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    Thursday, December 26, 2013

    Musicians, Actors Consumed by 2013

    Death, it is generally believed, is an inevitable end for all creatures. This year, the entertainment industry has literally been hit at different times by the deaths of some notable celebrities. In some sense, it has been like a harvest of deaths, writes Mercy Michael.
    They are in the eyes of the public. When anything happens to them, the people are always eager to know the details. Their privacy is flung out of the window the moment they become celebrities. Welcome to the world of entertainers, actors, actresses and musicians.
    This outgoing year the entertainment industry has been hit by good news. It has also been hit by bad news. Some of these bad news were about the death of members of the industry, who, over the years, have brought smiles to the faces of the people, either with their music or their acting prowess.
    From the aged Fatai Rolling Dollars to the youthful Goldie, the industry has had its fair share of the deaths in the year.

    Fatai Rolling Dollar
    One of Nigeria’s oldest highlife musicians, Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju, popularly known as Fatai Rolling Dollars, died in June this year.
    He died at 85 at Marritol Hospital, Surulere, Lagos, following a brief illness.
    Rolling Dollars, who had three wives and 16 children, was reportedly on a musical tour of the United States when he took ill and had to return home.
    He was admitted initially at Ahmadiya Hospital in Abule-Egba area of Lagos, before he was transferred to Marritol Hospital in Surulere, where he died.
    Juju music legend-turned-Evangelist, Ebenezer Obey, while reacting to Rolling Dollars’ death, described him as “an epitome of decency and a talented musician.”
    He said, “I’ve lost my boss, my friend and my mentor. And I know the country has lost a talented singer.”

    Also, in his tribute, reggae artiste, Orits Wiliki, said Rolling Dollars lived well as a musician, adding that “even though his death remains a big loss to the industry, he will be happy that members of the young generation are taking highlife music to the next level. We should be praying to live up to his age and still be strong the way he was.”
    He started his musical career in 1953 and mentored other great musicians like Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and the late Orlando Owoh, among others.
    Known for his dexterity as a guitarist, Rolling Dollars’ last major hit was Won Kere Si Number Wa.

    The death of Nigerian female singer, Goldie, on February 14, has been described as the most shocking in 2013. She died at Reddington Hospital in Victoria Island, Lagos.
    Goldie had just returned to Nigeria from California, where she attended the Grammy Awards with Kenny Ogungbe, the boss of her record label, Kennis Music.
    It was reported that she started complaining of a terrible headache just before she was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
    In her short, but eventful life, Goldie was an ambassador of Project Alert, a non-profit-making organisation.

    She won several awards, including Exquisite Lady of the Year (ELOY), Best Female Artiste Award and City People Best Female Artiste of the Year.
    Her impact in the last Big Brother Star Game Show was felt by all. In the wake of the shocking news of her death, her Big Brother Africa Star Game confidant and friend, Prezzo, released a tribute poem. The Kenyan rapper called Goldie a goddess on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

    Justus Esiri
    Veteran Nollywood actor, Justus Esiri, passed away on Tuesday, February 19.
    He is survived by his wife, Omiete, and children, including Nigerian music star, Dr Sid (Sidney Esiri).
    The 70-year- old actor became famous following his scintillating performance in the television drama, The Village Headmaster, on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

    He helped to lay the foundation for what is now called Nollywood.
    His official profile on the Africa Movie Academy Awards website reads: “The veteran actor has won several awards for his acting exploits, including THEMA Awards, NTA Honours Awards and AMAA Awards. Esiri, star of critical productions like Wasted Years, Forever, The Prize, Six Demons, Corridors of Power, Last Knight, The Tyrant, The investigation and The Ghost, is reputed to have performed on more TV network drama programmes than any Nigerian actor.”
    He was awarded the post-humous trophy for the Best Actor in a leading role.
    In 2012, he was conferred with the national honours of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

    Father U-turn
    Olufemi Mayomi, better known as Father U Turn, passed away on Sunday, November 17.
    The 36-year-old dancehall artiste, who was one of music acts that ruled the scene in the early ‘90s, died at Abundant Grace Hospital, Ojo, Lagos. He was buried the same day at the Badagry Cemetery.
    Father U-turn, even as an orphan, was able to build a successful career as a songwriter, recording artiste, TV presenter and performer.
    He hailed from Kabba-Bunu in Kogi State, where he first tried his hands on entertainment, working as a radio and TV presenter.
    He had a brief stint at the NTA, Lagos, before signing a deal with Ultima Records, which released his early albums.

