Balawala Star, ‘Karmo Soko’, Dies

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Veteran Liberian comedian, Zumanah Fofana, best known for his role as ‘Karmo Soko’ from Malawala Balawala, the hit Liberian TV comedy of the 1980s, has died. He was 56.

He became famous in 1984 for his comic role in the Balawala series, but also starred in others such as “Blind Man and His Girlfriend”, Driver”, and many more.

Before his death, the late Soko made a brief comeback in the movie industry when he released “Karmo Soko the Greedy Man,” which was a hit, and the “Two Hustlers.”

He was the director of Art for the Liberian Culture Troupe that participated in the Louisiana World Fair in 1984.

But veteran Liberian actor and president of the Liberia Culture Union, Kekura Kamara said, “Mr. Soko died as a “very poor man” despite all the fames in achieved.”

“He died poor, because his innovations and his artists right was not protected by government, thereby leaving him exposed to pirates,” he added.

He died on July 27 in a Taxi around Suakoko, Bong County about 4pm, while on his way for medical treatments at the Phebe Hospital.

As a practical Muslim, Karmo Soko mortal remains was laid to rest on Sunday, June 29, in Dimeh, a traditional Gola village on the Monrovia/Bomi highway were Liberian culture icon, Bai T. Moore was buried.

Mr. Kekura, a workmate at the Flomo Theater that produced the television series said, “few week ago, we look Karmo Soko to a local clinic on the Jamaica Road for medical checkup after his foot got swollen, but the doctor didn’t find any illness.”

The doctor, however, recommended that he should be taken to the John F. Kennedy (JFK) to be admitted, but sadly he decided to go Gbarnga for proper treatment when he died in the process.

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