‘My saddest moment was when I was down with chronic ulcer’ - Ogogo

FAMOUS actor cum film maker, Alhaji Taiwo Hassan, otherwise known as Ogogo clocked 55 recently.  The talented role interpreter said he would forever be grateful to Almighty Allah for keeping him alive after all he went through some years back.

The Yewa, Ogun born entertainer recapped the ugly moment which almost sent him to the great beyond and much more when ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him in Odunfa Street, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

On Friday, October 31, 2014, you clocked 55.  How does that make you feel?

First, I give thanks to Almighty Allah for the grace.  Clocking 55 really makes me feel happy.  I am grateful to Allah for sparing my life till this moment.  Although, it has not been that easy and smooth, I still thank God for His mercies on me all this while.  I have a lot of reasons to be grateful to God, especially how I came out of my terrible experience when I took ill.  I will forever thank God for sailing me through.  And I pray that won’t be my portion again and all those who love me wholeheartedly.

OgogoCan you share with us some of your happy moments?

I have a lot of moments that called for celebrations.  God has been so wonderful to me.  And I must also be very grateful to my parents because without them, maybe I wouldn’t have known God.  Not only that, they also tried in the aspect of education.  Then, I am happily married, and I am blessed with lovely children. Each time I see them, I am always happy.  I always thank God. I am praying to be a grandfather very soon (laughs).  If we now talk of automobiles, house to call my own, Alhamdullilahi.  I don’t need to be talking about things like these but just to give thanks to Almighty Allah, who has been blessing my career since day one.

What about your saddest moment?

Yes, there is no way you live and won’t have one or two negative stories to tell. But one thing about me is that so far I have overcome any challenge, I don’t see it as a big thing again.  Each time I ponder over my trying period, I give thanks to Almighty Allah because a lot of people have undergone mild ailments and they couldn’t survive them.  So, coming out alive from such a severe predicament is something one can’t stop thanking God for. It’s not by my power or wisdom.  Everything was beyond human knowledge.  I will continue to be grateful to all my fans and the media for their support all through.  Whatever I am today it’s through you guys.  If you’re into anything and nobody is appreciating you it’s like you’re not doing anything.  But so far you have people around you, appreciating your work, it inspires you to forge ahead.  That’s exactly what keeps Ogogo moving till date.  So, I must forever be thankful to Allah for the kind of grace I am enjoying within the industry and beyond.  Even in my hometown, they all appreciate me, they see me as one of their illustrious sons.  Our monarch, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle Agunloye II, the Olu of Yewaland, also accords me special recognition.  The same way all other Obas in our area treat me.  I appreciate them all, may Almighty Allah continue to be with them.

Was there any time you made a decision that called for regret?

No, there wasn’t any moment of such.  I believe if anything happens to me, it’s to the best knowledge of Almighty Allah.  So there was nothing I did that I regretted.

We’re happy to see your new look, how do you feel now regaining your physique fully?

I feel very happy and joyous.  All I need is to continue to thank Allah for His mercies and protection. I believe what happened to me was a test of faith which Allah made me to overcome.  It’s not by my power but His grace.  A lot of rumours were filtering around then, some said it was cocaine that I was unable to excrete that burst inside my stomach and destroyed my intestines.  Some even said I contacted HIV/AIDS and much more which they later found out that up till now, I am still alive, kicking and bouncing.  It’s a surprise to see Ogogo come alive from a sickness which everybody had already concluded that I might not survive it.  I heard more than enough rumours, but personally, I knew what went wrong with my health.  I had a very terrible experience which I can never forget.  It was a miracle that I came out of it, and now I am back to my normal stature, the hunky Ogogo.  It’s just the parable of a dog that visited the lion’s den and returned safely, it should be very thankful to God.  Whatever anybody might have said, I have forgiven them all.  Glory be to Almighty Allah.

For the benefit of those that will be reading your story for the first time, what were you diagnosed of?

I had chronic ulcer.  You can imagine what will happen to a person that couldn’t eat anything apart from pap for seven months.  I was so lean.  Maybe, that was what actually fuelled the speculation that I had HIV/AIDS.  If I ate any other thing then, even if it’s a teaspoon of rice, I would vomit everything. I would even vomit blood.  I pray that won’t be your portion, and that of everybody that loves you as well.  I also pray that till I finish my assignment on earth, I won’t experience such again.  It’s an experience I don’t like to continue talking about.

You’re a ladies’ man, have your female admirers start showing up now that you’re back fully in looks and everything?

(Laughs) The love women had for me before my predicament was still there even when I was down.  And there were some of my male colleagues that found it difficult to hug me because of my ailment.  But I thank God for my life today.  Am I not the one that’s 55 now, the age a lot of people didn’t know I would attain?  I could still recollect running medical tests alone cost me fortunes.  For about four months, I was on the same spot. I was performing my five daily prayers, sitting.  I couldn’t stand on my legs.  I thought all was over.  But God revealed to me that it was just a test to know how close I was to Him.

That means, the situation also drew you nearer to God?

Even before then, I was very close to God but I became closer.  I will forever worship Him.  He has done me proud.

ogogoWhat lesson did you learn from your predicament?

The only lesson I learnt is that life is vanity.  There is nothing to die for. One just need to be very close to God.  Heaven is what matters a lot.  When I was sick, I had started work on my house. I refused to sell the property. It’s that same house I am living in today.  And I thank God, if they say it’s a very powerful politician that owns it, you won’t argue.

Can you tell us the worth of the house?

I only know it costs a lot of money. I can’t say exactly how much it gulped.  Besides, I don’t comment much on such things.

Was the house built out of your earnings from acting alone?

Yes, Almighty Allah can bear me witness. I don’t have any other means of livelihood than acting and film making.  Cocaine or no cocaine, I don’t know anything about that.  I have never been involved in any shady business. I thank God for blessing my career marvelously.

At 55, what are the things you feel you can’t do again?

There is nothing I was doing that I can’t do again.  At 55, I am still the same, even much more stronger.  Talk in terms of my role as an actor and that of a man (laughs).  I am very agile.  What I think is working for me is that I don’t drink or smoke.  I eat quality food.  If one follows health rules, the person will surely look fit all the time.  But left to me, I am a traditional man to the core.  I don’t believe in all these orthodox medicines, I use herbs a lot and that has been working for me.  Above all, God.

Would you say God has blessed you abundantly at 55?

Alhamdulillahi. He has really blessed me.

What more do you want from Him?

He knows best, and I believe He would do everything I need for me.

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‘My saddest moment was when I was down with chronic ulcer’ - Ogogo
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