Many of this year’s celebrity deaths were quite unexpected, like that of ‘Do Good’ actor’, LinChung Duke Oliver, who died in a car crash on his way to Lagos in April.
As 2019 draws to a close, we remember the Nigerian entertainers we lost.
Popular Lagos-based disc jockey
A popular Lagos-based disc jockey, DJ XGee, committed suicide on January 1 shortly after he wrote a disturbing note on Instagram.
The cryptic post got his followers worried. The circumstances surrounding his death remain unknown just as unconfirmed reports claim he ingested insecticide following marital problems.
The deceased who wedded in 2013 became popular while understudying famous DJ Jimmy Jatt.
Yoruba Actor, Gbenga ‘Burger’ Akintunde
A popular Yoruba movie actor, Gbenga Akintunde aka Burger, died in January after reportedly complaining of malaria.
The death, which was a rude shock, was announced by his colleague, Kunle Afod, on his Instagram handle.
His was the second record of death in the Nigerian entertainment industry in 2019.
Nollywood actor, Ishow Larry
The actor and movie producer popularly known as ‘I show Larry’ Olanrewaju died on January 22.
The 38-year-old actor died after a brief illness.
Ishow Larry who started off as a make-up artist in the industry later became an actor, before going on to produce his own movies including Ole, Agbara, and others.
Yoruba actress, Funmilayo ‘Ijewuru’ Ogunsola
The seasoned Yoruba actress was famously known as Mama Ijewuru and loved for her deaf-like display in movies.
She died of a suspected heart attack on February 4, at her Ibadan residence. She was 58.
She was also the fourth wife of the late veteran Yoruba actor, Ishola Ogunsola, a.k.a. I Show Pepper. Her husband was one of the founding members of the Association of National Theater Arts Practitioners.
The pioneer of professional modeling in Nigeria died in the United States on February 20. She was diagnosed with enlarged heart, also known as congestive heart failure in 1999.
The 64-year-old was the first Nigerian supermodel. She left Nigeria in 1997 and returned in 2016.
She opened the first modeling school and professional modeling agency in Nigeria and in West Africa. Her modelling career suffered a bit when she became born again in 1991.
Fawaz is survived by her 33-year-old daughter.
The popular ‘Face2fFace’ sitcom producer died of cancer in a London hospital on March, 4 at the age of 59.
Akindeju ran a media and production company, AK Media, which produced popular programmes that include Face2fFace, Family Ties, Nowhere to be Found, Liberty Villa and Oyinmomo, on DSTV.
He was survived by his wife and children.
Abe Ishola Monsurat Olabisi
The popular Yoruba actress widely known as ‘Bisket’ gave up the ghost on March 30, 10 days after welcoming her new baby.
The late actress and producer was the CEO of Bisket Movie Concept and a member of the Lagos Island branch of the Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria, TAMPAN.
She was 39.
Alfred Rotimi Popoola
Popoola, famously known as ‘Ilu Venture’ reportedly died on Thursday, February 27, at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State after a brief illness.
The 51-year-old actor’s death was confirmed by the Abeokuta chapter of Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria, TAMPAN.
Until his death, Popoola had featured in several Nollywood movies including ‘Aiye Foreign,’ and ‘Ropo Ijogbon.’
The veteran actor died March 7 following a battle with an undisclosed terminal ailment.
Anyasodor was popular for his roles in several Nollywood movies that include ‘Heavy Storm 1,’ ‘Heavy Storm 2,’ ‘Beyond the Verdict 1,’ ‘Beyond the Verdict 2,’ ‘Fire Dancer 1,’ and ‘Fire Dancer 2.’
Anyasodor was an indigene of Emii town in Imo State and a member of Imo State chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria.
The producer, who was known for producing soap operas like ‘Behind the Clouds’ and ‘Supple Blues’, was confirmed dead from an unknown ailment on March 12. He was 52.
Emema, a scriptwriter, director, and producer, came to limelight after the production of the hit soap opera, ‘Behind the Clouds,’ for the Nigerian Television Authority.
He later went ahead to produce ‘Supple Blues,’ which was well received by the television audience. Emema’s biggest movie production was the biopic on Reverend Father Tansi, which featured Jude Orhorha and Francis Onwochei.
LinChung Duke Oliver
The ‘Do Good’ actor died of a car crash on his way to Lagos from his mom’s burial on April 2. He was 45.
Duke Oliver was widely referred to as LinChung and Sylvanus for his role in Basorge Tariah Jnr produced series, ‘Do Good’ and once worked at Star FM on a radio programme alongside a few other comedians.
The 51-year-old movie director died on duty while filming in Jos, the capital of Plateau on April 19.
He was an AMAA nominee and will be remembered for some of his works that include ‘New Jerusalem,’ ‘My Mother’s Heart,’ ‘5 Apostles,’ ‘Darkest Knight,’ and ‘One Good Turn.’
The cause of death was not disclosed but reports said he died of suspected heart attack.
Prince Dammy Eke
Prince Dammy Eke slumped and died on April 28 in Port Harcourt. He was 41.
Eke was known for his prominent roles in movies that promote cultural values from the eastern part of the country.
The actor died in Osogbo on June 13 after a brief illness.
