The year 2022 has not been so good for the Nollywood industry, as it is left to mourn the death of young and old actors and actresses. Between January and December, 18 actors and actresses have sadly departed to the great land beyond and will never be seen in action again.
The Nollywood stars are:
1. Lari Williams
Veteran Nollywood actor, Lari Williams died on February 28, 2022 at the age of 81 after a protracted illness.
Williams was educated at CMS Grammar School, Lagos. He was the first actor to ever perform on top of Zuma Rock in Abuja FCT, 1,200 feet high, where he performed his late friend, Maman Vatsa’s poem, ‘The bird that sings in the rain.’
Williams was the first president of Actors’ Guild of Nigeria in today’s Nollywood. He was in the cast of Village Headmaster, Nigeria’s first soap opera. He was in the first home video ever made in Nigeria, titled The Witch Doctor.
He had lectured Theatre Arts in three Nigerian universities – University of Lagos, Lagos State University, and University of Calabar.
2. Tafa Oloyede
Nollywood actor, John Adewuni Adewoye, popularly known as Tafa Oloyede died on February 2, 2022. He was 69 years old.
Born on 19 November 1952, he would have clocked 70 this year.
He began acting in 1974 and had his tutelage under late Oyin Adejobi.
He featured in many movies such as ‘Jaiyesimi’, ‘Ayanmo’, ‘Ekuro Oloja’, ‘Orogun’, ‘Akanji Oniposi.’
3. Romanus Amuta (Natty)
The death of veteran Nollywood actor, Romanus Amuta was announced on February 10, 2022. He died after battling a protracted illness.
Amuta, 79, made waves after he played Natty in the popular 80’s sitcom “New Masquerade.”
4. Takor Veronica
On March 23, the death of Takor Veronica shook the Nollywood industry. She was found dead in a hotel room in Benue, North Central Nigeria few days after celebrating her birthday.
he upcoming actress celebrated her birthday on 12 March, 2022. She reportedly died in the hotel room at Nyinma area of Makurdi, Benue State.
It was not clear what led to her death, but her friends have been mourning her death on social media.
5. Shade Akintalor (Oluweri)
On March 1, 2022, the death of popular Yoruba actress, Shade Akintaylor, popularly known as Oluweri Magbojo was announced.
The actress died at the age of 59 in the United Kingdom.
Her family members broke the news of her death but did not announce the cause of her death.
Shade was well known for her dramatic style of makeup, especially her curvy brows.
The veteran actress gained prominence in the movie ‘Oluweri Mabo Ojo’ where she got her nickname.
6. Dejo Tunfulu
The movie industry was left to mourn on April 1, 2022 when the death of popular Yoruba actor, Dejo Tunfulu, with the real name, Kunle Mac-Adetokunbo, was announced He was aged 49.
He was a prominent Yoruba comic actor, writer, and producer.
The late actor, during his lifetime, was famed for playing the role of a clown in movies, bringing laughter and joy to his fans across the country and beyond.
Tunfulu began his acting career in the earlier part of his life when he first featured in a television programme titled “Theatre Omode.” the first movie he acted in was ‘Aje ni Iya mi’, where he played the role of Dejo.
His movie career was greatly inspired by Fausat Balogun (Madam Saje) and Kayode Olasehinde (Baba Ajirebi), with whom he worked closely.
He joined Akuko Gagara Theatre Group and Kolawole International Theatre Group a few years later. He got his first television appearance in 1987 in the drama series “Apere Ijongbon” by the Kolawole International Theatre Group.
He shot into the limelight for his role in the “Omo Oran” movie, featuring the veteran actor Fatai Adetayo (Lalude).
7. Chinedu Bernard
The pretty Nollywood actress, Chinedu Bernard was reported to have slumped and died while cleaning the Chapel of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Enugu on April 29, 2022.
She was rushed to the East Side hospital in Enugu State where she was pronounced dead by doctors.
The curvy Nollywood actress who is from Enugu state was born on May 26. She was in her 20s when she died.
Bernards had featured in the following Nollywood movies: The Regret, Royal Bracelet, Onlocked, My Sister’s Man, Love Without Conscience, Just A Wish, Money Fever, Who Runs The City, among others.
8. Sir David Osagie
Nollywood actor, David Osagie died on 4 May, 2022 less that 24 hours after appearing on a movie set.
His death was announced on Wednesday by a fellow actor, Ngozi Ezeh.
The actor was not sick but slept and didn’t wake up the following day.
He had appeared on a movie set of Tuesday.
“I hate to say this but we have lost another Nollywood king, Sir David. He wasn’t sick, it just happened.
“How do we explain this, another loss in Nollywood. Oh Lord have mercy. I mourn again oh,” Ezeh had said.
9. Leo Mezie
On 16 May, 2022, the death of another popular Nollywood actor, Leonard Chimezie Onyemachi, popularly known as Leo Mezie was announced.
He had been battling kidney disease. The 46-year-old actor reportedly died after undergoing a kidney transplant.
