- This list on Nigerian actors who died between 2000 till date includes famous names like Justus Esiri, Sam Loco Efe, Muna Obiekwe and others.
The number of Nigerian actors who died before their shine could make their names eternal in the movie world, not just in Nigeria would form a major part of our list of dead celebrities.
I believe the essence of craftsmanship is to rise to the very top, right there on the world stage. Like the many Nigerian singers that are now receiving deserved recognition in international arenas.
Even though death is inevitable and thus not an event to be feared but prepared for. It is nonetheless a scary conclusion to the human experience.
It speaks of uncertainty. A reality beyond the veil and the laws of physics. A plane where our denser human form is made useless. A new chapter where we are projected into, like new born babies without the will power to be anything else but play victims.
It is a phase we must all encounter, whether prepared or not. But it pays to live our lives here on earth to the best of what moral standards can command.
And this is why we have religions. A kind of mental cushion meant to assuage the very effects of fear in general but more specifically, the fear of death.
The fear of death is countered through religion with the whole ideation of Heaven and Everlasting life.
And no matter the religion we are taught that morality is the key to unlock an afterlife that is free from suffering. So we hope these Nigerian actors who died before we could say goodbye actually lived their lives well and are now actually candidates for Heaven.
And here is the thing. It does not matter who you are or the class you are born into. Whether you are poor and can’t afford one meal a day or you are just one of these questionable religious leaders like those American pastors with private jets who are almost the finest definition of materialism.
It doesn’t matter! death comes to us all!
18 Nigerian Actors Who Died Between 2000 Till Date
1 Sam Loco Efe
Same Loco Efe is among the few funny Nollywood actors no longer alive that still command a lot of respect and sense of great loss.
He was found dead on a Sunday morning with ventolin inhalers beside him in the hotel room where he lodged.
According to reports he was in Owerri editing a film produced by Bayelsa State born Favour Ogosi. With cause of death suspected to be asthma. (25 December 1945 – 7 August 2011).
The lesson to learn from his sudden demise is the need to take care of our health. A reminder that health is truly wealth.
And because prevention is the best cure we must all learn to dutiful in providing for ourselves the best health care possible. After all there is nothing like self love.
2. Muna Obiekwe
If you ever was a lover and follower of Nollywood movies then Muna Obiekwe should be a familiar face.
He was among the top dogs in the industry and had a promising career that would have allowed him the privilege of becoming one of the foundation stones in the industry but death would not allow that.
He was one of the well known faces of Nollywood but sadly, passed away on January 18, 2015, cut short by kidney failure.
He is among the few Nollywood Actors to have suffered from the disease.
It is important to note that even though fashion and swag permits smoking, it is one terrible habit that should be adopted with fear in heart.
Because it is one habit that truly kills.
3. J T Tom West
Not everyone of these Nigerian actors who died suddenly were victims of bad habits that affected their health.
And J T Tom West was one of such Nigerian celebrities.
The unique actor from Rivers State died on September 28, 2006, in a ghastly auto accident. Also one of the few whose beautiful life and career was cut short by the shock of a violent death.
And there are others like Dagrin who lost their lives in the same violent manner. A car accident that they could not recover from.
And the lesson to be learnt, was that no matter how exciting the thrill of a fast car, there is death at the end of over speeding and that we should be careful.
4. Justus Esiri
There is no consolation when it comes to death.
The only balm to that inevitable infliction is to live life to the best of our ability.
To achieve what must be achieved. To attained heights never before attempted in our family and bloodline and by so doing, create another milestone and source of motivation for those coming after us.
And we can say Justus Esiri did his path to the best of his ability and as if that was not enough, he gave us a drop of creativity by giving us his son Dr. Sid who has also made his name in the Nigerian music industry.
Esiri died in hospital in Lagos on 19 February 2013 of complications from diabetes.
A tribute night was held at the National Stadium on 8 April 2013. (20 November 1942 – 19 February 2013)
5. Enebeli Elebuwa
The actor suffered a major stroke and was flown overseas for medical treatment.
