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A Year of Triumphs and Losses: Reflecting on Deaths and Achievements in Nigeria’s Entertainment Industry in 2023

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For Nigeria’s entertainment sector, 2023 was a rollercoaster year filled with both joy and sadness, especially in the music and film industries. Looking back at the year, both exciting things happened and bad things happened that affected the industry for a long time.

Demise of Notable Figures:

The entertainment community mourned the loss of several prominent personalities throughout the year:

  1. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe (Jan. 10, 2023): The National President of the Association of Movie Producers and founder of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
  2. Sunday Akanbi Akinola (Jan. 9, 2023): A veteran actor known for his role as “Mogaji” in the series “Feyikogbon.”
  3. Femi Ogunrombi (Jan. 14, 2023): Renowned for playing Papa Ajasco in Wale Adenuga’s comedy series.
  4. Favour Daniels (Feb. 5, 2023): A 26-year-old comedian and actress who gained popularity through social media skits.
  5. Ojo Arowosafe (March 7, 2023): Known as Fadeyi Oloro, a veteran Nollywood actor, passed away at 66 after a protracted illness.
  6. Saint Obi (May 7, 2023): Obinna Nwafor, a prominent Nollywood actor, died at 57 after battling an undisclosed ailment.
  7. Murphy Afolabi (May 14, 2023): A Yoruba actor and filmmaker who passed away days after celebrating his 49th birthday.
  8. Chikezie Uwazie (May 14, 2023): A Nollywood actor who died after undergoing brain surgery in the U.S.
  9. Chris Mba (May 3, 2023): A legendary pop singer famous for hits like ‘Funky Situation’ and ‘Baby Don’t Cry.’
  10. Afeez Agoro (June 15, 2023): Popularly known as the tallest man in Nigeria, he passed away after a prolonged illness.
  11. Mohbad (Sept. 12, 2023): A fast-rising Nigerian singer, whose death at 27 sparked protests in Lagos with the hashtag “Justice for Mohbad.”
  12. Oluyemi Adeyemi ‘Suara’ (Sept. 24, 2023): Known for his role in the 2001 Wale Adenuga hit series, ‘Super Story.’

Grammy Awards and Achievements:

While the industry mourned, it also celebrated remarkable achievements:

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  1. Tems’ Grammy Win (Feb. 5, 2023): Temilade Openiyi, aka Tems, became the first female Nigerian artiste to win a Grammy Award in the ‘Best Melodic Rap Performance’ category.
  2. 2024 Grammy Nominations: Nigerian music stars, including Davido, Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Asake, and Olamide, received nominations for the 2024 Grammy Awards.

Ailing Nollywood Actors:

The year also brought attention to the health struggles of seasoned Nollywood actors:

  1. Mr. Ibu (John Okafor): The comic actor faced critical health conditions, undergoing seven surgeries, and having one of his legs amputated.
  2. Amaechi Muonagor (Dec. 2023): The veteran actor sought support due to paralysis affecting his left leg and left hand.
  3. Ifeanyi Ezeokeke: Known for his role as ‘Ugo Shave Me,’ he requested financial help due to an undisclosed illness lasting over two years.

A more optimistic and successful 2024 is something stakeholders and fans anxiously await as the sector looks back on the highs and lows of 2023.

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Why I am still single – Says Khloe

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Former housemate of Big Brother Naija reality star, Oluwabusayo Victoria Abiri popularly known as Khloe has revealed she has never been in a relationship.

The fashion influencer also vowed that she will never have sex with any man for financial benefits.

In a candid interview with Chude Jideonwo, Khloe explained that she might have flirted with men in the past but still taking her time to find the right man for a relationship.

The reality star said, “I will never sleep with any man for money. When it comes to relationship, I think I am taking my time to find the right man. 100 can come, I can decide to flirt with 100 but I know what I am looking for; my kind of man.

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“And I have never been in a relationship before. If you are my ex, it never happened. I don’t know you.”

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BBNaija’s Mercy Eke hospitalised

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The winner of the Big Brother Naija ‘PepperDem’ season, Mercy Eke has been hospitalised barely hours after partying with her friends on a yacht.

The reality TV star made this known in a post on her Snapchat page.

She also shared a photo of herself on the hospital bed, urging her friends to avoid wasting their time in anger, regret, worries, and grudges, saying life is too short to be unhappy.

She wrote: “Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy. Who would have thought that I would end up in a hospital barely 24 hours after I was seen outside? I’m just having different thoughts of what could have been the worst case.

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“God, I thank you for your loving kindness. Life is so fickle. Good health is underrated,” she added.

Earlier this year, the first female winner of the show, took to social media to tell her fans and followers how she will prioritise herself over anything or anyone this year.

“I’ll be doing this year for me,” Mercy Eke wrote while sharing a picture of herself donning a striking outfit on her Instagram page.

Mercy Eke came to the limelight after participating in the Pepper Dem season of the Big Brother Naija show in 2019, where she equally emerged as the winner of the season.

Eke received the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award for Best Dressed Female on 14 March 2020.

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Eke is from Imo State, Nigeria. She attended Egbu Girls Secondary School in Owerri, and graduated from Imo State University in 2014. Eke appeared as a vixen in the music video for Davido and Ichaba’s single “Baby Mama”.

She also appeared in the music video for Airboy’s song “Nawo Nawo”. Eke auditioned for Big Brother Naija four times before becoming a contestant.

She is the founder of MNM Luxury.

Mercy had previously dated her BBNaija colleague, Ike. Their relationship, which began during the ‘Pepper Dem’ edition in 2019, ended shortly after the show.

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The Fear Of Being Mocked Kept Me Silent – Nollywood Actor, Jamiu Azeez, Opens Op On Battle With Depression

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Nollywood actor, Jamiu Azeez has revealed that he battled with depression for some time.

According to him, he was depressed for over two years due to the downturn of his career and finances.

In a post via his Instagram page, the actor revealed he had suicidal thoughts because he felt lost and didn’t know who to confide in.

Azeez said the past two years have been a whirlwind for him, but he was afraid to seek help due to his fear of mockery.

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He further expressed appreciation to his colleague, Toyin Abraham, who gave him relieved after a conversation with her.

He said, “Mummy Ire, @toyin_abraham, I know this might catch you off guard but I simply had to do this. You over looked the fact that we don’t really talk but you shown me so much love and gives me an assurance that everything is going to be fine.

“The past two years have been a whirlwind for me like I’ve been losing everything, even my Mind. Thoughts of suicide have been ringing in my head.

“The fear of being mocked kept me silent. Nothing seemed to work, and I felt lost, unsure of who to confide in.

“But the truth is, I grew tired of putting on a brave face and pretending to be okay.

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“So, yesterday, I mustered the courage to reach out to @toyin_abraham and her response left me speechless. I feel compelled to express my deepest gratitude openly.

“I’ve prayed for her countless times but now I ask for your prayers too, please help me pray for @toyin_abraham and her family.”

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