By Ifeanyi Ndukwe
Richard Mofe- Damijo popularly known by the sobriquet RMD has mapped his feet on the sands of time. He is regarded and admired by many. Infact, he is a living legend as regards Nigeria entertainment. Would you agree if we say, he is the ‘great iroko tree of Nollywood’ or perhaps the greatest act ever produced from the soil of Nigerian film industry.
RMD has starred in many award-winning movies and soap operas. He has acted with various top acts in Nollywood. His acting and leadership skills mien earned him more popularity as he was able to combine his love for entertainment with political engagements. He was formerly the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Delta state.
Born a Leo in the year 1961, in Warri, Delta state. He was named Richard Evans EyimofeDamijo to which he carve a simpler acronym for easy identification. I strongly believe he could have done this when he got to the university. Hence, he wanted to showcase his creativity starting with a simple and stylish name taken from the original.
RMD had his elementary education (presently called primary education) at Midwest College, Warri and headed for Anglican Grammar School for his secondary education. He went further to bag a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from the prestigious University of Benin. He also bagged a degree in Law from the University of Lagos.
During the moment of his primary school education, Richard Mofe Damijo acted in the school plays. By secondary school, RMD has become a guru of stage dramas. He was versatile and talented, and could take both male and female roles.
Thus, it was not hard for him to crack the nut of what to study at the university level. During this period, he continued to perform on stage drama; taking in lines and dramatizing the movements. In 1982, he was featured in ‘Echoes of Wrath’ while still in school.
After completing his university education, he began work as a journalist for his first wife’s magazine- Classique magazine. He later quit the media job and ventured into full-time acting. He got his big-time shot to limelight when he featured in the television soap opera- Ripples (recall that Ripples also featured Genevieve Nnaji and many resourceful acts of today).
He also featured in the first and popular Nollywood action film, Hostages, Score to Settle, Diamond Ring – TejuBabyface and Liz Benson were key characters- and over 200 films; locally and internationally including 30 days in Atlanta, 10 days in Sun city, Three Wise Men etc.
As his success spread in the entertainment scene, RMD ventured into other aspects of the business. Interestingly, he is a lover of education. You may call him an ensemble parts; an erudite writer, lawyer, creative director, producer and public speaker.
In 2008, he was called to serve in government in his home state, Delta State, Nigeria. He was firstly appointed as a Special Adviser to The Governor and subsequently as The Honourable Commissioner of Culture and Tourism. This position added to his feathers of accolades. During the period of his service, he was off-screen. I believe he gave it his best in the services of making Delta state an entertainment hub.
Finally, he broke the internet when he came back to the screen and reactivated his social media accounts. This thrilled fans worldwide. Ever since his return, RMD has as always, been the toast and desire of not just fans but journalists, photographers, stylists, brands, writers and film makers cum rumour-mongers.
He has since his return to acting in the past year travelled the world starring in TV Shows, Movies, TV commercials and representing Nigeria in the global scene of which the ‘007 SPYFIE’, is one. Having endorsed many brands in the past, RMD is presently brand ambassador for Africa’s largest and fastest growing telecommunications network.
Presently, RMD marriage is a second one due to inevitable circumstances. You may ask why? RMD was first married to a renowned publisher cum journalist, May Ellen-Ezekiel. But the cold hands of death grabbed her leaving RMD as a widower sometime in 1996. They had a lovely male-child named, Oghenekome.
I might agree with RMD decision to remarry few years later after vitally grieving over his loss and he seems to have preference for screen personalities. RMD remarried to his second wife, JumobiAdegbesan. She was also a famous personality; a television host. Although, she took a shift out of screen to pursue other careers and purposes.
Happily, they were blessed with more children, altogether five in number. His eldest son Oghenekome is from his first wife May-Ellen Ezekiel, and his younger four children are from his second wife, JumobiAdegbesan.
Oghenekome, the oldest son of Richard Mofe-Damijo, already has his own family. He is married to EniolaAbiodun, and together they have a wonderful daughter Elohor and a cute little son. This means that Richard Mofe-Damijo is a happy grandfather. The famous actor confesses that there is no better feeling than becoming a grandfather, and he is incredibly grateful to his son for blessing him with such joy. He loves his grandchildren and tries to spend as much time as possible with them.
Despite being a grandfather, Richard still looks really young and refreshed. Some of the media outlets even nicknamed him “the hottest grandpa”. He says that the secret to his young look is just being careful about what you eat and how much you eat.
Arguably, RMD is one of the bankable and richest actors in Nigeria. He has signed some mouth-watering deals for different companies. But that is not all. He owns one of Nigeria’s foremost PR outfits White Water Limited which he still actively runs alongside his production company RMD Productions Limited, owners of RMDTVNG and RMDTHEACTOR.
But the best investment in to invest in people. BoviUgbomah can attest to that because according to he (Bovi), RMD gave him opportunity and mentored him in the entertainment business.
RMD is worth over $7million and has assets in properties and other interests.
Awards / accolades
RMD has received numerous prestigious awards and recognitions all over the world. In 2005, he won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the maiden edition of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
In 2017, RMD bagged the New Telegraph Award for best Actor in Nollywood. He also bagged the “Best Actor” at the 2017 Abuja International Film Festival.
Just like Peter Parker of Spider will say, ‘to every great power comes great responsibility’. The joy of fame and wealth comes with its flaws. Recently, an unidentified fan took to her social media to show her obsession over the prolific actor. The lady says she wants to be actor’s second wife.
We don’t know if we should call this love or obsession as a lady writes a love letter to actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo. In her detailed letter she said that she drinks anointing oil anytime she thinks about him. Weird right? She also revealed that she has pushed a number of men away just so she can be with the dashing actor.
But that’s not all. Few years back, it was rumoured he could be in a secret relationship with co-star, Stella Damascus. That turned out to be untrue after investigations.
Presently, RMD and Joseph Benjamin will star in an upcoming blockbuster with a working title “The Heir Apparent”, the story which is situated in America revolves around a Nigerian Prince who went to American to study.