Nigerian with 86 wives released

Mr Bello Abubakar was picked up in a pre-dawn raid
A Nigerian man with 86 wives has been released on bail from police custody 59 days after he was arrested.

Mohammed Bello Abubakar, 84, was arrested by order of an Islamic court for refusing to divorce all but four of his wives.

His lawyer told the BBC Mr Abubakar should never have been arrested and his human rights had been violated.

There is no law against marrying more than one woman in Nigeria and polygamous marriages are common.

But Mr Abubakar’s case has raised eyebrows because of the large number of women he married, and because he claims God told him to do it.

Mr Abubakar, who claims to be descended from royalty, told the BBC in an interview he had flown to heaven and had spoken with the prophet Muhammad who commanded him to take as many wives as he could.


He has angered Islamic authorities, who called him a heretic.

One organisation placed a fatwa on him calling for his death, but the penalty was commuted to “banishment”.

He was picked up in a pre-dawn raid on his house in Bida, Niger state, and charged with “insulting religious creed” and “unlawful marriages”.

The charge of unlawful marriage has been dropped.

He had obtained an order from the federal High Court protecting him from being arrested.

A judge will decide in December if the court that charged him violated that order.

Lawyers for Mr Bello Abubakar said he had not broken any law.

Mr Abubakar says there is no punishment stated in the Koran for having more than four wives.

Niger is one of majority Muslim states in Nigeria that have reintroduced Sharia punishments since 2000.

Sharia courts have sentenced several people to death for adultery, but none of these sentences have been carried out.

Muslim scholars agree that it is allowed in Islam to have up to four wives, as long as you treat them equally.

Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade Says:

November 22, 2008 at 11:55 am edit

Now 50 of these wives demonstrated with their children outside the jail where he was kept and demanded that their husband be released to continue to take good care of them. One of the wives described how any wife can have sex on demand by coming to BABA’s room at any time of the day and asking for it and getting it! Well a lot of SIsters would like to have that too! Who says BLACK men are not the strongest men in the world when they wanna be! This husband is 86 years old himself and still going strong! Black men you are truly GOD’s gift to the BLACK woman!RIGHTEOUS BLACK MEN ARE OUT THERE SISTERS!



