Moses Olaiya Biography: Age, Wife, Children & Net Worth

Moses Olaiya – Comedy

Stage Name: Baba Sala
Real Name: Moses Olaiya Adejumo
Occupation: Actor, Comedian
Date Of Birth/Age: 18th May 1936 – 7 October 2018
State of Origin: Ilesha, OSUN STATE
Gender: Male
Nationality: Nigerian
Marital Status: 4 wives
Education:
Known for: Comedy

Early Life and Upbringing

Moses Olaiya Adejumo, fondly known as Baba Sala, was born on 18th May 1936, in Ilesha, Southwest Nigeria. Raised in colonial Nigeria, he spent his formative years in the Northern provinces. His father, initially a teacher and later an accountant, led the family to relocate frequently, residing in Jos and Kano. Even as a young boy, Moses displayed a penchant for humor, often playing the class clown and occasionally donning eccentric outfits to amuse those around him. Despite his inclination towards entertainment, his parents harbored aspirations of a more conventional profession for him, envisioning careers in medicine or law.

Transition from Music to Drama

Initially working as a health inspector for the Lagos City Council, Moses Olaiya formed the musical group Federal Rhythm Dandies in 1964. This ensemble played a crucial role in shaping the career of the renowned juju music maestro, King Sunny Adé, who served as the lead guitar player. However, the call of drama proved too strong for Baba Sala, and he pivoted from music to the world of theatrical arts.

Embarking on a journey akin to the pioneering dramatists Hubert Ogunde, Kola Ogunmola, Oyin Adejobi, and Duro Ladipo, Moses Olaiya became a trailblazer in popularizing theater and television acting in Nigeria. Notably, he steered the Alawada group into the spotlight, gaining recognition through a contest organized by Western Nigeria Television in 1965. The subsequent airing of their comedy sketches on WNTV elevated their fame. Baba Sala, portrayed by Olaiya, emerged as a central character—a pensioner sporting torn and oversized trousers with a table clock as a wristwatch. The character, with its traits of both miserliness and lechery, endeared itself to the audience.

Venturing into Filmmaking

In 1982, Moses Olaiya made his debut on the big screen with “Orun Mooru,” directed by Ola Balogun and co-produced by Olaiya himself. The film featured his iconic character, Baba Sala, navigating the pitfalls of greed with the help of a dubious babalawo. Although well-received, the film faced challenges with piracy impacting box office revenue. Undeterred, Olaiya went on to direct and produce his next film, “Aare Agbaye,” in 1983. His third venture, “Mosebolatan,” directed by Ade Folayan with Tunde Kelani as cinematographer, proved to be both artistically and financially successful.

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Legacy in the Film Industry

Throughout the 1990s, Moses Olaiya continued his creative endeavors, delving into the home video market with productions like “Agba Man” and “Return Match.” While these slapstick comedies lacked the technical finesse of his earlier films, they showcased his versatility in adapting to evolving entertainment formats.

Filmography

  • Orun Mooru (1982)
  • Aare Agbaye (1983)
  • Mosebolatan (1985)
  • Obee Gbona (1989)
  • Diamond (1990 – Home video)
  • Agba Man (1992 – Home Video)
  • Return Match (1993 – Home Video)
  • Ana Gomina (1996 – Home Video)
  • Tokunbo (1985 – TV)

Moses Olaiya Family 

Moses Olaiya, also known as Baba Sala, has a big family. He is married to four wives, and he says that having many wives is because of the demands of his theater work. All of his wives are actresses, and their many children have become professionals in various industries.

Death and Legacy

In October 2018, Moses Olaiya, Baba Sala, passed away due to what his media aide referred to as “old-age related sickness.” Posthumously, the Best of Nollywood Magazine honored him by renaming the “comedy of the year” category as the “Moses Adejumo Comedy of the Year.” This tribute underscored his enduring contribution to the Nigerian entertainment industry, solidifying his legacy as a pioneer of modern Nigerian comedy.

Net Worth

Baba Sala accumulated a significant net worth of over $100,000 during his career. His earnings came from his diverse roles as a comedian, dramatist, actor, and filmmaker in the Nigerian entertainment industry. 

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