily enter into character. I cannot get on a plane and start creating scenes. Have you ever seen a carpenter using his teeth to remove nail or a painter painting at all time? So also is a comedian. Let them see the comedy in you only when you are acting.