87 Lawyers to Defend Man With 86 Wives
From George Oji in Kaduna, 09.21.2008

Kaduna-bsed coalition of rights groups under the umbrella`d represent each of the 86 wives, the 87th counsel would stand in for Pa Masaba himself, who the group has described as prisoner of conscience.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna at the weekend, lead counsel of the 87 lawyers Mohammed Sanusi said they would remain observers for now in the trial but would step in once their services are needed.
According to Sanusi, the legal services to Pa Masaba by himself and 86 other colleagues of his comes free of charge.
Pa Masaba is being presecuted under Sections 210, 383 and 386 of the Penal Code. He was arraigned last week before the Sharia Court and orderd to be detained, an action the rights groups are picking holes from.
Sanusi explained that “putting Masaba in jail without granting him bail on the first day he was presented before the Upper Sharia Court , to us, is a breach of his fundamental human rights.”
He said “Even the Constitution of Nigeria, Section 36 sub-section 5 presumes him to be innocent.
Accordding to Sanusi, “As it is now, since Masaba did not plead guilty to the allegations against him, he should be taken to be innocent and under all the provisions of the law, that is the Penal Code, he was arraigned before the Upper Sharia Court , he has the right to be granted bail. But for him now to be refused bail, shows that there is something fishy and that is why we believe the Civil Rights Congress has come in.”
According to the group the first step Pa Masaba’s ought to have taken would have been to ascertain from him reasons why he married the many wives and if this fails to satisfy them before they would proceed with the lefal option.
“He may have explanations for his actions and if the offences alleged against him are purely under the Islamic Law, he needs not be prosecuted under the Penal Code. Under the Islamic Law, there are specific provisions under which he could be prosecuted and I believe even our constitution approves that.
“So, if he’s going to be prosecuted under the Penal Code, then he should be granted bail. At least they have to consider many things, including his age, his enormous responsibilities to his family, more than one hundred children, his wives and other dependants around. All these things ought to have been considered before remanding Masaba in prison,” the groups explained.
While not disputing the obligations of the Niger State government to have initiated the Pa Masaba’s prosecution Sanusi argued that, “The Niger State Government has the right to complain but their complaint is on whose behalf? Their complaints must be on behalf of the children or the wives or even the relatives of these wives or their parents. That is the provision of the law. So, who is the complainant?
“If the police or the government are complaining for the purpose of public peace, such public peace is on whose interest? Has anybody reported that the man has encroached on anybody’s land for farming to take care of his family? There has not been anything like that. Has anyone complained that the man stole anything from anybody for the purpose of feeding his family? So, prosecuting the man is not in anybody’s interest.
“If they want to prosecute for perhaps offending one of the provisions of the Quran or the Hadith, these are laws, he should be prosecuted purely under these laws in the Quran and not under the Penal Code.
“If you are bringing him under the Penal Code, then it’s becoming the interest of Nigerians, it’s becoming the interest of the law. But if it’s purely under Islamic Law, we have the provisions of the Hadith and those of the Quran. And if somebody views a situation that this is what he thinks, he may be right and he may be wrong, based on his own belief or his own interpretation.”
According to Sanusi, “Our first action in this matter is that we are going to file a motion on notice to get this man out of the prison, at least to give him back his freedom and to respect his rights. After getting him out of the prison, we’ll now proceed to file preliminary objections to the entire case itself to be struck out because it’s not genuine because under Section 141 of the Criminal Procedure Code, as I said earlier and I still maintain my stand that there must be a human being that must have complained under these Sections 383 and 386 of the Penal Code.
“And if no human being has complained about his act and if he’s to be prosecuted under the Penal Code, the action is void altogether. So, we are going to file preliminary objection to strike out the case against him. That is what we intend to do and that is why the CRC has cause to go into the case to observe and then take the proper actions. We are filing the motion on Monday at the Upper Sharia Court, Minna.”



Nigeria: Wives, Children of Man With 86 Wives Protest in Minna – Leadership
Fifty wives and 23 children of Alhaji Bello Masaba on Thursday stormed the Niger State secretariat in Minna to protest what they called the “illegal detention” of their bread winner.

Author: baysol2000
Why can’t they just leave this man alone! He lay his bed let him suffer the consequence! Where were the superfine islamists when he got his fouth wife?

Weren’t they suppose to councel him and preach the tenet of islam to him then? People must desist from doing the job of Allah for him, thereby in themselves commiting crime in murder of the innocent and like in this case illegal incaceration of a freeman.

Let him go back to his problems, this is nobody’s business, as none of this superfine islamists can boast of feeding his wives and children, neither is he to my knowledge a burden to the state, shikena!

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Author: mazianyaogu


from vanguard newspaper originally,found at

Nigeria: Man with 86 wives: Northern Human Rights Groups Accuse Niger Government of Persecution
Vanguard (Lagos)

21 September 2008
Posted to the web 22 September 2008

Emeka Mamah and Wole Mosadomi

Human rights groups in the north have faulted the trial of Islamic cleric, Bello Masaba, under the Penal Code law instead of Islamic law saying that the case is not genuine and accused the Niger State Government of persecuting the 84 year-old man, for marrying 86 wives.

Lead counsel to the Coalition of Human Rights, Mohammed Sanusi, who made their position known at a news conference in Kaduna, weekend, also faulted the non-admission of Alhaji Masaba to bail as the offences which he is alleged to have committed are bailable. Sanusi said the legal team would file a motion tomorrow, for the case to be struck out as the government has no genuine intentions in prosecuting Masaba.

Masaba was arraigned before an Upper Sharia Court in Minna for allegedly marrying 86 wives, contrary to Islamic tenets. His wives and children, however, protested the trial of their breadwinner saying that they did not complain to anybody that Alhaji Masaba cannot take care of his large family.

