10 Pillars of Nollywood whose deaths that cannot be forgotten in a hurry.
The Nollywood film industry has lost a number of notable personalities whose deaths came as a bitter shock and who cannot be forgotten too quickly.
Nollywood Insider explores 10 Personalities who have cemented their names in the pillars of what Nollywood is today.
1. Amaka Igwe
The late Amaka Igwe was the Owner of Top Radio and Amaka Igwe Studios. She was a Writer, Producer, and Mentor to a lot of industry professional.
Until her death in 2014, she produced the sensational ‘Fuji House of Commotion’ which was an offshoot of another series – ‘Checkmate’.
She died at 51, after suffering an Asthma attack in Enugu, Nigeria. You can imagine the shock on people’s lips when they hear the great woman who had merely gone to conduct business with her husband had died on her way to the hospital.
On her posthumous birthday, Google honored her with a doodle and tributes.
2. Sam Loco
Sam Loco was best known for his comical performances, especially those with his typical ‘children’ – Aki and Pawpaw. If he were still around today, there is no doubt he would still be a sensation to the fast changing Nollywood Industry. Just like Nkem Owoh, Patience Ozokwor and a host of others, Sam Loco brought life to our TV screens.
Sadly, Sam died at 65. He was found dead sitting on a chair in his Hotel room at Enugu. The cause of death is believed to be Asthma as Ventolin inhalers were found close to him.
His comic scenes and impressions are still being used all over Social Media in skits, memes and videos.
3. Bukky Ajayi
Zainab Bukky Ajayi was an Iconic face in the Nollywood industry. She featured in the popular 1990s series ‘Checkmate’ and would be remembered for her roles in other feature movies as well, including ‘Diamond Ring’ ‘Witches’ and several others.
In March of 2016, she and Sadiq Daba received the industry Merit awards at the AMVCA and three months later, she died in her home in Lagos, Nigeria at the age of 82.
Though old and ripe, many Nollywood lovers would be excited to see her on their screens once again.
4. Prince James Uche
The Nollywood Veteran featured in many mainstream Nollywood Movies of the time including. The Councilor, Igodo, Coronation and The lost Kingdom and a number of others. He active in the Nollywood scene as well.
Until he started battling Kidney disease in 2016. The Veteran actor cried out to well meaning Nigerians and his colleagues for financial help. He was kicked out of the hospital for failure to pay his hospital bills and be flown to India for Kidney surgery.
Desmond Elliot even tried to help solicit funds for him. Well meaning Nigerians came to his rescue and funds were raised for his treatment. Yet, on the 8th of March 2017, the veteran passed on.
5. Enebeli Elebuwa
Enebeli was a prolific actor with over 200+ Nollywood movies to his credit and was one of the most recognizable and respectable faces in the Nollywood film industry. He was known for playing roles of a King or a chief in traditional Nollywood drama.
When stroke hit him in 2011, Enebeli and his colleague, Segun Arinze pleaded with the public for help. The then Delta State Governor came to his aid and flew him to India for proper treatment. It was too late none the less and the veteran Actor died.
After his death, Stella Damascus called out his colleagues for refusing to offer him a helping hand when he needed it the most.
6. Justus Esiri
Justus Esiri is considered to be one of the pillars of Nollywood. His acting career spans back to the 1960s when he played a role in ‘The Village Headmaster’ a movie adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s book ‘Things Fall Apart’. Wikipedia records his achievements and the awards he won Posthumously.
He died on 19th February 2013 but has continued to live on in his movies.
7. Ashley Nwosu
Ashley Nwosu’s death was a quite sad one. Before his demise, he was one of the most talented actors that graced the industry. His roles usually covered that of being a good father, a chief and was an expert playing them.
Nevertheless, death came for him. In 2010, he began to battle with Kidney failure and turned to the public for help. His pleas fell on deaf ears. it was believed that Nollywood deserted him even when he was rumored to owed a lot of money for.
in April of 2011, he gave up the ghost.
8. Peter Eneh
Anyone who watched TV growing up could not have missed the face and the character of this Nollywood talent. Peter was a talented actor and regarded as one of the Pillars of Nollywood and he had featured in over 100+ movies.
In 2012, the popular actor battled with a leg infection and had to have his leg amputated. He eventually dies a few days later.
9. Muna Obiekwa
Muna was young but his face had gained followership in the Nollywood Film Industry. He was second cousin to the Veteran Yul Edochie. He died in 2015 after being diagnosed with a Kidney disease.
The story went round that Muna had kept his illness from his colleagues and was not able to keep to the doctor’s orders to stay away from Alcohol.
10. Festus Aguebor
His death came as a shock to many people in 2018. He was known for his roles in several Nollywood Movies including Rituals, A Kiss from a Rose, Family Contract and his role in The Village Headmaster. He also bagged an AMVCA award to his name.
Festus Aguebor died in 2018 after an unknown illness.
May their souls rest in perfect peace.
If you could have one of these great pillars back, who would it be?