LAGOS – Nigeria’s Nollywood famous actress, Lola Alao, has reverted to Islam and changed her name to Rhodiat, joining the fastest growing religion in the world.
“Glory be to Allah. Join me in congratulating Lola Alao (a popular Nollywood actress). She just took the Kalimatu Shaa’dah from me, and chose the name Rhodiat,” Adepoju Yusuf, who claims to be her teacher, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday, July 20.
“May Allah give her proper understanding of Islam, and make her, well grounded in her new faith, Al-Islam. Aamiyn,” Yusuf wrote.
According to NAIJ.com, the actress reverted to Islam on Tuesday, July 19, at the Academy of Islamic Propagation, Nigeria (ACADIP).
The actress has also adopted the name Rhodiat.
Though the 45-year-old actress has not officially announced her conversion, pictures of her dressed in Islamic apparel have surfaced online.
Moreover, the last post on her Instagram page was concluded with Islamic greetings.
“To all my family, friends and fans that supported me during my father’s burial, I say a very big thank u to you all. May Allah continue to bless you and grant you all your heart desires Insha allah. One love.”
Alao is not the first Nollywood actress to revert to Islam.
Actress Lizzy Anjorin, born Elizabeth Anjorin, converted to Islam and even embarked on holy pilgrimage to Makkah.
Actress Fathia Balogun has also reverted to Islam. Like Alao, Fathia was a Christian before her conversion and hajj trip.
Nigeria, one of the world’s most religiously committed nations, is divided between a Muslim north and a Christian south.
Muslims and Christians, who constitute 55 and 40 percent of Nigeria’s 140 million population respectively, have lived in peace for the most part.
But ethnic and religious tensions have bubbled for years, fueled by decades of resentment between indigenous groups, mostly Christian or animist, who are vying for control of fertile farmlands with migrants and settlers from the Hausa-speaking Muslim north.