Sanusi said, “I’m the lead counsel and representative of human rights groups under the auspices of Civil Rights Congress. We are ready to provide our services to all the 86 wives and Masaba himself. Our observations in respect of his case, more particularly the offences alleged against Masaba. The offences were quoted under sections 210, 383 and 386 of the Penal Code.

“Since these offences were quoted under the Penal Code and not purely under Islamic Laws, there must be a complainant. But in this matter, who is the complainant? Under all these sections of the Penal Code, there must be a human being that must have complained of any offence, of any act or of any wrong against Masaba himself. The complainants should be his wives and children but unfortunately, his wives are not complaining. Recently, they even protested at the Ministry of Justice and the House of Assembly in Niger State against the detention of Masaba. The question now is: who is the complainant?”

Continuing, he said, “Let us take it that the government, the police or the local government or even the Emir are the complainants now, but in whose interest? The whole thing still goes back to the wives and children. But they have never complained against the man. And more importantly, putting Masaba in jail without granting him bail on the first day he was presented before the Upper Sharia Court, to us, is a breach of his fundamental human rights. Even the Constitution of Nigeria, Section 36 (5) presumes him to be innocent. As it is now, since Masaba did not plead guilty to the allegations against him, he should be taken to be innocent. Under the provisions of the law, that is the Penal Code, he has the right to be granted bail.

“But for him now to be refused bail, it shows that there is something fishy and that is why we decided to intervene in the matter. He may have explanations for his actions and if the offences alleged against him are purely under the Islamic Law, he needs not be prosecuted under the Penal Code. Under the Islamic Law, there are specific provisions under which he could be prosecuted and I believe even our constitution approves that. So, if he is going to be prosecuted under the Penal Code, then he should be granted bail. At least they have to consider many things, including his age, his enormous responsibilities to his family, more than one hundred children, his wives and other dependants.”

According to Sanusi, “By God’s grace we are going to do our best to render all the legal services we can provide to protect the rights of Masaba and his wives. The legal services we are going to render to Masaba will be purely on humanitarian grounds. So, it is going to be free. The Niger State Government has the right to complain but on whose behalf are they complaining? Their complaints must be on behalf of the children or the wives or even the relatives of these wives or their parents. If the police or the government is complaining for the purpose of public peace, such public peace is on whose interest? Has anybody reported that the man has encroached on anybody’s land for farming to take care of his family?

‘If they want to prosecute for, perhaps, offending one of the provisions of the Quran or the Hadith, these are laws; he should be prosecuted purely under these laws in the Quran and not under the Penal Code. If you are bringing him under the Penal Code, then it has become the interest of Nigerians or the law. Even under Islamic Law, there is provision to render defence to an accused. We are not saying he should not be prosecuted but it must be through due legal process. If you look at the whole issue, that man has been getting married, and the people who gave him their daughters knew that the man was married to several other women. So, why can’t those people too be prosecuted? They have aided and abetted him and so have committed the same offence. So, if we are to actually prosecute, a lot of people will be involved too. The case should be struck out because it is not genuine, under Section 141 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”

Meanwhile, Muslim youths in Bida, home of the octogenarian, Alhaji Abubarkar Belo Massaba with 86 wives and over 100 children, took to the streets of Bida on Friday with placards not only to disown his action but to pass a death sentence (Fatwah) on him.

Association of Muslim Lawyers of Nigeria, in a press conference in Minna, yesterday, also vowed to give free legal service to the Shariah commission in the on-going legal battle between the commission and Alhaji Massaba.

In Bida, after the youths had embarked on the peaceful demonstration carrying placards with inscriptions such as, “Massaba must die”, “Bello is not a Muslim”, “Bello must vacate Bida town”, ended up at the Bida local government secretariat to exhibit their anger to the chairman of the council who was represented by his vice, Alhaji Bako Ndayawo.

