Femi Ogunrombi, the veteran actor who for a short time had played Papa Ajasco in the Wale Adenuga comedy series “Papa Ajasco and Company,” passed away on January 15, 2023, according to media expert Husseini Shaibu.
On Shaidu’s Twitter handle he said, “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 @waleadenugaprod Comic Series ‘Papa Ajasco’ Mr. Femi Ogunrombi is dead! Journey well Sir,” alongside his picture.
Papa Ajasco , the fictional womanising bald-headed husband, who often slaps his head when astonished at events was one of the greatest comic characters in Nollywood history popularized by Richard Abiodun Ayoyinka the man whose pictures top media houses and social media handlers mistook for Ogunrombi.
In the mid 90s, Ayoyinka started playing the Papa Ajasco character under Wale Adenuga’s blessings but left the role to Ogunrombi who played the role for two years. Years later Ogunrombi in an interview said fans connected more with Ayoyinka and was asked by Wale Adenuga to forfeit the role to the original actor for commercial reasons.
“It was in the interest of Wale Adenuga Productions Company that I left. I don’t feel bad about leaving, but the thing is that quite a number of viewers tended to be with the other guy, and, like I said before, they see me as an elitist Papa Ajasco. Also, considering the market target of the sponsors, they felt they were losing viewers and money, I was nicely told and I reasoned with them and left,” Ogunrombi said in the interview.
He said he was happy to play the role during his time and was friends with Ayoyinka during and after his time as Papa Ajasco. He said the cast grew to become a real family and had the pleasure of reintroducing the cast to Ayoyinka when he returned to reprise the role.
Before playing the role of Papa Ajasco Ogunrombi was an entho-musicologist who made his mark in creative activities both in drama and musical scenes, spanning more than 25 years. He was a recipient of many local and international awards, most notably in 1995 when he was awarded a gold plaque and a Diploma Certificate in Creative Composition in North Korea for performing a song in that language.
During his active years in the industry, Ogunrombi was passionate about creative art education for children in schools. He once said “I feel that if creative arts can be encouraged in schools, particularly government schools, our kids would be able to build a solid entertainment sector. We want to discover them early so as to train and guide them.”