Peter Fatomilola is an actor, poet, playwright, retired academician, and Ifa priest. The 77-year-old Nigerian born on 16 January 1946 is most famous for being the first Papa Ajasco in the renowned comedy series of the same title. From his career, he has accumulated an estimated net worth of $200,000.
Fatomilola has grown with the film industry. His career has seen him through the golden and present eras of Nigerian TV. He has spent over 5 decades acting and writing for stage drama and TV and is most famous for his roles in Rise of the Saints (2020), Papa Ajasco (1984), and Gold Statue (2019).
How Old is Peter Fatomilola?
Peter Fatimilola is currently 77 years old. He was born on 16 January 1946 in Ifisin-Ekiti, Southern Region, British Nigeria, now known as Ekiti State, Nigeria. He is one of the many children of an Ifa priest father and the only child born to his mother (a woman from Kwara State). The actor was raised in a very large family, as his father married 9 women.
At a young age, Peter was exposed to both Christianity and the Ifa – divination and/or native knowledge and belief system of the Yoruba. This is because his mother was a Christian, while his father served as an Ifa Priest known as Oluwo. Most Sundays, he would follow his mother to the church and would also help in preparing a place for his father for the Ifa service.
Before he turned 18, he already knew the intricacy of Ifa divination. This would lead to his later becoming an Ifa priest.
Peter Fatomilola’s Educational Pursuit
Peter Fatimilola attended the Apostolic Primary School, Iwaro Oke, Ilesa, in Osun State. He also attended Ife City Commercial College. According to the actor, he was very bright and was also enthusiastic about education.
The legendary actor fell in love with acting through the Ifa service. While in primary school, he started writing playlets, and this also led to his starting as a young director of plays.
For his tertiary education, the gifted actor went to the former University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. With the institution, he started as a member of the Ife Theater in 1967. The group at the time was called Ori Olokun players.
In the 1977/1978 session, the Department of Dramatic Arts was established, and he was a part of the first set that the department graduated.
Peter Fatomilola Net Worth
The highly skilled actor has a net worth estimated at over $200,000 (about ₦138.2 million). He has earned mainly from his career as an actor since the 1970s. Also, he has earned from being a teacher and perhaps from other business ventures that he has kept private.
There are sources that believe that the actor may have a net worth that runs into millions ($1-5 million). However, this net worth has not been attested by the actor. This is a similar case to the net worth that we have estimated (over $200,000).
Regardless of this, it is difficult to ascertain his exact income through the years. This is mainly because Nigerian actors rarely bring to the open whatever they earn. In any case, there are sources that claim that many actors earn from around ₦100,000 to even a million. Then, Yoruba actors may earn even lesser.
Since Peter Fatomilola has featured in both stage, TV series, and films of both English and Yoruba languages, it is needless to say that from each of his works, he may have earned over ₦100,000 in recent times and lesser at the time he started his career.
Sources of Peter Fatomilola’s Net Worth
1. Career as a Writer
Peter fell in love with acting early in life through his observation of Ifa services. In fact, according to him, the process of the service was actually when he started acting. Yet, at this time, he did not start earning, but it marked the beginning of his long career that led to his $200,000 net worth.
In primary school, he wrote many playlets, including Atitebi. He also started directing and later formed a group called Ta Ta Ta, Tu Tu Tu while he was working at Esa Oke Farm Settlement.
He later relocated to Ile Ife, where he continued his pursuit of acting. This would lead to his being the co-founder of the Ife City Dramatic Society. He led the group to the Oranmiyan Festival of Arts competition. The competition was chaired by the legendary Ola Rotimi, who took a special interest and helped him mold his love for the arts.
Along the line, Peter also met with Wole Soyinka, who encouraged him to go deeper in his studies so as to maximize his talent as a thespian. This marked the beginning of many travels outside of Nigeria. At this time, his income was not known, but he was one of the few to have left the shores of Nigeria for the sake of performing arts from the 1970s to the 1990s
2. Acting Career
The Gold Statue actor was the first Papa Ajasco, a womanizing baldheaded patriarch in the TV series Papa Ajasco (formerly The Ajasco Family). He recorded in an interview that one of his greatest moments was when he was called for the role in 1984, and he set a standard that no one has reached.
In any case, the series became Nigeria’s first blockbuster in 1996 as it made ₦61,000 (approximately over 30 million Naira in today’s money). This figure was made only within the first three days of the release of the comedy.
Away from that, it became one of the most-watched comedy series in Africa. It has been shown in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Guinea, and Ghana. Moreso, several other actors, such as Abiodun Ayoyinka and the late Femi Ogunrombi, have played the role of Papa Ajasco over the years.
The most notable Yoruba film of all time, Rere Run, remains a highly acclaimed Nigerian work of art. It featured Peter Fatomilola as “Lawuwo”, a labor leader who would stop at nothing in his quest to see workers get what they deserve.
The film became successful and helped in the fortune and fame of Peter. Although it is difficult to ascertain how much he made for his outstanding role, at the time the film was released, many actors were not paid as high as it is now. Yet, the Naira value was higher, and perhaps if translated to today’s money, it may be nothing short of ₦100,000 (estimated).
With respect to the fame that the film brought to the Ekiti native actor, he was nicknamed Lawuwo.
3. He Retired as an Academician
The actor and first Papa Ajasco served as a lecturer for about 37 years at the Obafemi Awolowo University. He worked in the Theatre Department. In an interview with Tribune, he recounted how he was one of the first students in the department, and after graduation, he was one of those who were retained.
Fatomilola retired as a principal actor of OAU, one of the most prominent universities in Nigeria. This job, which he held for over 3 decades, has contributed to his over $200,000 net worth. Although his salary at the time is not known, many junior lecturers in Nigeria receive around N150,000. This salary goes higher over time due to qualification and promotion.
Is Peter Fatomilola Still Alive?
Yes, the legendary Nigerian actor is still alive. Peter Fatomilola lives with his family, including several wives and about 11 children, in Ibadan. According to an article by Wikipedia, one of his wives is called Iya Fat, and she sells local concoctions and herbs.
The actor is still active in entertainment while being an Ifa chief priest, traditionally known as Oluwo. Similarly, he trains his son in the art of Ofa division, and he (Peter’s son) is also now a priest of the religion.