UPDATED: Here are what you should know about the late ‘Papa Ajasco’

FEMI Ogunrombi, Papa Ajasco of the popular television comedy series, ‘Papa Ajasco’, has been reported dead.

Ogunrombi, a former music instructor with the National Troupe of Nigeria, died late on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

Announcing his death, a theatre practitioner, Husseini Shaibu, wrote in a tweet, “I have just been reliably informed that the ethnomusicologist, former Music Instructor with @NATIONALTROUPE and one time stand-in for the ‘Papa Ajasco’ character on the popular Wale Adenuga Production Comic Series ‘Papa Ajasco’ Mr. Femi Ogunrombi is DEAD!“

The cause of the veteran Nollywood actor is yet to be publicly ascertained.

Ogunrombi was arguably one of the most famous Nigerian comic actors. He portrayed the popular comedian Papa Ajasco on television as a stand-in for Abiodun Ayoyinka in 2006 after the latter pulled out of the show. 

The Papa Ajasco series, which centres on the Ajasco family and their interactions with others, is a Nigerian family television sitcom created by Wale Adenuga in 1996.

Ogunrombi played the lead character as the bald-headed promiscuous husband who cares less of his wife, Mama Ajasco, and his mischievous son, Bobo Ajaccio.

He also left the role in December 2008.

Ogunrombi, who was also a producer, worked as the director of Nigerian national music for about 10 years.

He was the Director of Studies at the Pencil Film and Television Centre in Lagos.

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An indigene of Abeokuta, Ogun State, Ogunrombi was born in Ife, Osun State, and would later move to Lagos in the 1970s with his parents.

He studied Nursing in 1975 and practised at the General Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, for a short period.

After taking interest in music and the arts, Ogunrombi went back to school in the 1980s to study Dramatic Arts at the Obafemi Awolowo University.

At the OAU, he founded and conducted a choral group called The Ayoro Voices. This group was the cultural image of the university between 1980 and 1983.

In 1994, he joined the National Troupe of Nigeria, under the Ministry of Information and Culture, as Music Instructor. Despite rising to the position of director of music at the ministry, he left the government to pursue his own music business.

He had worked as a musicologist for more than 30 years.

The late Papa Ajasco was a recipient of many local and international awards, most notably in 1995 when he was awarded a gold plaque and a Diploma in Creative Composition in North Korea for performing a song in that language.

Ogunrombi is said to be married and blessed with, at least three, children. However, details of his age and number of children are not yet verified.

Ogunrombi’s death sparks misinformation

Confirming the death, the Author and Director of Papa Ajasco and Company Wale Adenuga, said the news of Ogunrombi’s death came as a shock to him.

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Adenuga commiserated with the late Papa Ajasco in a telephone conversation with a radio station. 

Meanwhile, the news of his death sparked misinformation as many mistook him for Abiodun Ayoyinka, the first cast of the show.




     

     

    Ayoyinka was the first cast in the Papa Ajasco TV series, before the late Ogunrombi replaced him in 2006.

    The ICIR gathered that several pictures and videos of Ayoyinka with the caption ‘Rest in Peace’ have been flying on social media since the news of  Ogunrombi’s demise, the second Papa Ajasco.

    Reacting to the speculations, Ayoyinka, in a video that surfaced online, said, “I am not dead, I am still alive.”

    Editor’s Note: This report was updated to reflect Adenuga’s reaction and the misinformation surrounding the death. The update starts from the subhead ‘Ogunrombi’s death sparks misinformation’

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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