Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) Biography: Journalist, actor, politician, entrepreneur & more
Richard Eyimofe Evans Mofe-Damijo is a popular Nigerian actor who is endearingly called RMD by many people. The veteran Nollywood star is also a director, producer and investor who had at one time also dabbled into journalism and politics. RMD is also quite popular for some of his philanthropic acts in the country.
We take a look at Richard Mofe-Damijo‘s biography in this article. Before we proceed, see a quick breakdown of interesting facts about RMD, just below the Table of Content.
10 facts about Richard Mofe-Damijo everyone should know
- Richard Mofe-Damijo was born on 6th July 1961 and he will be 59 years old in 2020.
- Mofe-Damijo who is popularly called RMD is an Urhobo man from Delta State and not a Yoruba man.
- He has five children and is happily married to Jumobi Adegbesan since 2000.
- RMD has two academic qualifications: BA Theaters Arts (University of Benin) and LLM from the University of Lagos.
- RMD was once a journalist. He was discovered by Punch’s Segun Adeleke who asked him to submit a piece about a play he had seen leading to a career in journalism.
- He was the first-ever recipient of the Best Actor in a Leading Role award at Africa Movie Academy Awards. He won it in 2005.
- Richard Mofe-Damijo has acted in more than 100 Nollywood films and he is still active to date.
- RMD once dabbled in politics. He was a special adviser and then a commission on Tourism and Culture for Delta State under former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
- RMD received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2016.
- He is an entrepreneur and founder of RMD Productions Limited, White Water Limited and RMD Foundation.
Richard Mofe-Damijo Biography: early life
The actor popularly called RMD full name is Richard Eyimofe Evans Mofe-Damijo. RMD was born on 6th July 1961. He was born in Aladja, a coastal community in Udu, a kingdom of the Urhobo tribe in Warri, Delta State.
According to Mofe-Damijo’s African Magic profile, he was born into a large family of 18 persons. He grew up in Warri, an oil hub in South-South Nigeria. There, RMD attended both primary and secondary school.
On completing basic education, he went on to study Theater Arts at the University of Benin, also known as Uniben. RMD obtained a Bachelor in Arts degree from Uniben in 1983.
However, he also studied law at the University of Lagos (Unilag), which he completed in 2004. As of that time, he already had experience in acting and media as we will chronicle shortly. First, let us address one important question many people ask about Richard Mofe-Damijo.
Is Richard Mofe-Damijo Yoruba?
No. Richard Mofe-Damijo is not a Yoruba man. RMD is an Urhobo man from Warri, Delta State. While his name sounds like a Yoruba name he is not a Yoruba man. As we stated, he was born in the Udu Kingdom, which is part of the Urhobo tribe of Delta State, Nigeria.
Richard Mofe-Damijo Biography: Early career
RMD’s first job about of the university was as a journalist. He worked briefly as a reporter for Punch, Concord newspapers and Metro magazine.
According to Punch, RMD dabbled into journalist by chance. Apparently, he had travelled to Lagos after graduating from the Universit of Benin. While discussing a play he had seen, a journalist named Segun Adeleke, who was working with Punch at the time, asked if he could write everything he had said. He replied in the affirmative and that was how his journalistic career was born.
However, his love for acting was not extinguished even as he blossomed in journalism.
Then, he appeared in the popular NTA tv-series Ripples which ran from 1988-1994.
So, after he obtained his first degree and before pursuing his second one in 1997, he started acting professionally. He was also on the cast of Tade Ogidan’s 1997 police action film, Hostages.
By 1999, he already had credits in movies such as Scores to Settle, Diamond Ring and Freedom.
He also wrote and produced Out of Bounds around this time. Out of Bounds was the first film that Richard Mofe-Damijo wrote and produced, it featured superstars like Rachael Oniga as well.
By the early 2000s, he was already a household name in the Nollywood space. Nollywood is the name given to the Nigeria film industry.
In 2003, he featured in many films alongside some of the biggest names in the Nigerian film industry. One of his most memorable performance was on Romantic Attraction. RMD put up a stellar performance alongside like Chioma Chukwuka, Stella Damascus and Zack Orji.
Nollywood G8 Ban
In 2004, there were many films that dropped featuring Richard Mofe-Damijo. He played the lead role in many of them such as in I Want Your Wife and Deadly Desire. He also acted as the president in the pan-African film titled Critical Assignment.