He died aged 66 in a hospital in India on 5 December 2012 and was laid to rest at Vaults & Gardens, Ajah, Lagos, formerly Victoria Court Cemetery. (1946–2012).
Health is very important and sadly most of these veteran Nigerian Actors did little in that regard.
They ignored the need to rest and to reduce as much stress as possible. They wanted to stay relevant and even more, continue to contribute to the industry they loved and lived their whole life for.
6. Amaka Igwe
And most of them would pay a terrible price for that. It is important to note that we don’t eat correctly here in Nigeria.
We eat too much carbohydrates in every meal. Spike too much insulin with incessant eating and thus aggravate health conditions such as diabetes.
Sometimes just by changing our lifestyles and eating habits, we can cheat certain health conditions.
And in that equation is the subject of God and Grace, which should never be subtracted in our fight against sudden and untimely death.
Igwe died in Enugu on April 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm, after efforts failed to save her from an asthma exacerbation.
7. Ashley Nwosu
People die everyday, even in our own individual families but not everyone of those deaths were as painful as some of these Nigerian actors who died just when we were beginning to accept them as an influential part of our lives.
These Nigerian actors played roles and characters on television that affected us on different levels, so much that we made most of them our role models and mentors.
Their sudden demise was painful to the heart. Ashley Nwosu died from a liver disease on the 21 of April 2011 after a long period of battling with the ailment, at age 56.
8. Dede One Dey
Dede One Dey is another Nigerian actor to die of a condition that maybe could have been prevented by a change of eating habits and lifestyle.
Death comes to us all, no matter our station in life or how many times we brought laughter to the faces of people.
And such is the case of the few comedians on this page who have passed away, including Dede one Dey.
Also known as Peter Onwuzurike Onyehidelam, he died on the 14 of December 2015 while performing at an event in Aba. It was reported that he died of hypertension.
My advice to all the career people out there with tight schedules and deadlines.
Please learn to eat right and rest enough to reduce stress.
9. Ifeanyichukwu Onyeabor
Here is another Nigerian movie practitioner reported to have slumped and died while shooting a movie in Jos on Friday, April 19, 2019.
Big Slim as he was called had big dreams as one of the finest action movie directors in the country, according to him “My ambition is to launch out big time internationally. I want to be the first to win the Oscars for foreign language for Nigeria.
“I also want my films to compete at top international festivals, like at Berlin, Cannes and Venice. It is possible. People wey dey win am no get two heads na; they have just a head and I have even have a bigger one.
“So, it is possible, God on my side.” But that ambition cut short, too soon.
10. Bukki Ajayi
Not everyone can live beyond a certain age and not everyone can live to achieve their dreams but i believe that if we try, we can all loose body fat that can actually lead to many health complications.
Looking at Big Slim, it is obvious that he carried on his frame too much fat and that alone can make life hard.
Are you fat?
Do something about it now!
Mama Bukki Ajayi i would say lived her life to a very ripe age. Ajayi died at her residence in Surulere, Lagos State on 6 July 2016 at the age of 82.
11. Peter Bunor
Not all of these Nigerian actors who died suddenly, actually died at a ripe age.
Many of them actually lived life close to fifty and above but just few made it to the prestigious club of seventy years and above.
But Mama Bukki Ajayi did. May the grace that granted her long life also grant her a place in paradise.
This prolific actor had been battling ill health for many years after suffering a stroke and unable to continue the fight, died on Friday, May 1, 2015 in Delta State.
It is obvious that our actors die more from diseases than any other form of human misfortune.
12. Peter Eneh
But that is not to say that there have not been cases of the mysterious in the industry.
We hear of how it is almost common practice to become victim to spiritual attacks in Nollywood.
Which is not at all surprising.
Especially when one is aware of the various diabolic practices that is part of the larger Nigerian picture, of which the industry is just an extension.
