As the first half of the year comes to an end, the entertainment industry has indeed suffered some heavy blows, as quite a number of practitioners have been lost to the cold hands of death, with the most recent being a veteran actress, Sidikat Odukanwi, aka Iyabo Oko. Saturday Beats takes a look at the departed
A veteran actress, Sidikat Odukanwi, aka Iyabo Oko, had battled with ill health for some years, which made her solicit financial assistance at a point.
Announcing her death on Thursday, June 29, 2023, her daughter, Bisi Aisha, wrote on Instagram, “It is well, mummy. Rest in peace, Wurami.”
Recall that the actress was rumoured to have died in 2021 and 2022. However, in an interview with Saturday Beats in September 2021, Oko refuted the claims. She said, “I am doing fine. I am not dead. I am very much alive. I won’t die (yet). It is not my portion.”
In another interview, one of her daughters, Olamide, had told Saturday Beats that her mother was diagnosed with an ischaemic stroke. She had said, “What affected my mum was the fact that she was not going for her medical check-ups. She lives very far from the hospital. When she had her last ‘attack’, I had to get a motorcycle to convey her to the junction before I could get a cab to pick her. She was diagnosed with an ischaemic stroke some years back. The first health scare happened about five years ago, but she did not want anyone to know about it.”
Another veteran actor, Brymo Uchegbu, aka Don Brymo, passed away on Thursday, June 15, 2023. The 56-year-old Anambra State-born role interpreter was said to have died in his sleep.
Confirming the news, his colleague and friend, Mayor Ofoegbu, wrote on Facebook, “Plan for tomorrow but live for today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I wrote those lines on my WhatsApp status yesterday evening. My man, my five and six, Don Brymo Uchegbu, passed away in his sleep. I received the shocking news this morning and had to verify it from his family. It’s hard to say goodbye.”
At 7ft 4 inches tall, Afeez Agoro was believed to be the tallest man in Nigeria before his demise on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. He reportedly died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, following some health complications.
Before his death, Agoro, who was also an actor, had undergone a successful hip surgery after he sought funds from members of the public.
A popular actor, Murphy Afolabi, passed away on May 14, 2023, in Lagos. This was nine days after he celebrated his 49th birthday on May 5. The actor had suffered a fall in his bathroom before he died that morning.
Another actor, Chikezie Uwazie, died in the United States of America after he reportedly underwent a second brain surgery. His colleague, Obey Etok, revealed the news on Instagram on May 14, 2023. She wrote, “I cannot imagine I am posting this. Chikezie Uwazie is gone after a second brain surgery. I’m so shocked (sic) to get this news this evening.
“I thought you told me you were going to the States for greener pastures. You promised to come back some years back, but I did not see you. I cannot believe you are gone, but God knows best. Rest on, Chyko.”
On Saturday, May 13, 2023, the movie industry was thrown into mourning following the demise of a veteran Yoruba actor, Mukaila Adedigba, aka Sikiru Adeshina. His death was announced by actor and filmmaker, Kunle Afod.
A veteran singer, Chris Mba, died on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital after a long battle with heart disease. He was known in the 1980s for his jerry curl and hit songs such as ‘Funky Situation’, ‘Baby Don’t Cry’ and ‘Love Everlasting’.
The General Manager of Premier Music, Michael Odiong, which Mba was signed to, broke the news on Instagram. He wrote, “The management of Premier Records Limited express sadness on the death of one of its artistes, Chris Mba, who passed away after a long battle with heart issues. We condole with the family and pray God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss.”
A popular actor, Obinna Nwafor, aka Saint Obi, died on May 7, 2023, following an undisclosed ailment. He was said to have been embattled before his death.
The late actor and filmmaker was known for his roles in movies and TV series such as ‘State of Emergency’, ‘Candle Light’, ‘Sakobi’ and ‘Last Party’. He was a graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Jos, Plateau State.
Veteran actor, Ojo Arowosafe, aka Fadeyi Oloro, was another talent that kicked the bucket this year. He had battled ill health for years before he passed away on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at the age of 66.
His death was confirmed by an actor and comedian, Bayegun Oluwatoyin, aka Woli Arole, who wrote on Instagram, “(I am) so happy I reached out to you and we played our part, and laughed together. (I am) so happy we were able to show our support. Rest in peace the legend, Fadeyi Oloro. Let’s check up on people when they are alive. Let’s show love when people can feel it. Let’s help when it can be seen.”
Favour Daniels, an actress and skit maker, passed away on February 5, 2023, after she was involved in a boating accident. She was 26.
An actor, Femi Ogunrombi, who once played the role of ‘Papa Ajasco’ in the popular sitcom, ‘Papa Ajasco and Company’, passed away on January 14, 2023.
An Imo State-born filmmaker and founder of the African Movie Academy Awards, Peace Osigwe, died on January 9, 2023, in a hospital in Lagos.
Her death shook in the industry, as many practitioners offered their condolences.
Yet another veteran actor, Sunday Akinola, aka Baba Feyikogbon, passed away on January 9, 2023, at the age of 80 after suffering kidney failure. He gained prominence when he featured in a sitcom titled, ‘Feyikogbon’, which was popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
He had sought financial assistance from the public in 2019 when he said he needed N30m to travel abroad to treat kidney failure and hypertension.
He also stated that his career only made him popular, without making him wealthy.