However, in the same year, Richard Mofe-Damijo was part of the actors and actresses banned by Nollywood film marketers. The decision was referred to as the G8 ban. According to Pulse’s Charles Novia, the ban was ostensible because the affected actors demanded huge sums but didn’t deliver as was expected. This ban led to the entrance of many new stars into Nollywood.
2005 African Movie Academy Awards
Despite the G8 ban, Richard Mofe-Damijo’s talent and contributions to the film industry were undeniable. This was why in 2005 at the first-ever edition of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), he won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
He won the award for the film The Mayors. The Mayors was a 2004 Nigerian drama film written, produced and directed by Dickson Iroegbu. Other actors on the project were Sam Dede, Segun Arinze and Mike Ezuruonye. The film won five awards at the maiden edition of the African Movie Academy Awards.
Richard Mofe-Damijo biography: Political career
Around 2006/2007, Richard Mofe-Damijo rarely appeared in films anymore. Initially, fans were worried about the actor’s absence. However, it didn’t take long to realise why; he was mapping his way through the political terrains of Nigeria. It did not take long for people to see results.
In 2008, Richard Mofe-Damijo was appointed a special adviser on culture and tourism to the then governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Not long after, in 2009, RMD was promoted to the position of commissioner. He became Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State.
His stint ended with the conclusion of Emmanuel Uduaghan’s term as governor of Delta State in May 2015.
Richard Mofe-Damijo latest films
Since after his term with the Delta State government, Richard Mofe-Damijo returned to acting – his natural terrain. Like a professional, he successfully adapted to the ‘New Nollywood‘.
One of his earliest appearance during this time was in Ayo Makun’s 30 Days In Atlanta. The film grossed up to NGN163,000,000 in the box office.
In 2016, RMD also appeared in Sidomex Universal debut film production titled Dinner. Dinner was critically acclaimed and was among the top 10 highest-grossing Nollywood films of 2016.
Dinner is available on Amazon for renting, buying or streaming.
Watch the trailer below:
Richard Mofe-Damijo also acted in The Wedding Party 1&2. Both films grossed NGN453 million and NGN500 million, respectively. One of RMD’s most recent films is Chief Daddy and the film is currently the third highest-grossing Nigerian film after The Wedding Party franchises.
In 2019, RMD wrote and produced a short film about Nigerian’s veteran musician Innocent Idibia, who is popularly known as 2Baba. The short film is titled 20 Years A King: A Short Story.
In the film, RD provides a great insight into 2Baba’s career from his time with Plantashun Boiz to date.
Richard Mofe-Damijo biography: TV shows
Undoubtedly, RMD is more popular for his roles in films than in appearances in tv series. This is likely because he has appeared mostly in films but when he comes to tv shows, the actor holds his own. Over the years, he has played many roles in some of the most widely watched tv shows in Nigeria and Africa.
Richard Mofe-Damijo has appeared in TV shows such as Shuga, Tinsel, Castle & Castle, Mr. X Family and Hush.
Richard Mofe-Damijo entrepreneur
RMD founded RMD Productions Limited, White Water Limited and RMD Foundation.
RMD Productions Limited is an umbrella organisation that shelters RMDTVNG and RMDTHEACTOR. This media platform is in charge of bringing new concepts as well as television and radio productions, broadcasting and so on.
It also produces the tv shows Trying and Mr. X family.
White Water Limited is a Nigerian PR outfit that deals with public relations consultancy.
Meanwhile, RMD Foundation is a mentoring organisation, through which the veteran actor gives back to the community.
Richard Mofe-Damijo: Family, wife and children
RMD is a happily married man that allegedly has five children from three different women.
According to Encomium, RMD has a son with one Mrs Esther Etinaebedia before his first marriage. He also has four children from the two wives he married at different times.
RMD’s wife is former tv personality Jumobi Adegbesan. They got married in 2000 years after his first wife, Ellen-Ezekiel Mofe-Damijo (MEE) died. MEE died in 1996.
May Ellen-Ezekiel Mofe-Damijo had been a popular journalist and publisher before her demise.
She was the publisher of Classique magazine, a celebrity and entertainment journal that has ceased publication.
RMD had two children with May Mofe-Damijo before he remarried according to his Wikipedia page.
With Jumobi Adegbesan, he has two children. He also has two grandchildren already.
Richard Mofe-Damijo: Fashion, style & public perception
One thing that RMD is popular for is his impeccable style of dressing. Also, even beneath his clothes, one can tell that he is physically fit for his age. This has led many to tag him ‘sweet papa’ and ‘sexy grandpa’.