The late actor, who celebrated his 50th year on stage on April 26, 2015 at the Blue Roof, LTV 8, Agindigbi, Ikeja, Lagos, had some movies to his name which include ‘Kakaki ‘Leku’, ‘Ikilo Agba’, and ‘Inubibi’, released in 2008, 2008 and 2007 respectively.
He began acting in Primary 5 and two of his children, Kazeem Iyanda Olabankewin and Jamiu Olabankewin, are also theatre arts practitioners. He was 70.
The veteran actor shot into limelight with the famous name Oyenusi in a film of the same title.
He died at 78, on May 11 after a health challenge. He produced a number of movies that blazed the trail.
Prior to his death, the filmmaker held the record of the only African to have shot 13 films on celluloid. His filmography includes films like The Rise and Fall of Oyenusi, The Boy is Good and Mr President among others.
The actor died on May 11 following injuries sustained during an accident. He was 36.
He joined the movie industry since early 2000. He has worked in various parts of the movie industry before he became a camera assistant.
Okoro worked as a camera assistant, director of photography, director and an executive producer.
He also starred in a couple of movies and has at least 10 movies to his credit before taking a backseat to work behind the camera.
Adio Majester passed away on May 7 at the intensive care of an undisclosed hospital. He died at age 50. The once chubby actor had become a shadow of his former self before he died.
The deceased sought the assistance of Nigerians to offset his medical bills. This was about the same time Baba Suwe’s medical condition was made public.
Sadly, all his efforts were unsuccessful. Majester worked alongside Clarion Chukwura, the late Olumide Bakare, and late Sam Loco.
B-Elect of ‘Da Thoroughbreds’ fame
B-Elect, member of now-defunct, Nigerian Hip-Hop supergroup, Da Thoroughbreds, passed away on June 8 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
In 2004, the rapper became popular as a member of the Hip-Hop supergroup, Da Thoroughbreds with the 5-track EP, ‘Streethop’ alongside IllBliss, Obiwon, MGB, Chief Rocka and Elajoe.
Born in the late 70’s in Sapele, Delta State, Andrew Bright Erighono grew up in Jos, Nigeria.
Fast-rising rapper, Ziggy
The young Nigerian rapper identified as Ziggy was said to have died on Sunday, June 16, after he fell off a 4-storey building in his Paradise estate residence in Lekki, Lagos State.
The rapper had reportedly gone to the estate to take a walk when he mistakenly entered an open space meant for an elevator. He fell to his death immediately he stepped inside.
Popular Kannywood film actress, Binta Kofar Soro, died on May 4. The deceased usually played ‘motherly’ roles in Kannywood movies.
Kannywood actor and a close ally to the deceased, Nuhu Abdullahi, confirmed the death of the actress to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Abdullah said the Kannywood movie industry is shocked over the demise of the actress.
Veteran musician, Sky B
Veteran Nigerian singer, Sky B, reportedly passed away after he was found unconscious at his Owerri residence and rushed to the Federal Medical center in October.
The deceased was the rave of 2007 with hit songs like I’m Calling You, Promised Not To Go, Pray For Me and Here I Am.
‘Mad Melon’ of ‘Danfo Drivers’ fame
Oghenemaro Emeofa, popularly known as Mad Melon, the one half of veteran Nigerian music duo, Danfo Drivers, died on September 26.
The duo drove a commercial bus to make ends meet until they were discovered by Cornerstone Music in early 2003.
From being a ‘Danfo’ bus driver that plied the Ojo Road and Mile 2 route, they rose to become one of Nigeria’s best music duo and international stars to come out of Ajegunle.
Their hit ‘I Am a Danfo Driver, was chosen alongside 2baba’s ‘African Queen’ as the soundtracks in the Hollywood movie, Phat Girlz.
They then made history as the first Nigerian artistes to have their track used as a soundtrack in a Hollywood movie.
The duo later released a sophomore album titled “Danfo Travel: Success Story” in 2005.
Chris Hanen of ‘Ozigizaga’ fame
A veteran Nigerian singer, Chris Hanen, who was popular for his 1990 hit track, ‘Ozigizaga’ is also dead.
The singer, whose real name is Christian Aghanenu, died on December 4 after an illness. He was 60.
The soft-spoken singer shot into limelight after the release of his debut album, ‘Turning Point’ in 1990.
But his fame and fortune began to dwindle, shortly after he dropped his sophomore album, ‘New Dawn’ in 1991.
He faded off the music scene subsequently and remained out of the public radar ever since.
At the peak of his career, he worked with the likes of Bright Chimezie, Tony Okoroji, Stella Monye, Onyeka Onwuenu, Chris Mba and many others.
Ebere Larry Ebere
Nollywood actor, Ebere Larry Ebere popularly known as Cornel, died on April 13, a few days after being involved in an accident.
He died a few days of a head surgery following the accident.
A veteran Nollywood actor and filmmaker, Theodore Anyanji, died on November 24, in Lagos.
The deceased battled a heart and kidney-related ailment for months. A fundraiser was announced on his behalf on social media on November 6 but it yielded little or no result.
The thespian reportedly passed on at a prayer healing church in Festac, Lagos State.
Anyaji was a member of the Directors Guild of Nigeria and made countless Nollywood hits. One of his famous works was ‘Ada Mbano’ which arguably launched the film career of Queen Nwokoye.
He also directed and scripted projects such as The Plain Truth 2 (2008), Greatest Weapon (2006) and Ihite Kingdom 2 (2014).