I grew up adoring my favorite Nollywood actor, Richard Mofe Damijo. Even as a child I saw he had a presence in anything he appeared in; especially the way he talked and performed a character. He always managed to stand out, not surprising, with his charismatic personality and talented acting. And adding more to his impressive profile, he is the former Delta State Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, a position he really deserved.
My first glimpse of him was in some 80’s T.V show. He was credited as “Evans Damijo” at the time (that at least I remember) and his character was in battle with a character played by the late Funsho Alabi- over the same woman. The lady in question was apparently an old flame of the second dude but married to the first one, and to make matters worse, RMD’s character found out his first son wasn’t his after all but of the other dude.
There was Ripples, where he played a police officer- still credited as “Evans Damijo”, who was mostly in conflict with the soap’s main villain, Talab Abass (Alex Usifo), had a failed romance with Mimi Dehinde Phillips (Bimbo Odekunle) and a brief one with a pretty lawyer, Daphne (Barbara Soky), before his character was then written off.
Then I saw him in Jagua Nana’s Daughter (before later reading the book), where he played the main character’s married lover, Saka Jojo and I really rooted for his character and Liza… until she and her roommate were attacked by his three wives!
But then came his most memorable T.V role some years later; Segun Kadiri (now credited as Richard Mofe Damijo) - the creepy yet charismatic villain we so loved to hate- in Amaka Igwe’s Checkmate! Like Dallas’ villain J.R Ewing, he was the most talked about character, the second was probably Anne Hastrup (Ego Boyo); whom he sought to destroy-initially- but then fought to win her affections after falling in love with her- an unexpected twist in their storyline that left viewers at the edge of their seats, especially since no one knew for a long time just why he hated Anne’s family to begin with.
And then came a line of movies; Violated (paired with Checkmate co-star, Ego Boyo) Hostages, Amadas, Out of Bounds, Scores To Settle, The Price, Suicide Mission, Diamond Ring, Keeping Faith, Critical Assignment etc.
The country shared RMD’s sorrow when he lost his first wife, late “MEE and You” talk show hostess, Mary Ellen Ezekiel Damijo in 1996 and his joy when he married former “AIT Lunch Break” presenter, the lovely Jumobi Adegbesan, in 2000. And as he clocks 55 today, we celebrate with him and wish him many more happy years ahead.
RMD... Happy birthday, long life and prosperity and keep on rocking!
See him on Youtube.com in the following movies: