Angel of death visits Nollywood


• Demise of filmmakers causes stir • Others who are ill


The Nigeria film industry, popularly called Nollywood,  could pass for a place visited by angel of death. Like Egypt, during the days of the plague, the industry has witnessed many deaths, to the extent that many are not only wondering what’s going on but also afraid.

At the last count, no fewer than about 10 actors and actresses, both popular and obscure, have died. The rate of death is like in the ratio of one death per month.

Checks revealed that the following actors/actresses, among others have died:

David Ihezie:

He was a veteran actor, who died in his Enugu base after a short battle with Arthritis on January 19. He was in his 70s.

Brown Atienwen:

Popular Benin-based seasoned Nollywood actor and staff of the Edo State’s Ministry of Arts, Culture Tourism, died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). He was unable to pay the sum of N150,000 for a major operation. The cause of his illness was unknown. He died in October.

Pete Eneh:

Sometime this month, news filtered in that veteran actor, Eneh, died after suffering from protracted illness, which culminated in the amputation of his leg. The actor, who was diabetic, sustained some kind of injury last year, which degenerated to a sore and refused to heal. He spent three months at the hospital before he was advised to amputate the leg to avoid the infection spreading to other parts of his body. The amputation took place on Wednesday, October 24, after all efforts to save the leg was unsuccessful.

Lekan ‘Lekinson’ Oladipupo:

Popularly known in the Yoruba genre of Nollywood as Georgio Lekinson, Oladipupo died on January 24 in Osogbo, Osun State , while battling a heart related illness.


Yoruba comic actor, Hammed Odunla, better known as Dento, also succumbed to the power of death on Monday, August 6, after months of battling with stroke.

Cassandra Gabriel:

Fast rising actress, Cassandra, otherwise known as Sisi Caro in a popular situational comedy, Face2Face, passed on recently due to complications from an illness suspected to be cancer.

Akin Ogungbe:

Veteran Yoruba actor, Akin Ogungbe, popularly known in the industry as Ireke Onibudo, died on November 28 at his Iberekodo residence, in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He was aged 78. According to one his sons, Femi Abiola Ogungbe, his father was not ill but died of old age. The actor was the founder of National Association of Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) and the oldest actor in the Yoruba film industry. He is survived by 15 widows with over 40 children and numerous grand children.

Enebeli Elebuwa:

It was a sad Wednesday morning this week, when the death of veteran actor, Enebeli Elebuwa hit tinsel town. The actor, who had been bedridden with stroke for two years, died in an Indian hospital in New Delhi. It was reported that his health deteriorated when he couldn’t afford to receive medical attention. It was also gathered that the stroke came as a result of uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes mellitus, which also affected his brain.

What’s amiss?

With the number of casualties in this league, it is instructive to note that the major ailments were either stroke, diabetes or heart related issues.

Meanwhile, medical experts have proffered reasons as many Nollywood VIPs have been kicking the bucket in recent times.

Meanwhile, medical experts have proffered solutions to the rising number of deaths in the film industry.

According to Dr. Justin Ihejieto of  St. James Hospital, Olodi Apapa, the avalanche of deaths in the industry was a multi-factorial issue.

“It is not really a behavioural lifestyle problem, though it is a factor. Excessive alcohol intake, irregular eating pattern, weight gain, lack of exercise, lack of check up and so on may be responsible. Most Nigerians no longer do exercises. Since most of them are busy going from one location to another, they do not bother to go to the hospital for check up at least once a year; so the accumulation of all of these and more could possibly cause health hazards.

“Again, many of us no longer bother to check our heart conditions, thus anybody can get any cardiac challenge anytime. If detected at an early stage, it could be managed but can our health services manage it? That is why people are flown abroad. Also, where is the money to fly them abroad? It is expensive. Look at Enebeli Elebuwa. He doesn’t even have money to be flown abroad for treatment. The country cannot boast of these medical facilities. Even doctors are a part of the problem.”

Corroborating Ihejieto’s postulation, consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon, Dr. Osagie Anthony, said: “The heart naturally, is a very resilient organ. It is the driving engine of the body. It can try to compensate, but when it gets to a point, it cannot cope anymore. In the early stage of any heart related ailment, you can try to revert to acceptable functional level. People should just live a healthy lifestyle.”

Other actors/actresses who are ill:

At present, great thespians, such as Peter Bruno, Ngozi Nwosu, Ifeanyi Dike, Prince Uche, Emma Edokpai, Victor Eze, who acted the role of Alika in the rested Fuji House of Commotion, are currently battling with stroke, diabetes and heart related problems.


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  1. So sad 2listen 2d pasing away of nigerian actors and actres within a short period of time in the movie industry,and those yet 2pas on,i tink d movie industry should make provision in terms of finances 2take k of those that r ill,giving them best medical atentn n inviting the aids of the Govt. Rip ENEBELI ELEBUWA

  2. durowoju olalekan on

    we are talking of nollywood staffs, do you know how many nigerians dat hve passed away bcs of dis related heart attach recent time. dis is d time all of us must to be submitive to almighty allah

  3. Film industry shud repent of their sins, declare 21 days praying & fasting, shud always seek 4 divine directions & shud act more of christian films. God’s service shud be given a priority in d Nollywood industry especially as d world is coming 2 an end. Also, Nollywood actors n actresses shud always go 4 medical checks at least once in every 3 months since it has been discovered dat d diseases which are common not only in d industry but in d entire country are stroke, diabetes & heart related issues as these health challenges demand prompt attention. May d souls of d departed ones rest in peace-AMEN!

  4. Its a sad news, but God knows the best, not only in NOLLYWOOD,people die every second, the word is a cycle, as some are going others will coming,that is what is call recycle.

  5. Nollwood in Nigeria are mostly peopled by those who beleive in what they know and not what God knows.The truth is that any body can die at any time, but then these people are they actually dying happely. I have since stopped watching some of these home vedeos because there propagation of devilish agenders. Every thing that will enkindle the anger of God can always be foud in Nollywood. It is written; if my people who are being called by my name can today forsake their sins and call upon my name, i will answer them from heaven and heal them of their sicknesess and deseases and forgive them their iniquities. Those who are still alive should call on God now and live.

  6. It’s not just about Nollywood , People, especially Nigerians are dying everyday….. The condition of living of majority of Nigerians is just too bad…… People are unable to afford good meals, the health system especially in the rural areas is just nonsense, no good water….. several things are not working for the common man in Nigeria, so to die is not a hard thing over there……

  7. Death is unavoidable and inevitable, be you an actor, actress or not. So, now is hour of grace. Seek God when he will be find, call him when he will answer. Bcos who know the nest death will meet.

  8. What a sad news. This is a food for thought to all Nolly-wood artists to take their health seriously and play parts that will pass good moral lessons and ones souls closer to God. I pray Lt Mr Enebeli Elebuwa finds peace with his Creator. RIP.

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