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Ernest Asuzu, Rachel Oniga, Sadiq Daba, entertainers who died in 2021

As we approach the end of 2021, it is right to pay respect to celebrities who once graced our screens with their awesome talents...

As we approach the end of 2021, it is right to pay respect to celebrities who once graced our screens with their awesome talents. They will be missed but remembered for the significant roles they played.

Rachel Oniga

Veteran actress, Rachel Oniga, died in July, 2021, at the age of 64. It was reported that she died from a heart-related ailment. Born May, 1957, the actress originally came from Eku, Delta State, but was given birth to in Ebutte Meta, Lagos State. She began her acting career in 1993 after working briefly at Ascoline Nigeria Limited. She was known for her roles in Sango (1997), Doctor Bello (2013), 30 Days in Atlanta (2014), Progressive Tailors Club (2021). 

Sound Sultan-Olaurewaju Fasasi

Nigerian artiste, Sound Sultan, died in July, 2021, at the age of 44. He was a rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and comedian. He was popular for using music to speak against social and political issues. His first single, “Mathematics” aka “Jagbajantis” became a street anthem in Nigeria. In 2007, he partnered with his brother, Baba Dee, to start Naija Ninjas; a parent company for recording, production and clothing line. In 2021, it was reported that Sound Sultan had been made a UN Ambassador for Peace due to his commendable lifestyle and career. He worked alongside 2face, Wyclef Jean, Basketmouth, Joe el, etc. 

Sadiq Daba

Sadiq Daba was a prominent Nigerian broadcaster and actor. He died in March, 2021, after a long battle with leukaemia and prostate cancer.  He became famous for acting in the 1970’s after starring in “Cockcrow at Dawn”. In 2015, he received the African Movie Academy award for “Best Actor” for playing the role, “Inspector Waziri”. In 2018, he was honoured with the title, “Garkuwan Nollywood” which translates to “Shield of Nollywood” by stakeholders in the industry. He also took part in the project, Pink Blue, to walk against cancer and celebrate the World Cancer Day. 

Faces of entertainers we will miss dearly


Hajiya Zainab Musa Booth

Kannywood prominent actress, Hajiya Zainab Musa Booth, died in July, 2021, at the age of 61. She was widely known in the Hausa industry for the motherly roles she portrayed. Her movies include Jarumai 1&2 (2006) and Rabuwa (2008). Aside being the “Mother of Kannywood”, she was also the mother to Kannywood actors, Maryann Booth, Ramadan Booth and Amude Booth. 

Sir Victor Uwaifo

Veteran musician, Sir Victor Uwaifo, died in August, 2021, at the age of 80. It was disclosed that he had been diagnosed with pneumonia. Born in Benin City, Edo State, he started playing guitar at 12. He created many rhythms which include the “Akwete Rhythm”, “Shadow” and “Ekassa”. In 1965, he formed the band, “Melody Maestros”, and they released their hit song, “Joromi”, which became very popular in Nigeria and parts of West Africa. In 1996, Sir Victor Uwaifo was the first to receive a Golden Record award in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa for “Joromi”. In 1983, he was commemorated with a national honour merit award from the federal government. He was appointed Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism and in Edo State in 2001. 

Victor Olaotan

Popularly known for his role in “Tinsel”, the actor died in August, 2021, at the age of 69. It was reported that his death was caused by a brain injury. Born in Lagos State, Victor Olaotan began acting at the age of 15. He rose to prominence after landing a leading role in the soap opera, “Tinsel”. Following a car crash in 2016, the actor suffered a nervous system injury. 

Dr Frabz 

Nigerian music producer, Ayorinde Faboro aka Dr Frabz, who was one of popular Afro-soul producers died in February, 2021 at the age of 35. His death was confirmed when the likes of Nikki Olaoye, Samklef, Seyi-shay posted condolences on their social media pages. Dr Frabz was born and raised in Lagos and at by age of 12 he had begun to play the drum, keyboard and other musical instruments in church. He worked with the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Late Dagrin, NaetoC and Omawunmi.

Ada Jesus

Nigerian comedian and actress, Mercy Mmesoma Obi Nnadi popularly known as Ada Jesus, died in April, 2021, at the age of 23. Although there were speculations on the cause of her death, the comedian had earlier been diagnosed with kidney disease in December, 2020. Ada Jesus came from Imo State. She was also modelling and going for auditions before graduating from university. Her career rose to fame when she started making skit videos in Igbo language on Instagram and Facebook. 

