2020, a year characterised by the Covid-19 pandemic has been a tough year as many prominent Nigerian socialites and entertainers died during the difficult year, throwing the nation into mourning. As 2020 draws to a close, THEWill remembers some of these entertainers and socialites who died during the year.
But first, the entertainers.
Theodore Anyanji: The veteran Nollywood actor and filmmaker, died in November in Lagos, after battling 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.
Chico Ejiro: The veteran filmmaker and director died on Christmas day from seizure. His death was a blow to the Nigerian movie industry. He had just concluded directing his new movie on Christmas Eve before death took him away.
Howie T: Popular showbiz master, Adebayo Odusami also known as Howie T was one of the entertainers the entertainment industry lost in 2020. He died in August 2020 after battling with a stroke for over four years. Before his death, he was the manager of P Square before the duo split up.
Chizobah Bosah: The movie star died at 52 years in May after complaining of ill health. The late actress, who was the wife of the filmmaker, Sam Boye, was known for her role television series, ‘Tinsel’, ‘Living In Bondage’ and her Igbo comedy series, ‘Kanyi Si Ebi’.
Yomi Obileye: The veteran actor was one of the entertainers who died in 2020. He died on April 24, from an undisclosed ailment. He was the elder brother of Taiwo Obileye, another veteran broadcaster and actor who recently acted in the soap opera, ‘Tinsel.’
Ejiro Emokinovo: The beautiful singer bade farewell to the world after an unsuccessful surgery in March. She was the female lead vocalist of popular singing group, Veentage band and her passing was only a few days after she sang at the birthday of the mother of Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in Dubai.
Jimmy Johnson: A veteran, Jimmy Johnson best known for his character as ‘Okoro’ in the NTA TV series, ‘The village headmaster’ died in July at 80. Johnson breathed his last at an Abuja hospital after suffering complications from surgery.
BigLo: Very popular in the early 2000s, singer, Lotanna Udueze, more popularly known as BigLo died on Christmas day of a kidney ailment which was diagnosed in 2018. He was one of the entertainers who relocated to the US shortly before he could gain great traction. Last year, he began undergoing dialysis at a nursing home in California, U.S three times a week. He also tried raising funds for treatment. His UK based cousin, Zuby Udezue tried unsuccessfully to raise £50,000; about N23 million at that time.
Frank Dallas: He doubled as an actor and a production manager and was renowned for his action roles in Nollywood movies. He passed on in February in Abia State where he was attending a summit.
Victor Olaiya: Veteran highlife musician, Victor Olaiya left his die-hard fans mourning in February. He was on admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria when he passed on during a brief illness.
Prominent socialites who passed on in 2020
Renua Giwa Amu: The daughter of popular clergyman, Femi Giwa Amu on December 26th, took her own life. Earlier this year, Renua had called out her famous father on social media, accusing him of raping her as a child on numerous occassion.
Dapo Ojora: The polo buff who was one of the sons of boardroom guru, Otunba Adekunle Ojora, was said to have shot himself in the head. Dapo was an in-law to Bukola Saraki, a former President of the Senate.
Ibidunni Ituah-Ighodalo: The former beauty queen and wife of the founder and head pastor of Trinity House died in Port Harcourt of cardiac arrest. She died barely a month to her 40th birthday which was in July.
Albert Okumagba: The economist and capital market operator who was quite popular on the social circuit died in a hospital in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on November 19 at the age of 56, of heart attack.
Chinyere Ngonadi: Ngonadi popularly known as Big Chi died in the United States of America, Atlanta, Georgia in October while visiting her children and grandchildren.
Pamela Bello: Pamela’s death in June shocked the social circuit in Lagos and Abuja. This is because before her death, she controlled the biggest beauty spa in Nigeria, BNatural Spa, with well-heeled women in Nigeria as her clients. Pamela died from the deadly cancer disease.
Razak Okoya’s grandson, Ayodeji: Ayodeji was the son of socialites, Biola Okoya (Razak Okoya’s daughter) and Akinwande Modupe Johnson. He died on June 12 during a brief illness. He was 24 years old. In fact, it was his memorial service Pastor Ituah Ighodalo was ministering in when he announced the death of his own wife.
Keniebi Okoko: The businessman and philanthropist, who was a governorship aspirant in the last general election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa. Keniebi died in a private hospital in Lagos while undergoing a liposuction surgery on April 14, 2020.
Willie Anumudu: Widely referred to as the Czar of the Nigerian auto industry, Pa Willie as he was fondly called died in London at the age of 68 of an undisclosed ailment.