Speaking at the secretariat, the leader of the Muslim youths, Abdulrahman Aboki, said they had passed fatwah on Massaba “because he has blasphemed both God and Prophet Mohammed and he deserves to die”. He, however, said the sentence could be lifted if he repents by divorcing his wives and reducing them to four as proscribed by Islamic injunctions, adding that, most of the children were born outside wedlock.

The protesters were shepherded by heavily armed policemen as they went round the town. Immediate past chairman of the council, Mallam Edota, who also addressed the youths, threw his weigh behind them, saying, “Even if Massaba is released, he should be banished from Bida because he is not part of us”.

The Association of Muslim Lawyers, in their press conference in Minna addressed by its National President, Alhaji Dauda Adekola described Massaba as, “not part of us because he is not a true Moslem”.

While condemning the human rights groups for supporting the octogenarian, the lawyers described them as hypocrites and should hands off the case.



Nigeria rights groups find 86 lawyers for man with 86 wives Wed Sep 17, 11:10 AM ET

KANO (AFP) – A coalition of Nigerian human rights groups has mobilized 86 lawyers to defend the country’s most married man, currently detained for unlawful marriages and inciting contempt of Islamic religious laws, an activist said Wednesday.

“The coalition of 27 human rights groups in the north has mobilized 86 lawyers to defend Bello Masaba against the charges brought against him and the threat of banishment,” Shehu Sani, a human rights activist and playwright, told AFP in a telephone interview.

“It is our determination to protect his fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and international law,” Sani added. newly-wed

Sani is the director of Civil Rights Congress, a rights group based in the northern city of Kaduna and a member of the coalition.

He said the identities of the defence lawyers would not be disclosed for fear of blackmail and intimidation, adding that the coalition “will go to any length to defend Masaba whom we believe is a political prisoner and prisoner of conscience”.

Masaba, 84, was whisked away from his home town Bidda by police and arraigned before an Upper Sharia court in the state capital Minna “for incendiary contempt of religious laws and contracting unlawful marriage to 86 wives”, a court clerk told AFP.

Masaba came to the limelight two months ago when he admitted in the media to having 86 wives and 170 children, insisting that his marriages did not contravene Islam which allows a man to get married to up to four wives.

The news attracted sharp criticism and indignation from all over the north, particularly from Islamic clerics, with the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), the Nigerian Muslim umbrella body slamming a fatwa or death sentence on Masaba.

Two weeks ago, Masama agreed to divorce 82 of the wives and keep four, the maximum Islam allows, following a two-day ultimatum issued to him by the influential traditional chief of Bidda to either choose four among the 86 wives or leave the town.

“The choice of 86 lawyers is deliberate. For each wife, Masaba will have a lawyer,” Sani said.



Afrowrite’s Weblog
A site for discussing life, writing and publishing in africa
Little Known Facts About African Polygamy (And Why Women Promote It)
May 24, 2008 by afrowrite
By Muli wa Kyendo

Today’s post is in reply to Sister Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade who, through an email, told me that she and her friends are promoting polygamy and the greatness of the black race. My dear sister, I read most of your blogs and I must say I am impressed by your enthusiasm, hard work and sacrifice. Although you are an American, in deed you live in the USA, you said you have lived in Nigeria for many years and raised your children there so they could learn the Yuroba language and culture. So I don’t need to bore you with the general details of our life in the East of our Great Continent. But I can assure you, we are a happy lot – happy because our lives are full of “cultural” drama, contradictions, ups and downs, ebbs and flows. As one man said, we take three steps forward and two back, but we are happily moving forward – slowly.


Like in the case of polygamy. Several years ago, my friend and writer David G. Maillu, published a book titled Our Kind of Polygamy to defend this age-old practice. He puts essentially the same arguments as you put – too many women chasing too few men, the right for all women to be married, the right of children to have legitimate fathers and so on. He even adds a manual for polygamous men on how to manage their wives. But I haven’t seen many men (or women) reading or referring to the book here in Kenya. My guess for this is that for us here, we are living that life. Almost every Kenyan lives in a polygamous home, grabbling with its realities – sometimes amusing, sometimes disappointing, and sometimes even grim. So we rarely have time left to think about it!