Peter Eneh died some weeks after his leg was amputated on November 15, 2012.
The very first on our list to have actually endured a more terrible physical pains than the others.
According to reports the idea of amputating his leg was to stop whatever infection he had there, not to spread.
13. Festus Eguebor
A terrible revelation that is now an accepted fact about actors in Nollywood is how slow they come to the aid of their sick colleagues.
We have seen many die because of lack of funds.
Seen many we thought were financially buoyant go online to beg for money, especially in cases of kidney transplant while their colleagues comfortably live lavish on social media.
This has led many to realize that there is little love in the industry.
Pa Festus Eguebor is a veteran Nigerian actors with roles dating back to television series such as ‘For Better for Worst’ and ‘Village Headmaster’.
14. Martins Njubuigbo
Elder Maya as he is popularly called is yet another Nigerian actor to die from a liver disease.
He passed away at the age of 82. And it was also another case of movies lovers trying their best to raise money for his treatment which unfortunately was not timely enough to save his life.
But then not everyone is fortunate enough to live up to 82 years.
With today’s high rate of teenage deaths, it is obvious he was blessed with long life.
Most of us now in our middle ages might have that grace as well but it would be one of long suffering if we don’t start taking good care of ourselves.
Like quitting alcohol and smoking for starters.
15. Olumide Bakare
And then there is the need to start following a health regimen that involves intermittent fasting and exercises.
Or else we would wake up one day to the horrible reality that we have inflicted on ourselves terminal diseases that could have been avoided.
Now let us move onto Olumide Bakare!
We all got to know about his health condition when he was admitted at the Intensive Care Unit of the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Oyo State, for cardiac arrest.
He would eventually give up the ghost on April 22, 2017.
16. Prince James Uche
I sincerely do not understand why it is such a big deal for these actors to create a purse for such emergencies.
One that everyone contributes to and which is then used in establishing a special wing in any standard hospital with all that is needed to save lives, especially from the kind of diseases these celebrities are prone to.
His fight was against multiple ailments, an heavyweight list that contained Diabetes, Blindness, High Blood Pressure and kidney-related disease for about two years.
He died while on dialysis days before he was due to travel to India for Kidney transplant. He passed away on the 8th of March.
17. Francis Agu
Another Nigerian actor who died before he could really reap the fruit of his labor as one of those who gave their all to make Nollywood what it is today, is Francis Agu.
It is easy these days to just break into Nollywood and start making money if you have the talent and right people behind you. But that wasn’t always the case.
In the beginning it was just a dream that needed lots of sacrifice and Francis Agu and others still around today paid the price of keeping the industry alive when there was little or almost no money to be made.
The actor became ill in October 2006, and died on March 20, 2007. Sincerely he is one of the Nigerian actors who died before he could enjoy his labor and sweat and it is quite disheartening.
18. Frank Dallas
The year 2020 has shown that she is willing to swallow up more Nigerian actors.
And it doesn’t matter what we do, death is a force that always prevails.
The best we can do is prepare for it by adding value to this existence, no matter how little.
And that is one thing these nigerian actors who died before their time and those who died at the ripe age tried to achieve, through their creativity and talent.
He reportedly died in his hotel room in Umuahia while attending a summit. Just imagine the suddenness!
He died on Wednesday February 19 2020.
19. Pa Kasumu
Pa Kasumu is the latest on the list of Nigerian actors whose death came sudden.
Popularly known as Pa Kasumu, Kayode Odumosu is a veteran Nollywood actor whose movie interpretation makes him one of the finest thespian in the industry.
But his case is not one of financial lack, in the sense that he was not among the many who died because they lacked money to treat themselves.
In fact, the late actor in an interview said that all he needed were fervent prayers and not financial aid from well-wishers and well-meaning Nigerians.
Disclosing that his sickness was of a spiritual nature and not medical.
This is where we must draw the curtain on this one. But as always we shall be updating this list of Nigerian actors that died when all we want for them was long life and career prosperity.