Baba Ijesha Biography: Who Is the Nollywood Actor and Why Was He Jailed?

Baba Ijesha, whose real name is James Olanrewaju Omiyinka (born: October 28, 1972; Age: 50), is a Nigerian actor, producer, director, and comedian who is famous for Afefe Ife and Ololo. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in July 2022 for the sexual assault of a minor. 

Baba Ijesha covers himself with fame through acting, especially in Yoruba movies. His life turned around when he was 49 in 2021 due to his alleged sexual assault case with Princess’ foster child that landed him in a concurrent 16 years jail term. Hence, he may spend the next 5 years of his life in prison from 2022 to 2027.

Summary of Baba Ijesha’s Bio

  • Full name: James Olanrewaju Omiyinka
  • Nickname: Baba Ijesha, Lanre Omiyinka
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of birth: October 28, 1972
  • Baba Ijesha’s Age: 50 years old
  • Ethnicity: Yoruba
  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Zodiac Sign:  Scorpio
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Baba Ijesha’s Net worth: $100,000 – $300,000
  • Famous for: Comedy, acting, production, and directing films
  • Baba Ijesha’s Instagram: @babijesha
  • Facebook: Baba Ijesha

Where is Baba Ijesha From, and What School Did He Attend?

Baba Ijesha was born James Olanrewaju Omiyinka in Ile Ife, Osun State of the south-western region of Nigeria, on October 8, 1972.

As a child, he figured he had a talent for acting and joined his congregation’s show group as a teen. Along the line, he got a career working with Raypower and AIT. There, he appeared on the Mini Jojo program. While working, he met a young boy from Ijesha who inspired his Ijesha accent and name.

Ijesha may have found fame early, but he did not delve so much into education until later years. He secured admission into the University of Lagos, where he studied theater arts. There are suggestions that it was due to his marriage that he returned to school. But the actor claimed he wanted to go back to school and know what it was like to be in school and do normal things.

Baba Ijesha’s Movies

The Osun State native traces his professional career to different forms of media, including TV and radio, before he found his footing in the home video as an actor. According to sources, he began acting in the early 2000s and has been in the industry ever since.

He is most prominent for projecting himself as a comedian, mostly through Yoruba films. The 50-year-old actor’s fame became massive after he wrote, produced, and appeared as Messanger in Opolo (2005).

The Yoruba film also featured Yomi Fash-Lanso, Bisi Gboye, Jide Kosoko, and Ronke Ojo, among others. Years progressed, and so was the career of Baba Ijesha. He appeared in many other films and among them include:

  • Adunni Egbin 
  • Afefe Ife 
  • Ololo
  • Masun

He Creates Comedy Skits and is a Musician

As part of his acting career as a comedian, Baba Ijesha is famed for creating comedy skits and sharing them on social media. To further explore his career and win more views, he created a YouTube channel in 2018 dubbed OfficialBabaijeshaTV. The channel has garnered over 1 million views, and its content is mostly in the Yoruba language.

Some of his famous skits include:

  • Buhari is Not a Soldier
  • Queen Elizabeth is in Nigeria
  • If You Don’t Get it, Please Forget it
  • Alagbe Sakete is Back
  • Everyday for the Thief, One Day for the Owner

In his career, when Baba Ijesha figured that music and theatre are intertwined, he started to explore the aspect of making music, especially with the aim of playing around with some things as a comedian. He has covered several songs, and one of the most renowned is a cover of Adekunle Gold’s Pick Up.

The 50-Year-Old Became Married to a Manager at Samsung 

Baba Ijesha
Baba Ijesha and his wife (Image Source)

On July 6, 2013, the actor became married to a manager at Samsung in a white ceremony. Before that, and in 2012, the couple was joined in a traditional ceremony at the Eko FM Hall in Ikeja. From what is gathered, Baba Ijesha’s marriage to his wife has not produced any children, and as far as the public is aware, he does not have any biological children.

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Why Was Baba Ijesha Sentenced to Jail?

On July 14, 2022, Baba Ijesha was sentenced to 16 years in prison after he was found guilty of the sexual assault of a minor (14 years). The girl in question is the foster child of comedian Damilola Adekoya who is best known as Princess.

The sentencing was as follows:

  • 5 years imprisonment on count 2 for indecent treatment of a child
  • 3 years on count 3 for sexual assault
  • 5 years on count 4 for indecent treatment of a child
  • 3 years imprisonment on count 5 for sexual assault

Despite the 16 years, he will serve 5 years since the sentences are to run concurrently. His sexual assault case reached the public after a video of him and a minor was released on April 19, 2021. The same day, the foster mother of the girl, Princess, reported the case to the police and claimed that the incident happened at her home.

Three days later, the actor was arrested. He was arraigned on June 24, 2021. He was later reportedly granted bail and returned to acting. It was later revealed that Baba Ijesha had abused the same girl in 2013 when she was 7 years old. However, the girl decided to keep the matter on the low until she finally told Princess.

Although the actor had denied it, the public had held him responsible for previously confessing to committing the crime. In defense, it was also alleged that he was tortured into accepting to have committed the crime, and it was done without the presence of his lawyer.

To further complicate him, it was revealed in court by a doctor that the girl in question had been penetrated, but it was not recent. Also, a forensic test was carried out on the victim to show whether she had been coached or was lying about what had happened.

In the heat of the court case where Baba Ijesha had 2 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) and 17 lawyers to represent him, another lady came out to claim that the actor had also sexually molested her when she was 12. In conclusion, Baba Ijesha has led himself to break walls as an entertainer with a career in acting, production, writing, and directing.

Nevertheless, he has been wrapped in the coils of thorns of his alleged crimes of sexual molestation of a minor. This has landed him 16 years of sentencing in prison, where he may serve 5 years. Although he may be out subsequently, there is no guarantee that his career as an entertainer may continue or bloom.

Nenpan Ngwan
Nenpan is a linguist, reader and writer who can spend hours thinking of the right words. She believes that with each thought comes words, and with each good word comes a great writing that can change how we see things.

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