Let me tell you about our situation – the Kenyan situation. Because in Kenya we have many communities – call them tribes, if you like – Kenyans are always on the look out for a “neutral community” to produce a President. Many are convinced that a community called the Akamba – the fourth largest – would produce a good President. So gentle and “nice” are their men!

In Kenya’s disputed General Elections of December last year, a Mukamba – it means a person belonging to the Akamba community – was, among the Presidential candidates. In my view, he was the least credible. But Kenyans were willing to vote for him. And he would have been the President today if he hadn’t hopelessly bungled up his campaign. Why are the men so hopeless? Because of their women – at least, that it what research facts indicate.

Women propaganda, sticks and carrots

The Akamba men were socialized to worship physical power – fighting, cattle raiding, and so on. The women maintained a closely guarded culture of oppression in which men were excluded from all intellectual activities. The men’s only tasks were to raid cattle and guard the community. When they were not doing that, they were allowed to spend their time drinking beer or socializing. They were excluded from all creative activities where thought and tact would have been necessary. In deed, even in worshipping Mulungu, the Akamba God, the men were excluded. The women had, and still have, their own well organized religion called Kathambi. Their goddess, Kathambi, is the goddess of rain and fertility. The women associated rain and fertility with womanhood. And since men don’t give birth or menstruate, they were deemed incapable of communicating with Mulungu.

Kathambi women congregations

Kathambi is worshipped with Kilumi, a highly rhythmical dance with heavy drumming and which is today regarded the epitome of Akamba dances. It is danced for Presidents and eminent guests at almost all national days in Kenya. When danced during the women worships, the dance sends participants “into other worlds”. And only the women know how to bring those affected back to earth. The result is that many men are awed and fearful of the dance.

The congregation of Kathambi worshipping women is called Ngolano in Kikamba – that is their language – and the congregation is led by woman priestesses (those who have stopped menstruating and giving birth) in shrines called mathembo, composed of thick forests or huge trees.

The women’s system of prayer was – and still is – so elaborate it scared the White missionaries when they arrived in the country.

The Woman of Nzaui

The missionaries immediately “black listed” this women religion. It was their biggest challenge in their recruitment of the Akamba into Christianity. And the women recognized the Whiteman as their new and big enemy. The men were caught in between hate for the Whiteman and hate for the women, even as the fierce battle spread.

The first missionary had been so anxious to set up church in Ukambani – the area where the Akamba live – that he returned to America, put together an organisation he called African Inland Mission (today it’s called the African Inland Church) and return to Kenya armed with cash for the construction of a church. But the women wouldn’t let him construct a church; allowing him eventually to put a church only on a rock (the Church stands at a place called Nzaui even today).

The women, through their great intellectual power – influential poetry and song and sometimes direct confrontation (many of the priestesses were deported to island of Mombasa by the settler Government), continued their anti-colonial campaign, forcing the Whiteman to quit the mainland Ukambani, including Machakos, the town he had planned for the capital city of Kenya, and to move to Nairobi on the periphery.

The earliest Kenyan human rights campaigner

Just to give you a feel for the battle – there was a woman priestess named Syotuna. One day, she came upon a group of young Akamba men carrying a White District Commissioner on a stretcher. There were no roads in most parts of the country yet and stretchers with four hefty young men for bearers were the common mode of travel for European settlers, colonial government officials and White missionaries. Syotuna was so exasperated that she shouted at the young men, “Aren’t you ashamed to carry a man like yourselves!” And to the DC she shouted, “Why can’t you walk? Have you no legs?” The ashamed young men quickly dropped the stretcher and fled into the bushes, leaving the DC stranded.

These words are recorded by the DC who proceeded to deport Syotuna to Mombasa.

Did Women Invent Polygamy?

