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Film stars who died in 2024 Q1

The Nigerian film industry suffered a big loss in the first quarter of 2024 with the death of some of its finest and favourite actors.…

The Nigerian film industry suffered a big loss in the first quarter of 2024 with the death of some of its finest and favourite actors. In this feature, Daily Trust Saturday pays respect to the actors we’ll miss on screens.

Amaechi Muonagor

The name Amaechi Muonagor is synonymous with versatility and depth. Born with a passion for storytelling, Muonagor carved a niche for himself in Nollywood with his compelling performances and undeniable talent. His name will forever ring aloud in every Nigerian household.

Born August 20, 1962, Muonagor hails from Idemili in Anambra State. The actor has a career spanning over 20 years in the Nigerian film industry.

Over the course of his career, Muonagor portrayed a wide array of characters, ranging from comedic figures, royal characters and sometimes the wise elder. After joining the Nigerian film industry in 1998, he went on to star in a number of films such as Taboo 1 (1989), Aki and Pawpaw, Karishika (1998). Whether portraying a benevolent elder dispensing wisdom or a ruthless antagonist driven by ambition, Muonagor brought a sense of depth and fairness to his performances that captivates audiences.

Beyond his contributions to cinema, Muonagor was also admired for his philanthropy and advocacy work. He used his platform to address important social issues, advocating for positive change and using his influence to uplift less-privileged communities.

In 2016, it was revealed that Amaechi was leaving the movie industry due to having diabetes. He had a stroke in 2023, which left his left leg partially paralysed. Shortly after pleading on social media for money so that he could afford a kidney transplant, the veteran actor passed away.  He died from kidney failure on March 24, 2024, at the age of 61.

John Okafor

John Okafor also known as Mr Ibu will always be remembered as a towering figure in the Nigerian film industry. With his unique brand of comedic talent and larger-than-life personality, he carved a niche for himself as one of the most beloved actors in the country.

Throughout his career, Mr Ibu appeared in numerous blockbuster films, becoming a household name in the process. From his iconic role in the comedy “Mr Ibu” to his appearances in hit movies like “9 Wives” and “Police Recruit”, he showcased his comedic prowess time and again, solidifying his status as a comedy icon. Okafor appeared in over 200 Nollywood productions such as Coffin Producers, Husband Suppliers, International Players, Store Keeper (2006), Issakaba (1999), Mr. Ibu in London (2005), Bafana Bafana (2007), Ibu in Prison (2006), and Keziah (2007).

Okafor disclosed in October 2023 that he was afflicted with a disease that might call for the amputation of one of his legs. He claimed that he became aware of the issue while working on a movie set. In order to pay for his medical expenses, he made a plea to his followers and the general public for money and prayers.

In November 2023, Okafor’s leg was amputated after undergoing seven surgeries for his illness, a measure deemed necessary by his family to preserve his life and enhance his chances of recovery. Okafor sadly passed away on March 2, 2024, at the age of 62 due to cardiac arrest at Evercare Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria.

Sisi Quadri

Tolani Quadri, fondly known as Sisi Quadri, was not merely an actor; he was a cultural icon, a beacon of talent, and a beloved figure in the Yoruba film industry. His sudden demise in March of 2024 sent shockwaves through the entertainment world, leaving fans and colleagues grieving the loss of a remarkable talent. His death was announced by some of his Yoruba film colleagues in industry.

With a career spanning decades, he captivated audiences with his flawless performances in numerous Yoruba films, carving a niche for himself as one of the most distinguished actors in the industry.

He is most known for his performance in the film ‘Seniyan Seranko’, which was released on December 4, 2004. The late actor also featured in the Netflix movie “Anikulapo: Return of the Spectre.”

Fatima Bintu

Popular Kannywood actress Fatima Sa’id, also known as Fatima Bintu, passed away in February 2024. Famous for her lead role in the Dadin Kowa series, the actress reportedly passed away on February 11, 2024, following a battle with an unidentified illness. 

Born in 1999, Fati Dadin Kowa hails from Gunduwawa in Ungogo Local Government Area of Kano State.

Fatima stated in an online interview with The Guardian newspaper that while she had always aspired to play roles and, via them, educate people and affect social change, she actually got the acting bug from watching a lot of Hausa and Indian films.

Her remarkable performance in ‘Baba Zubairu’ caught the attention of producers, who were impressed and extended invitations for her to join their upcoming projects. One such invitation led to her role in Dadin Kowa, garnering her a nickname and winning the hearts of fans of Kannywood cinema and enthusiasts of Hausa films.

Ethel Ekpe

In February 2024, Nigeria’s entertainment industry mourned the loss of veteran actress Ethel Ekpe, who succumbed to cancer. Ekpe, a familiar face on Nigerian screens, left an indelible mark with her performances. She notably portrayed the character of ‘Segi’ in the acclaimed sitcom “Basi and Company” by Ken Saro Wiwa on the Nigerian Television Authority. Additionally, her talent graced productions such as Amaka Igwe’s “Forever” and Ebonylife Productions’ “Sons of the Caliphate.”

The sad news of Ekpe’s passing was shared by Dr. Shaibu Husseini, the Director-General of the National Film and Video Censors Board, in a heartfelt Facebook post. Ekpe’s contributions to Nigerian television and film will be remembered fondly, and her legacy will continue to inspire future generations of actors and actresses.

Olofa Ina

Chief Adedeji Aderemi, better known as Olofa Ina, was a seasoned Yoruba actor who passed away in January 2024. Olofa Ina, 73, died in his birthplace of Ede, Osun State, in southwestern Nigeria.

Aderemi was born on May 15, 1950, in Ede, Osun State, into the Jagun-Olukosi compound. His parents were the late Chief Abdulsalam Aderemi and the late Madam Aisha Aderemi.

In 1972, he founded the Olofa Ina Theatre Group, which included the late Oyetunji of Esinnla, Erinfolamin, Dasofunjo, and Gbolagade Akinpelu. Known for his work in Yoruba theatre and film, Olofa Ina produced several television shows, including Odetedo, Lakaaye, Kogun Maja, and Ade Oba.

The late actor, also known as Baba Olowe, held the title of “Sobaloju of Edeland” until his death.

 

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