…As Industry records over 15 human losses
Losing a loved one often leads to unimaginable grief and a deep sense of loss. Fans get the same feeling when a celebrity they love passes away. These include musicians, actors, athletes, and politicians, among others. Several dead Nollywood actors and actresses passed on from the beginning of 2022, leaving their fans in grief and a massive gap in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
The Nigerian film and television industry has produced some of the continent’s best actors and actresses. Unfortunately, some of these talented men and women have passed away owing to various reasons.
Nigerians still trying to recover from the shocking death of Ada Ameh, also got news that Famous Nollywood actress Sola Onayiga passed away on July 18 and the cause of her death has yet to be revealed. She gained recognition for her performance as Ireti in the family drama, Fuji House of Commotion.
Though Onayiga’s cause of death hasn’t yet been revealed, she was admitted to the ICU of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. The actress struggled with sickle cell anemia all her life. Her family members are yet to issue an official statement on the same and it remains to be seen if she has suffered from any other health issues in the past.
The Nigerian movie industry was thrown into mourning few days ago as the industry lost two of its vibrant actresses, Ada Ameh and Oluwasolamipe Onayiga, to the pangs of death within 24 hours. Ada Ameh was reportedly said to have died in Warri, Delta State around 11 pm on Sunday, Onayiga, died in the morning at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
Though the actresses came from two very different worlds and two very different schools of acting, both left behind a treasure of cinematic work and millions of grieving fans and colleagues. Confirming the death of Ada Ameh, National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Mr Emeka Rollas, described it as “an unfortunate incident.”
He revealed that the actress died at a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) hospital in Warri, Delta State on Sunday.
Another gory death is that of Emma Buchi, who was allegedly murdered in cold blood by his Personal Assistant said to be under the deceased tutelage and support.
The actor who hails from Abia State picked the suspect who also comes from Abia, to help him find his feet. He housed and fed him. But the young man moved by greed reportedly killed the actor, packed all the properties in his house and locked the doors and allowed his corpse to decay.
Chairman of Delta State chapter of AGN, Mr Emma Onyemeziem, while confirming the sad news, said the news of Ada Ameh’s demise came to them as a shock and he has not been briefed properly on the circumstances surrounding her death. But he learnt that she died in a hospital in Warri, Delta State on Sunday night.
It was gathered that the actress, who lost her daughter, Aladi Godgift, to the pangs of death in 2020, after an unsuccessful surgery in Abuja suddenly collapsed at 11 pm, before being rushed to the hospital where she was confirmed dead.
In her last post on Instagram on that black Sunday, Ameh wrote: “Happy new week fans. This trip for my friend’s elder sister is just an enjoyment!!! “Thanks to my darling sister Phil. I enjoyed myself!! God bless my love. May your dreams come true in Jesus Christ’s name.”Little did she know that she would not live to see the following day.
After her only daughter’s death, the actress said that life had not remained the same.
Last month, Ameh opened up on an issue threatening her life and her mental health.
The actress best known for her role in the popular sitcom, “The Johnsons” had cried out in a short video shared on her Instagram page that the issue is gradually taking her life but she believed that she would not die and would get over it.
A celebrity’s death can have the same emotional impact on a fan as the death of a loved one. In addition, most fans develop attachments to actors due to their outstanding performance in specific roles.
The deaths of Nigerian actors and actresses are really disturbing and making people throw questions like is there no money in this industry? Is it that they do not take care of themselves with the money they get from making a film? Are they living or portraying a fake life?
These deaths really throw out a lot of questions. We hear stories of popular Nollywood actors who are living in deep poverty, and can barely fed for themselves but are icons in the Nollywood industry. It is really sad because the Nollywood entertainment is a platform where we learn life lessons, tells us stories of what happened in real life that we do not know exist and at the same time to entertain the audience.
It gets really disturbing when we hear these deaths, caused by health problems, some from depression, some of money problems and so on. How do we encourage the younger generations to endeavour in such parts if there is no guarantee that the industry will provide for their needs apart from giving them fame.
Some of the popular veteran actors and actresses who have died from 2021 to date include: Jim Lawson Maduike, Dan Nkoloagu ,Bruno Obinna Iwuoha, Rachel Oniga, Victor Decker, Samuel Obiago, David Mela, Chief Lari Williams, Romanus Amuta, Chinedu Bernard and so on. On March 23, the death of Takor Veronica shook the Nollywood industry. She was found dead in a hotel room in Benue, North Central Nigeria few days after celebrating her birthday. She upcoming actress celebrated her birthday on 12 March, 2022. She reportedly died in the hotel room at Nyinma area of Makurdi, Benue State.
Some of the deaths of these Nollywood actors and actresses are often strange, we just hear of their deaths and cause of death will remain unknown. Some will say that they were poisoned. This shows that there is no brother and sisterhood in the industry.
Actors Guild of Nigeria should be positioned to cater for all its members. It should always provide a health insurance scheme for it members so that young and aspiring actors who want to join the industry will be motivated to join.
In their website they have indicated that they do take care of their members and health insurance is provided but it is obviously not true or it isn’t being practiced because many of the deaths of these actors were also related to a health condition or money to take care of their health.
According to the mission/vision of the association, the association is a unified platform with unlimited opportunities for artistes/members and also is to engage, educate and unify members through collective impact to become a platform with endless opportunities for members/artistes. But apparently they do not look out of members as they should.
They should put more effort to ensure that their members and upcoming members do take care of themselves, they should also conduct seminars/conference to educate their members on how to take care of their health, whether it is sickness or mental health. Fame is not everything. It won’t put money in their pockets and it won’t stop the abuse that some young actors pass through before joining the industry.
This will be a guarantor to people to join the platform and feel safe doing what the love.