Mezie had his first kidney transplant over four years ago, and had another a week before his death, but began to develop complications and died on Saturday.
10. Sola Onayiga
Sola Onayiga, died on 18 July, 2022. The veteran actress played Ireti in the popular sitcom “Fuji House of Commotion.”
Her death was announced by a close relative. It was confirmed by the founder of Best of Nollywood Awards, Seun Oloketuyi.
He wrote; “I have just been informed that the accomplished Stage and Screen Actress and Fellow of Theatre Arts Auntie Sola Awojobi Onayiga has passed on.”
11. Ada Ameh
On 18 July, Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh, who played the character ‘Emu’ on a television comedy show, The Johnsons has passed away.
The actress died a month after she opened up about her mental health battles.
According to reports, Ameh was a guest of an oil company’s top shot and his family when she suddenly collapsed.
Although she was rushed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s hospital, she died at around 11 pm.
12. Baba Atoli
The death of veteran Nollywood actor, Olaniyi Raji, known as Baba Atoli was announced on 18 July, 2022. He died after battling an undisclosed ailment for a long time.
Actress Foluke Daramola confirmed the death of Baba Atoli’s death on his Instagram page.
Sharing a photo of the actor, Daramola wrote: “Sad we lost baba Atolly. Such a shame.”
The actor had in a Youtube post early this year begged for financial assistance to fight an undisclosed ailment.
Daramola had also begged good willing Nigerians to rally round and financially support the late veteran due to his failing health.
13. Yinka Ogundaisi
On 16 June, 2022, Veteran Nollywood actor, Yinka Ogundaisi, who starred in The Village Headmaster in 1958, died.
The actor died after battling a prolonged illness.
Before his death, Ogundaisi suffered from leg paralysis and asked for financial assistance to undergo surgery. However, the target fund could not be met.
In 2013, he was diagnosed with twisted intestines, a hernia, and an enlarged prostate, according to reports.
He then had problems as a result of back pains, which he had battled for several years.
Ogundaisi was a cinema, television, and radio actor, writer, and director.
After the late Duro Ladipo, he was the second actor to play the iconic Sango in the film Oba Koso.
He was recognized for reviving and repackaging ‘Feyikogbon,’ the longest-running Yoruba TV show.
Also, he wrote The Charmed Lock, a crime fiction thriller based on African hypnotism.
14. Osmond Gbadebo
Nollywood actors Osmond Gbadebo passed away on 31 May, 2022.
His death was announced by veteran actress, Fausat Balogun aka Madam Saje on her Instagram page.
She revealed that the filmmaker and actor died at about 4:00 am.
Gbadebo, who died in his forties, was famous for movies such as Ewon Ife, Queen Lateefat, Edunjobi, Hired Killer and many others.
15. Gbenga Richards
On 12 May, 2022, the death of iconic Nollywood actor, Gbenga Richards, was announced. He passed away after battling an unknown ailment.
The once vibrant actor, who was a force to reckon with in the 1990s and early 2000s, according to reports suffered from a series of ailments and raising money for his treatment became difficult because he had fallen on hard times.
Richards was reportedly suffering from diabetes and other related ailments.
Some of his colleagues and friends in 2021 solicited funds to cater for his welfare.
Richards’ first appearance as an actor was to represent Nigeria with Hubert Ogunde at the Second World Black and African Festival of African Culture (FESTAC) in 1977.
He also featured in blockbuster movies like ‘Sango’, ‘Mirror in the Sun’, ‘Betrayal by Love’, ‘Fighting Machine’ and a host of others.
16. Francisca Choji
Budding actress, Francisca Choji was found dead in a Plateau state hotel on 4 May, 2022.
Gabriel Ubah, the spokesperson of the Plateau state police, confirmed Choji’s demise. Ubah said the fast-rising actress was found floating in the water at Rayfield Resort in Jos with no immediately apparent sign of foul play.
“She was found floating in that Rayfield Resort. There were no parts removed from her. We are aware and an investigation is ongoing. We cannot ascertain if anybody killed her because there was no sign of violence,” he said.
17. Sir Kay Kamoru
Popular Yoruba actor and comedian Isbae U’s father Kamal Adebayo aka Sir Kay Kamoru has passed away on 27 December, 2022.
The news of the actor’s demise was made public by his colleague Yomi Fabiyi on December 27 who expressed sadness over the sudden tragic news.
Obviously pained by Kamoru’s death, the filmmaker bade him farewell on his page and expressed how badly hit he was by the news.
18. Umar Yahaya Malumfashi
Alhaji Umar Yahaya Malumfashi, a veteran actor with the Kano film industry, Kannywood died on 27 September, 2022.
Malumfashi alias Bankaura until his death was an actor who started featuring in Hausa films and drama since before the creation of Kannywood.
Recently, the deceased was famed in a series film broadcast by Arewa24, Kwana Casa’in (90 Days) where he carved niche as “Kafi Gwamna’