Deaths, Illnesses, Other Events That Defined Nigeria’s Entertainment Indus

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Deaths, Illnesses, Other Events That Defined Nigeria’s Entertainment Industry In 2023

For observers and participants in the Nigerian entertainment sector, 2023 was a year of intriguing and notable incidents, both uplifting and distressing, especially within the music and film spheres.


A retrospective review of the year showcases moments that significantly impacted both music and motion pictures:

Demise of Artists

The year began with the shocking loss of Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the National President of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), on January 10, 2023, in Lagos. Known as “the Queen of Nollywood Films,” she was the founder of the esteemed Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

Additionally, veteran actor Sunday Akanbi Akinola passed away on January 9, 2023, at 80. He gained prominence for his role as “Mogaji” in the 1980s series “Feyikogbon” aired on NTA channel 7 in southwestern Nigeria.

Ace actor Femi Ogunrombi, known for his portrayal of Papa Ajasco in Wale Adenuga’s comedy series, died on January 14, 2023.

Nigerian comedian and actress Favour Daniels, recognized for her social media skits, reportedly died in a fatal boat accident on February 5, 2023, at the age of 26.


Another tragic loss was the death of veteran Nollywood actor Ojo Arowosafe, Fadeyi Oloro, on March 7, 2023, at 66, after a prolonged illness.

The demise of Nollywood superstar Obinna Nwafor, “Saint Obi,” shocked the industry. He died on May 7 at 57 after battling an undisclosed illness and was laid to rest on August 18 in Alaenyi Ogwa, Imo State.

Yoruba actor and filmmaker Murphy Afolabi, died on May 14, 2023, shortly after celebrating his 49th birthday. He rose to fame with his role in the movie ‘Omo Rapala.’

Additionally, Nollywood actor Chikezie Uwazie was reported dead on May 14, 2023, following brain surgery in the U.S.

Legendary pop singer Chris Mba died on May 3, 2023, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. He was renowned in the 1980s for hits like ‘Funky Situation’, ‘Baby Don’t Cry’, ‘Making My Way’, and ‘Love Everlasting’.


The passing of popular Nollywood actor Afeez Agoro, widely regarded as Nigeria’s tallest man (7ft 4in), occurred on June 15 after an extended illness.

Fast-rising Nigerian singer Ilerioluwa Aloba, aka Mohbad, died on September 12, 2023, under questionable circumstances, sparking protests in Lagos State with the hashtag “Justice for Mohbad”.

Nollywood actor Oluyemi Adeyemi, ‘Suara,’ known for his role in Wale Adenuga’s ‘Super Story,’ also passed away on September 24, 2023.

Grammy Awards

However, it wasn’t just deaths that marked the industry in 2023. Nigerian singer Temilade Openiyi, aka Tems, became the first female Nigerian artiste to win a Grammy Award, securing the ‘Best Melodic Rap Performance’ category at the 2023 Grammy awards for her contribution to Future’s hit single ‘Wait For U’.

The Grammy nominations for 2024 included Nigerian music superstars Davido, Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Asake, and Olamide.

Ailing Nollywood Actors

Additionally, 2023 witnessed reports of seasoned Nollywood actors grappling with critical health conditions, some reaching out to fans and well-wishers for financial assistance.

Comic actor John Okafor, Mr Ibu, publicly shared his health struggles, revealing he underwent seven surgeries and had one leg amputated to save his life.


Veteran Nollywood actor Amaechi Muonagor also sought support in December, disclosing his battle with paralysis affecting his left leg and hand.

Ifeanyi Ezeokeke, known for his role as ‘Ugo Shave Me’ in Nollywood, turned to social media for financial aid due to an undisclosed illness persisting for over two years.

As 2024 unfolds, industry stakeholders hope for a year marked by more positive developments.

By Joshua Olomu, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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