Beyond these seemingly harmless tags, some have also maybe because of his good look,s launched malicious gossip at him. We will mention some of the scandals Richard Mofe-Damijo have been dragged into in the past in the next section.
Many times, RMD himself has confessed that he is a “shy person” and doesn’t know why people see him the way they do.
Richard Mofe-Damijo scandals
In the early days of Nollywood, there were rumours that Richard Mofe-Damijo and Stella Damascus were romantically attached. However, the story held no water as no one had come out with anything more convincing than idle speculations.
Until further development, it is better to disregard that story as one of the many figments of imaginations that some reporters come up with sometimes.
Also, in 2014 there were stories that Richard Mofe-Damijo embezzled N50 million while serving as the commissioner for culture and tourism in Delta State.
According to Legit, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had picked up Philo Nkem Ajufo, then acting general manager of Delta State Tourism Board over the issue. In the end, nothing came out of the story.
Richard Mofe-Damijo: Net worth
We found contrasting details about how much Richard Mofe-Damijo is really worth. While Legit claims that the actor is worth $15 million, Google Naija alleges he is worth about $10 million. However, none of these publications and others like them provided data to support their claim, so we will dismiss them as mere speculations.
Since there is no verified source to confirm RMD’s net worth, we settle for facts.
As we mentioned above, Richard Mofe-Damijo has featured in all three of the highest-grossing Nollywood films of all time to date. In fact, he featured in five out of the top ten films on the list. This is a factor to consider when thinking of his net worth. Still, we don’t know how much he was paid for appearing in any of these movies. Nor do we know his commanding fees for the various tv series he’s involved in.
As an entrepreneur, RMD apparently makes money from his business but the information on his income from his businesses are not publicly available.
The salary and various allowance for a commissioner in oil-rich Delta state, no doubt must have been substantial and RMD must have made some good earnings during his time as a political appointee.
Also, the veteran actor has endorsement deals with Globacom Limited and Land Lagos. These surely also mean more money for the actor.
To surmise, we cannot give you a figure on Richard Mofe Damijo net worth especially as we do not how much he earned to begin, what his debts are, if any, as well as investments if any. But from all appearance, RMD have had a successful career and seems to be doing well financially judging from the facts we presented in this article.
Final thoughts …
Richard Mofe-Damijo is one of the most popular names in the Nigerian TV and film industry. For nearly three decades, RMD has been on the screen sharing his talent with the world. Yet, the renowned actor seems not ready to stop.
We wish him many more active years in the industry. Also, as the biography of Richard Mofe-Damijo has shown, he is a man that can succeed in different professional climates. He has done it in journalism, film, TV, politics and entrepreneurship.
Bonus Richard Mofe-Damijo information
List of selected RMD filmography
- Out of Bounds (1997)
- Hostages (1997)
- Scores to Settle (1998)
- Diamond Ring (1998)
- Freedom (1999)
- When God Says Yes (2003)
- Love (2003)
- Keeping Faith: Is That Love (2003)
- Romantic Attraction (2003)
- The Intruder (2003)
- I Will Die For You (2003)
- Emotional Pain (2003)
- The Mayors (2004)
- True Romance (2004)
- The Legend (2004)
- I want Your Wife (2004)
- Indecent Act (2004)
- Danger Signal (2004)
- King’s Pride (2004)
- Engagement Night (2004)
- Critical Decision (2004)
- Burning Desire (2004)
- Critical Assignment (2004)
- The Bridesmaid (2005)
- Darkest Night (2005)
- Behind Closed Doors (2005)
- Welcome to Nollywood (2007)
- 30 Days in Atlanta (2014)
- Oloibiri (2015)
- Okafor’s Law (2016)
- Three Wise Men (2016)
- Dinner (2016)
- The Wedding Party (2016)
- The Grudge (2016)
- The Wedding Party (2016)
- I Love My Wife Even After Death (2017)
- 10 days in Sun City (2017)
- The Wedding Party 2 (2017)
- Boxing Day: A Day After Christmas (2017)
- Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons (2018)
- Cross Roads (2018)
- Chief Daddy (2018)
- God Calling (2018)
- Blood And Oil (2019)
- The Hour (2019)
Richard Mofe-Damijo awards
- Best Actor in a Leading Role, Africa Movie Academy Awards, 2005
- Special Recognition Award, Best of Nollywood Awards, 2012
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Africa Movie Academy Awards, 2016
- Overall Best Actor in a Leading Role, in the movie Cross Road, Africa Movie Academy Awards, 2018