By all standards, LerePaimo, fondly called “EdaOnileola” is a force to reckon with in the theatrical world in Nigeria as his name continue to reverberate in the movie industry decades after he made his debut.
And it was for this reason that friends, family, colleagues and well wishers joined the popular theatre icon as he rolled out the drums on Friday, November 14, to celebrate his 75th birthday and 55 years on stage at a carnival-like event held at the multipurpose Civic Centre, Ibadan.
The event, which had the crème-de-la-crème of Nollywood and music industry in attendance was full of encomiums poured on the actor for his contributions to the development of theatre, especially in the South-west of the country.
Chief LerePaimo, who has a natural penchant for challenging his creativity through stage performance and has carved a niche for him in the film making industry while speaking, attributed his fame in the movie industry to the glory of God.
He added: “I’m celebrating my birthday to the glory of God. There are a lot of reasons for the celebration. Although, there are a lot of older people than me that are still alive and a lot of people who are not up to my age that have died,” he said.
And true to his words, many of LerePaimo’s peers and seniors in the industry, including Hubert Ogunde, DuroLadipo and IsolaOgunsola a.k.a. Isho Pepper have left for the great beyond for which he has cause to celebrate.
EdaOnileola has many films to his credit and has worked with notable theatre practitioners, including late Chief OyinAdejobi, Ray Eyiwumi and the late OsunOsogbo priestess, the Austrian, Susan Wenger, who wrote a story that was adapted for the screen from which his popular stage name, ‘Eda’ emerged.
No doubt, when the history of theatre or acting is written, Chief LerePaimo’s name would be among those of the pioneers.
Speaking with WESTERN POST, some of the guests at the event described the celebrant as a man of many parts, who laid a solid foundation for the upcoming artists in the movie industry.
The event was spiced up by music from a popular Fuji musician, AlhajiSaheedOsupa and other top music artistes.