Celebrities that made headlines in 2017 – Part 1
After a review of some of the off and on screen moments, the consensus is that most of these celebrities made headlines for the right and or the wrong reasons during the year under review.
Those Who Said ‘I Do’
This was a good year for celebrity marriages in Nollywood, as there was a cast of notable Nigerian screen celebrities walking the aisle with their heartthrobs.
Till date, people are still discussing the talk-of-the-town wedding between actor, Blossom Chukwujekwu, and his long time girlfriend, Maureen Ezissi, as well as that between notable actress Adesua Etomi and her singer and actor beau, Banky Wellington, aka Banky W.
In fact, until some bloggers later clarified, so many people, including fans of Blossom, thought the pictures released on social media shortly after he tied the nuptial knot with Maureen on October 15 were behind-the-scene pictures from a wedding in a yet to be released movie.
But the pictures were real. They were ‘live’ from the all-glam wedding ceremony.
The wedding between Banky and Adesua was a showstopper. Consummated traditionally in Lagos and in Cape Town, South Africa, Banky and Adesua’s decision to become man and wife created a buzz that rang nationally.
Unlike others before them, their wedding events got ample mention in the entertainment media.
If there was one other celebrity marriage that would be recorded as one of the great unions of the, it would be that between award-winning actor, Daniel K. Daniel, and his long-time girlfriend, Teena.
The white wedding ceremony took place in Lagos days before Banky and Adesua literarily shut down Cape Town for their white wedding.
But the November 18 wedding was merely the grand finale of the traditional marriage ceremony, which took place in Nnewi, Anambra State, and the marriage proposal, which Daniel announced on his birthday in May.
With the grand wedding ceremonies, which attracted notable screen and music personalities, Blossom, Banky and Daniel have swelled by three, the list of notable screen celebrities that got well married in 2017.
However, the singles club still appears populated. Observers would need some time to tell if some notable Nollywood celebrities have marriage on the wish list next year.
They include Queen Nwokoye, Linda Ejiofor, Bisi Ibidapo Obe, Ebube Nwagbo, Rita Dominic, Nkiru Sylvanus, Franca Aernam, Benita Nzeribe, Genevieve Nnaji, Lillian Bach, Empress Njamah and Jim Iyke, among others.
Those Who Have Remained Separated
While some took the decision to become man and wife, others’ marriages hit the rocks in 2017.
It was this year that the seven years marriage between sultry actress, Mercy Aigbe, and her hotelier husband, Lanre Gentry, packed up.
Mercy had alleged that she was a victim of battering, a complaint she filled with the Police, who promptly arraigned Lanre before a Magistrate Court.
Although the matter is still in court, close family sources have hinted that there is no possibility of a reunion between Mercy and Lanre.
Everything looked good between actress, Lilian Esoro, and her husband, Ubi Franklin, until early in the year when news broke that the actress and mother of one had moved out of her matrimonial home and returned to her parents.
Although both Lilian and Ubi have refused to comment on their widely reported estranged relationship, a close friend of the couple revealled that the marriage ended shortly after their son was born last year.
It was also during the year that the union between actors Damilola Adegbite and Chris Attoh reportedly packed up.
Another big surprise of the year was when actress, Ireti’s marriage to actor, producer and broadcaster, Patrick Doyle reportedly crashed.
Although both Ireti and Patrick have tried hard not to comment on the matter, sources said the very busy Ireti had casually dropped the hint to a few friends that she and Patrick were no longer together.
But the mother of all separation, as it were, would be the decision by sultry actress, Tonto Dikeh, to end her marriage to businessman and philanthropist, Oladunni Churchill.
The family of the Rivers State-born actress, a few months back, returned the bride price paid on her, thus signaling the end of a marriage that barely lasted three years.
Those Who Bowed Out Of The Stage
Death dealt a big blow on the motion picture industry, snatching some of the industry’s valuable personalities. Indeed, Nollywood lost some of its notable players in the year under review.
Actor, Prince James Uche, who is easily remembered for featuring in some of the hits between 1990 and early 2000, including Igodo and Lost Kingdom, died in March after a protracted battle with renal failure.
Before him, the industry mourned the passing away of top Yoruba stage and screen actress, Toyin Majekodunmi, aka Iya Kike.
The actress, who often featured alongside her husband, Solomon Majekodunmi (Baba Kekere), in numerous Yoruba movies, reportedly died in January.
A month after, the grim ripper crept up north and snatched top Kannywood movie producer, Ibrahim Bauni.
Others who passed on during the year include veteran actor, Olumide Bakare, who is best known for his role as Chief Koo in the long-rested television series, Koko Close; popular Yoruba actress, Moji Olaiya, who passed on in Canada; and stage and screen actor, Victor Okwuchukwu Eze, who is famous for playing Alika in the popular sitcom, Fuji House of Commotion.
Also, it was in 2017 that the industry and the nation mourned the passing away of the veteran actor, poet, writer and broadcaster, Pa Adebayo Faleti, at the age of 86.
There was the news of the death of the long-standing producer and actor, Obi Madubogwu, and then that of legendary Kasimu Yero, who lived delightfully the role of Uncle Gaga in the defunct television drama, Cock Crow at Dawn.
When the new season for players of the motion picture industry begins, it would begin without Nollywood actor, David Nwajei, and veteran producer and director, Tunde Oloyode.
Uncle Tunde, as younger colleagues called him, who passed on this month, was the producer and director of the defunct television series, Village Headmaster and was former president of Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN).
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