The Akamba men derided the women with derogatory remarks. The women tried to appease them by making them feel like great kings in their families. The women got men other women to marry for second, third, fourth or just many wives as the first wife wanted. But all these wives had loyalty to first wife, the woman who brought them into the family. Polygamy was therefore a way of women enhancing their power and control over men. (Compare that with the so-called patriarchs of the Old Testament. Women brought their husbands other women for wives and the men accepted without complaint or appreciation).

The result of this arrangement is that the community produces “nice” men, but who are totally unequipped for modern leadership. Generally they lack depth in thought and they are devoid of strategy and tactics, necessary for modern competitive world. My play, The Woman of Nzaui, discusses this issue.

Syokimau Cultural Centre

By the way, we have a not-for-profit membership cultural centre, the Syokimau Cultural Centre, where we are encouraged in promoting research and use of African culture in writing and in government development programmes. It’s named after the most ancient and the greatest of these priestesses (talk of oppression!). It is recognized by UNESCO and the Kenya Government. It will soon launch an e-newsletter to promote its work and to reach our members abroad.

Please let us know whether this has been of any use to you and your group. And let’s increase the debate even we encourage the preservation of the African culture.

Tags: African Polygamy, Akamba, Kenya, polygamy, Worship, Yuroba
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment



Published 5/10/2008 3:59:00 AM

I wouldn’t have minded a man with 10 or 15 wives–Nike Peller

Adeola Balogun

As a daughter of the late magician, Professor Abiola Peller, Nike Peller, no doubt is a very popular actress especially in the Yoruba genre. However, in an industry where marriages are often the subject of headlines, the light complexioned actress has opted for a quiet marriage.

Her reasons?

“If I should marry a socialite, I suspect it might not work because I know the kind of person I am. You know, being a popular artiste is another kettle of fish entirely. You know too that my father used to be very popular while he was alive. It had really bothered me for a long time but I thank God for answering my prayers with the kind of man he gave me. He is so easygoing, does not want noise and allows me to focus on my job without distraction.”

She said her beau never knew she was an actress before he approached her.

“I must tell you that we just met in a normal way. Funnily enough, he did not know anything about me when we met. Even though I had been very popular on the screen before he met me, he was not aware of anyone called Nike Peller. In fact, when I told him that I was Nike Abiola, he asked which of the Abiolas. Incidentally, he said he was a classmate of my brother, Kayode Abiola Peller. It was later that I told him that I was an actress and he didn’t care. I must tell you that getting someone like that on a neutral level suits my kind of life; it gives me the confidence that he got hooked to me as I am, not because of what I am. You know there are some men out there whose target is to date actresses they watch on the screen and dump them afterwards. They take delight in counting their conquests among the popular artistes around.”

But before she got hooked to her man, Peller told Spectacles that she had about two relationships, which did not work out.

She said, “I would say I had two relationships, one in England and one in Nigeria here. I believe that, perhaps, God did not want them to work. One of the reasons for the break ups was hearsay. You know we are always on locations and when you cannot trust the person you are going out with, the relationship is meaningless. If a man tells you that he is at Oyingbo, believe him if you don’t want to give yourselves unnecessary stress. That was what happened with the guy in England then. For the guy in Nigeria, I think it was more of his family background. He is a Christian while I am a Muslim, maybe his family didn’t want him to get married to a Muslim. But that does not really matter, whether you are a Muslim or a Christian does not really matter, what I want is where I can get happiness. My present man is a Christian but he understands everything about me. We relate like a brother and sister, I am always happy around him. The guy trusts me and I trust him.”

Peller does not mind getting married to a polygamous man so far she is happy.

“As a Muslim, I can get married to someone who has 10, 15 wives so far I am happy with him, it is between him and me. That is no big deal.”

As an actress, Peller does not see any reason why everyone should see women who act as a wayward bunch.

According to her, “I don’t allow this actress thing or stardom to get into my head. Let me tell you something, there are some things I cannot do as an actress because of my name. After my job, the next thing is my home. No matter what, a wife should be submissive to her husband even if she is a millionaire. You know, I am a Muslim and in Islam, you have to submit yourself to your man even if you are the richest woman on earth.”