    He was a little boy with braids and a charming personality. And his signature intro ‘Apoola Berekete‘, was far beyond his stature.
    After years of club tours and free gigs, he got his first break when he was signed to one of the biggest record labels of the time, Ultima Records.
    Ultima engaged Nelson Brown to work on his first album, which proved to be a huge success.
    The hits, African Culture and Shakara, threw him into the national limelight, instantly putting him in the league of bonafide ghetto stars like Daddy Showkey and Daddy Fresh.
    His first album was African Culture. His second album Padlock Ur Mouth produced the smash hit Yetunde, a collaboration with Pasuma Wonder.

    Damino Damoche
    Budding Hip-hop artiste, Olaniyan Damilola, popularly known as Damino Damoche, was shot dead by suspected campus fraternity gang members at the Lagos State University, Ojo.
    Eyewitnesses said Damoche’s assailants apparently trailed him on a motorbike after he finished a class test in banking and finance. He was a 400- level student.
    The late Hip-hop star was shot twice in the head and in the left hand. He laid dead for several hours before some policemen took his body away in a pick-up van.

    Damoche, who was born in Lagos into a family of three, hailed from Ogun State.
    He started his music career with some guys called Middle Guys. When things turned awry, he went as a solo artiste and got parties rocking.
    His hit songs included Obo To Che, featuring Skaliey; Fall In The Circle ,featuring DRAMA and Feel Aray, featuring Stormy Zino & IQ (House Of Ginjah).

    Tony Umole
    Among the deaths witnessed in 2013 is that of Tony Umole, who was popular for his role as ‘Daddy’ in the popular weekly TV programme, One Love.
    The renowned actor, along side Eucharia Anumobi, also featured in the 2003 movie, Abuja Connection.

    Falilat Okerede
    Barely a week after losing Pa Ola Ogungbe and Janet Atayero-Oluseye, the Yoruba sector of the industry was thrown into a state of mourning again, as Falilat Korede Oketayo passed away.
    Oketayo, who was a member of the Association of Theatre Arts Practitioner of Nigeria, ANTP, in Ogun State, was said to have died after a brief illness at her residence in Sagamu, Ogun State. She is survived by two children, an aged father and siblings.

    Ray Daniels
    The Nollywood actor, Ray Daniels Okeugo, died on Friday, October 25, at 33 after a brief illness.
    Okeugo acted in many soap operas and home videos before venturing into photography. His burial arrangement was planned by the Lagos State chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) led by Victor Osiagu.

    Chinedu Epeagba
    Chinedu Epeagba, popularly known as Dabebe, was a location manager in Asaba, Delta State.
    Speaking on his death, Nollywood comic actor, Ugezu J. Ugezu, said, “Our preliminary investigation, backed with scientific presentations from the last doctor that treated him in Onitsha, showed that Dabebe died of complications triggered by the China-made slimming tea, which he drank in July.
    This tea gradually destroyed all his internal organs and he became too weak.”

    Also gone with the year
    Former Secretary General of AGN, Lugard Onoyemu, slumped and died at the National Stadium, Surulere at about 5:30p.m. on 14 February.
    A day after Lugard’s death, Collins Ifeanyichukwu, an actor and movie producer based in Abuja also died. Ifeanyichukwu died on 15 February at the Maitama General Hospital after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Blessing Collins, and less than a year-old son, Doxa Efechukwu Collins.
    Edo born Nollywood actor and board of internal revenue staff, Flavian Okojie has been shot dead in Benin City by unknown gunmen three weeks after his wedding. His wife, an NTA presenter Omo-Kivie shared the information via her Facebook page.
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