28th January, 2021
By Taiwo Okanlawon
Nollywood lost some of its veterans to the cold hands of death in the early part of 2021.
The first notable was the news of the demise of Folake Aremu, popularly known as Orisabunmi, who passed away on January 5, 2021.
However, the industry has recorded at least 5 deaths in the first month of 2021.
Veteran Yoruba actress, Folake Aremu, popularly known as Orisabunmi was the first causality recorded from the movie industry after she died on the 5th of January 2021.
Orisabunmi died at age 60, four months after ex-husband Jimoh Aliu, better known as Aworo, died.
Orisabunmi who was a native of Olla in Kwara State died at age 60 at her residence in Ibadan, Oyo State. She was said to have died after a brief illness.
President of the Theatre Arts And Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) Bolaji Amusan, aka Mr. Latin, confirmed her death to PM News on Wednesday morning.
Mr. Latin disclosed that Folake Aremu gave her last breath on Tuesday night but didn’t give the specific time.
“She died last night sir,” Mr. Latin stated in a brief response.
Another senior TAMPAN member Tunde Ola-Yusuff also stated that “She left without a goodbye.”
She was well known from the 80s for her roles as a priestess, pacifist, or the good witch in movies. She has played some iconic roles like ‘Asabi’ in “Oluwerimagboojo”, and the priestess in “Ayanmo Eda”.
2. Jim Lawson
A famous Nollywood actor, radio broadcaster, and writer, Jim Lawson Maduike passed away on the 9th of January 2021 after complaining of body pains earlier.
The veteran actor later slept and didn’t wake up the following morning.
The Imo state thespian was also famous as voice-over artist, filmmaker, and television personality.
He joined the Nollywood movie industry in 2004 and has since acted in more than 150 movies.
3. David Mela
David Mela was a fast-rising Nollywood actor before death cut short his life on January 11th, 2021
According to Idoma Voice, the talented actor was suffering from an undisclosed ailment, and he already took a break from social media for weeks.
4. Dan Nkoloagu
Dan Nkoloagu became the third veteran actor to depart the Nigerian film industry after his death was announced by his son Dan Nkoloagu junior on Facebook on January 23, 2021.
But he died on January 22, according to the post made by the son.
“IT WAS A BLACK FRIDAY FOR US YESTERDAY as my Dad left us without saying goodbye,” he wrote.
Nkoloagu who was popularly known for playing the role of a native doctor died at the age of 83.
5. Ernest Asuzu
Nollywood actor Ernest Asuzu who had been down with stroke also gave up the ghost on 26th, January 2021.
The news of his death was confirmed by his wife, Jennifer Asuzu.
Jennifer told The Nation that Asuzu fainted on Tuesday evening and never woke up.
However, his remains are on the way to the east for funeral rites.
Ernest Asuzu began his acting career in the ’90s and rose to prominence after he starred in the 1997 Nollywood classic, ‘Rituals’
He was the toast of Nollywood until his career nosedived after he came down with a stroke in 2015, and it affected his speech. He was also bedridden for three years.
In 2015, he announced that Jeremiah Funfeyin of Mercyland Deliverance Ministry healed him of stroke.
The cleric reportedly gave him a new SUV valued at about N3.5m and N1.5m as startup capital to help revive his career.
For eight years, he battled depression and was rumored dead at some point.
Towards the end of 2019, Ernest Azuzu stated that he was very ill without any job.