By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU
A palpable reign of anxiety now pervades the entertainment industry as the number of deaths continues to rise by the day with some of its key and well known practitioners, passing on so far.The ultimate enemy of mankind has severally stalked the Nollywood and the entire entertainment with a tragic swagger leaving the sector depleted and devastated.
It has been a year the industry would not forget in a hurry with some of its major notable figures departing to the great beyond and those still on this side of eternity are becoming jittery. With the year just half spent, the roll call is long and heart breaking.
Mrs. Folake Aremu (Orisabunmi)
Many still remember the awe-inspiring epic work of AlhajiJimohAliu called “Arelu”, about the intersection between good and evil, the spiritual influence of witchcraft and how the later has tragic effects on lives of many in small agrarian communities where everybody knows everybody. Widely seen as a masterpiece, it was the work that brought into limelight veteran Yoruba actress, Mrs. Folake Aremu, popularly called Orisabunmi.
A veteran of Yoruba home video and many soap operas, she was one of the earliest thespians that death took away this year. She died on January 5, 2021.Her death, threw the theatre industry into sadness. The veteran actress, who hailed from Olla in Kwara State, died at 60 in her residence in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Her death came four months after the demise of her ex-husband, Jimoh Aliu, popularly called Aworo under whose tutelage she rose to prominence in the film industry.
Jim Lawson Maduike.
Many old enough to understand the halcyon day and golden age of broadcasting, especially in Radio Nigeria 2, would easily remember. The sonorous-voiced Maduike was a favourite of many in his rendering of his own broadcasting, but is popular with a wider audience as a veteran.
Nollywood actor, who had acted in many home videos and soaps died on January 9, 2021.The Imo-born thespian gave up the ghost after complaining of severe body pains. He joined the film industry in 2004 where he starred in several films.
He may not been known to many, but acting was in his vein until he died on January 22, 2021.Nkoloagu, who died at 83, was popular for playing the role of a native doctor in many Igbo movies.
Ernest Asuzuis one of the most popular Nollywood personalities, but certainly one of the most unlucky according to media reports. Some attributed his series of problems to spiritual forces, but he finally bade farewell to this side of the planet on Tuesday January 26, 2021
His wife, Jennifer Asuzu, who confirmed the sad incident of his passing to the media, said he fainted on Tuesday evening and never woke up.
Mr. Toju Ejueyitchie
Mr. Toju Ejueyitchie has made an enormous impact in the world of music. He was the Managing Director, Premier Records limited and Premier Music Publishing Company limited.
According to a statement by the management, Ejueyitchie died on January 29, 2021 after a brief illness. He will be greatly missed by the music world.
Pa Chris Ajilo
He was a phenomenon when it comes to the world of music, and there’s no way one can come up with Fela’s discography, and indeed, the discographies of many highlife greats without mentioning Pa Ajilo. Veteran musician and producer died on February 20, 2021.
It was gathered the ‘Eko O GbaGbere’ crooner died in his Ijebu -Ijesha hometown after a brief illness. He was 91.
He is popular with the youth afficionadoes of music. Frabz was a popular producer, who has had his hands in the careers of many young artistes. His real name is Ayorinde Faboro. He died on March 1, 2021.He reportedly died in the United States of America where he lived in recent years.
He was a veteran of many soaps and Broadway’s, including the long-running Cock Crow at Dawn. He was a veteran broadcaster and Nollywood actor of immense statue.
He won an Africa movie academy award for best actor for a role as “Inspector Waziri” during his lifetime. He also worked at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
In 2017, he announced he was diagnosed of Leukemia and Prostrate cancer. He has been on fundraising support by several Nigerians. In 2020, he joined Project Pink Blue to commemorate World Cancer Day. March 3rdwas a sad day as Sadiq was announced dead at Ayinke general hospital, Ikeja.
He was another phenomenon in the world of film making, a real Nollywood great. He won the best supporting actor award at the 3rd Africa movie academy awards for his performance in the movie “Sins of the Flesh”. He had been bedridden for years before he died at the age of 69 on the 10th of April.
He was a passionate about producing films, and a determined producer, actor and movie director. He died on the 21st of May. He had produced and directed many movies and also worked with the national theatre, Lagos. Some of the works he was known for are October 1; Don’t Live Here Anymore, and Sade.
The famous Nigerian rapper, singer and songwriter, who was notable for his R&B, Hip-Hop, reggae and afro-beat died at the age of 44 on the 11th of July. He was well known for using his music to speak against poverty, corruption, bad governance and societal ills in Nigeria.
Having a strong relationship with Baba Dee, his sibling, Sound Sultan was an actor who produced and acted in the successful comedy movie “Head Gone” in 2014.Still on the acting process, he also played the role of Rotimi, a lawyer in the popular comedy movie, “flatmates” which airs on DStv.
Before his death, it was reported he was somewhere in United States of America receiving Chemotherapy and diagnosed with Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma in the throat. He died as a result of his illness.
She was one of the dames of Nollywood, and had acted on numerous home videos where she earned stripes. She died on July 30th of a heart related issue.She was instrumental to the development of movie industry in Nigeria.
Oniga began her acting career in 1993, shortly after her divorce. Her first movie titled “Onome” and her debut Yoruba movie, titled “Owo Blow” and has featured in notable films such as the popular TV series, “Superstory” directed by Wale Adenuga and the movie “Sango” Scripted by Wale Ogunyemi. She died at the age of 64.
On the 10th of August, Rich Oganiru was announced dead as a result of a prolonged illness. He was reportedly the first celebrity to die in August. He was known for the movies such as Wasted Effort, Pay Day and Givers Never Lack.
It was shocking news as Stanley Okoro, a Nigerian actor died on the 11th of August. He was known for his comedies in Nigerian movie industry. The content creator reportedly died of suspected food poisoning after his movie shoot in a hotel at Maryland, Enugu State, according to some sources. However, the reason for his death is still made unknown. Stanley Okoro died at the age of 28.
Having his sad story circulating, the famous actor known in the Tinsel TV series, Victor Olaotan stroked us with shock as he was announced dead on the 26th of August.According to reports, he has been ill for the past five years following a brain injury he sustained in a car accident in October 2016 at Apple junction, Festac, Lagos.
He was seen in movies such as “Three Wise Men” and “Unveil”. He died at the age of 69.
Prince Ifeanyi Dike
Prince Ifeanyi Dike, an actor and the Board of Trustees Chairman, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) died on the 27th of August, shortly after the demise of Victor Olaotan, the famous actor known in Tinsel TV series.
Dike was hospitalised for weeks as a result of Kidney related issue. The chairman of Actors Guild of Nigeria announced that they have been financially battling with his medical issues before he passed away.
Sir Victor Uwaifo
The legendary singer, guitarist, musician and composer died on the 28th of August, 2021.Sir Uwaifo, a professor of Arts at the University of Benin who was widely known for his genre in highlife, won the first god disc in Africa (Joromi), which was released in 1965.
He also won seven other gold disk in Guitar boy, Akwete music and Arabada. At first, information had gone viral claiming that he died as a result of Covid-19 but the family debunked the news, stating he died as a result of Pneumonia. He passed away at the age.