Sometimes back, his brother who is now a bishop of Fingers of God Ministry, Kayode Abiola Peller dismissed as fake the magic their late father was famous for. He said what his father was doing and which he also practised, was nothing but deception. But Nike would hear none of that.

She said, “He cannot say that because it worked. I would say that my father was only entertaining the crowd in his own way. I am not surprised that you said my brother called my father’s magic fake. He is now a pastor and believes that the old things have gone away. My brother then was involved in it, in fact he was then known as Young Peller. We used to travel together to perform magic everywhere, but now that he is born again, no problem. All what I know is that my father was the greatest man in his lifetime. He was known all over the world because of his wonderful magic. He handled it professionally together with his family.”

After the demise of the late magician, none of his numerous children continued in his line of trade despite the fact that they were all involved in the business while the patriarch was alive. Nike Peller told Spectacles the reason.

“You cannot practise magic all alone. When Professor Peller was alive, most of the children were much younger and it was easy for him to involve us in his trade. It was a family thing. But now, we have grown and are scattered all over the world. That is why it is not easy for any of us to continue. If by tomorrow someone says he wants to start, he will have to recruit either his family, train them or get people around. It is a very serious business. All the instruments are still intact; nobody has touched them. But what I think has happened is that people have moved on, they no longer believe in the stunts. But while the man was alive, he did his best entertaining his fans.”

With her brother, Kayode, the actress told Spectacles that they explored the world of magic before something ugly happened: Their magic failed them and the young Peller got involved in drugs until he got born again. But the actress recalled that it was much fun while the party lasted. She described her father as the best father who made sure that his children enjoyed fatherly love despite being a polygamous man with many children.

“Even if you were not his child, you were treated same way. That is why then, there were so many people, Igbo, Hausa, name it, that my father catered for. He was kind-hearted and generous to a fault. We lived in a very big environment. There was peace in the family. The role Otunba Toyin is playing now is what he inherited from our father; he will call up everyone to find out what is happening to everyone. Otunba Toyin is our first born, he lives in Ibadan. If he is coming now, you will think it is our father that is coming, he so much looks like him,” she said.

Peller has been described as one of the actresses that bleached their skin. But she told Spectacles that those who wrote that did not know her family.

She said, “Thank God you know my brother, the pastor. We are all light skinned in our house. How can anyone say I bleached my skin? I am naturally light in complexion. Those who say I bleached don’t know us. Look at me very well. Do I look like someone who bleached? I don’t know whether you have met someone who bleached, you will see some patches here and there which I don’t have. If they have said I tone my skin, yes, what is wrong in that? It is normal for a light complexioned person to tone her skin a little, which I do.”

Even though she admitted that entertainment flows naturally in every Peller child, Peller told Spectacles that she was taught how to act.

“I started acting while in the primary school. The man that taught me how to sing, dance and act is still alive. He is Mr Dokun Awolere, a newscaster at LTV8, Ikeja. He used to be my teacher in the primary school and I am very proud of him. But coming to acting in the real sense of it, I was in school, Institute of Technology, in Akure in 1987 when a friend of mine asked me to come for auditioning. I told them that I had lectures unless they wanted to shift it for me till weekend. I remember very well that I was paid three thousand naira then because I played the lead role. The film was Aye Lu. I appeared in Mosebolatan by Baba Sala but I was among the crowd. I remember that Baba used to perform magic with Baba Sala then in Ibadan.”

Peller told Spectacles that she worked hard to be in the reckoning of producers, her background notwithstanding. She recalled her journey into the acting world when she met the likes of Alade Aromire, Yinka Quadri and the like.

She said, “I tell people that I was invited to the industry, not that I lobbied or did something nasty to get roles, no. I did not date anyone in the industry. Before I became one of them, I had been close to most of those in charge then. The likes of Oga Bello, who was my in law. Some people did not know that I was not the one married to him, it was my sister, Idiat Peller, though she is late now.”


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