Kabiri Fubara

Known for his role in “God Calling” and “Quam’s Money”, “Karibi Fubara died in December, 2021, after battling cancer. He was a Nollywood actor, model and producer with experience spanning over 15 years. He landed modelling projects with international companies such as Apple, Walt Disney, Nestle and Verizon. He starred in the ABC daytime soap, “One Life to Live”. He co-founded and managed LLC, an artistes’ management and production company that produces both music and film contents with award winning celebrities such as Idris Elba, John Legend, India Arie and Jidenna.

Folake Aremu

Veteran Yoruba actress, Folake Aremu also known as Orisabunmi, died in January at the age of 60. The Kwara-born actress died four months after the death of her ex-husband, Jimoh Aliu aka Aworo. 

The actress was popularly known in the 80’s for her roles as a pacifist, priestess or good witch in movies. Some of her iconic roles include ‘Asabi’ in “Oluwerimagboojo” and the priestess in “Ayanmo Eda”. 

Victor Decker

Popularly known for his role as the Galadima of Kowa Emiratel in Ebonylife’s “Sons of the Caliphate” series. Victor Decker was found dead in his apartment by neighbours on February 16, 2021. He was an active member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and starred in movies including “Double Strings”, “If I am President” and “Lotanna”.

Jim Lawson

Jim Lawson was reported dead on January 9, 2021. The Imo State-born actor joined Nollywood in 2004 and starred in many movies. He was also a writer, radio broadcaster and filmmaker. He worked with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ray Power FM and MINAJ FM. He worked alongside Ngozi Ezeonu, Pete Edochie and Tonto Dikeh. Some of his award nominations include Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award and Most Prominent Actor in Nigeria at the Best of Nollywood Awards.

Bruno Iwuoha

Nollywood veteran, Bruno Iwuoha, died in April, 2021, at the age of 68 at the National Hospital, Abuja. He starred in a about 509 movies. In 2007, the actor won the Best Supporting Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards for his role in the film, “Sins of the flesh”. 

Ernest Azuzu 

The Nollywood actor died in January, 2021. His wife who confirmed his death to the media said he had slumped and did not wake up after that. He rose to prominence in 1997 after appearing in “Rituals”. In 2015, it was announced that the actor had come down with a stroke which left him with slurred speech. Just before he died, Ernest indicated in an interview about returning to the screen after an eight-year break. 

David Mela

Fast rising actor, David Mela died in January, 2021 after suffering from an ailment. Prior to his death, fans had complained that the actor had not posted on his social media for weeks.

Rich Oganiru

The Nollywood actor died in August, 2021. He occupied the position of the Corporate Marketing Consultant of the Abuja chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). He acted in over 300 films and also served as an evangelist at the Davidical Order Ministry. A few of his movies include “Sharon Stone”, “Total Control”, “Last Confession” and “Battle of the Rich”. 

Prince Ifeanyi Dike

Veteran actor and Chairman Board of Trustees, of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Prince Ifeanyi Dike, died in August, 2021.  It was reported that he suffered kidney failure in 2011 after which he underwent a transplant in India. However, a relapse of the ailment led to his death.  

Hajiya Umma Ali

In August Kannywood film industry lost the pioneer Chairperson of the Association of Hausa Women Film Producers Hajiya Umma Ali. The late producer died after a protracted illness. Hajiya Umma started producing Hausa films in 1997, at the time when it was believed that the industry was male-dominated. Before her death, the late Hajiya Umma has been behind a lot of Hausa films including the famous Kaddara Ta Riga Fata 1, 2, 3.

Ahmed Tage

In September, the industry also recorded another loss of a veteran cameraman and one of the best comedians in the industry. Ahmed Tage died after suffering from an illness. Late Tage had set an example during his lifetime by recruiting his own son Ayotollah Tage into the filmmaking industry and he had acted alongside his son on several films.

Tage will be remembered in the Kannywood for the numerous hilarious roles he played in Hausa comedy films.

Sani Garba SK

He died in December. The hilarious actor died after battling diabetes. The popular actor who hails from Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State is one of Kannywood’s most popular artists. He has been in the industry for a long time. He has featured in more than 100 films and he is considered among the industry’s pioneering actors.

By Rosemary Etim Bassey, Ibrahim Musa Giginga, Kano

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