2015 In Retrospect: The Deaths, Rumours, Narrow Escapes, Scandals, Wedding And Big Wins
The year 2015 no doubt, will go down as one eventful year, particularly for the Nigerian entertainment industry. From Nollywood to music and comedy, there were a number of runaway hits, blockbusters, celebrity marriages, dramas and scandals, rib cracking shows as well as deaths. As the year comes to an end in about few days, it is imperative we look at the major events, people and social media tantrum that shaped the entertainment industry in the last twelve months.
THE Deaths, Rumours And Narrow Escapes
Despite the fact that the year flipped open on a lighter mood and promising note of being better with Alibaba’s January 1 comedy concert, the shocking news of death of Nollywood actor, Muna Obiekwe, who passed away after a battle with kidney failure on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at a Festac, Lagos hospital, brought sad mood to the entertainment industry, thus making the showbiz sector begin the year with mourning.
Just as the industry was trying to overcome the shock of Obikwe’s death, it was again dealt another blow on May 2, when the news of death Delta State born actor, Peter Bunor filtered in. The veteran actor died after battling with stroke for several years.
While the tears still stroke down from stakeholders eyes, it another shocker as the social media went abuzz with the news of death of iconic northern singer, Adamu Wayya, famously known as Danmaraya Jos, meaning the little orphan of Jos, and known for playing the Kontigi. He died on Saturday, June 20 at the age of 69 in B’ukur, near Jos, Plateau State after a protracted illness.
In July, actor Ozor Akubueze, who is known for his elderly roles in both the English and Igbo movies passed away on July 11, following a long-time battle with pancreas disease. It was reported that he underwent surgery last year with the bills covered by the AGN.
Still mourning Akubueze, award-winning Yoruba actor and event manager, Mufutau Sanni Abdulahi, fondly called Ajigijaga or Broken Bottle, died on Friday, July 31 at the age of 60 in his Agege residence. The actor, who began his film making career in 1981, made waves in the early 90s in most Yoruba movies including Ijewuru, among others
Famous for his roles as leader of criminal gang activities in movies, he died after a protracted battle from injury sustained from motor bike (Okada) accident, which kept him away from the public domain for sometime, before his eventual death.
While many had thought the deaths were over and the industry would end the year in celebration mood, the news of death of budding Yoruba actress and make-up artist, Tosin Abeniade Badmus, ruptured the dream as the industry was thrown into another round of mourning. The actress, who broke broke into the movie industry few years back was said to have died in in her sleep on November 28. Her elder sister was quoted to have said that the late Tosin complained of malaria the previous day, (Friday, November 27), and was rushed to the hospital where she passed away.
Woju singer, Kiss Daniel, lost his father to the cold hands of death in May. He was reported to have died on Saturday, May 9, 2015 after an undisclosed illness. In June, juju maestro, King Sunny Ade (KSA) also lost his long-time manager, Sunday Abayomi. The late Sunny Wonder as he’s fondly called died at his Fatai Oluyole residence in Aboru, a Lagos suburb.
While Kiss Daniel and KSA, still mourn their dead, the news of death of Pa Adedeji, YBNL chief and MTV Base Artiste of the year, Olamide Adedeji, filtered into the news space in November.
The year 2015, also had its fair share of rumour deaths of notable stars in the showbiz industry, as gossip millers set the social media awash with rumour of death of actors Odunlade Adekola, Ali Nuhu, and Five Star Music act, Skiibi.
Five Star Music protégé, Abbey Toyyib well known as Skiibi rumoured death was one stunt that shook the Nigeria airwave, social media and entertainment industry in August. The record label in an official statement stated that the entire Five Star Music team received with great shock the news of the demise of its artiste, Abbey Toyyib Elias a.k.a Skiibii, but said that wide spread rumour was false.
According to the label, Skiibi had a minor health issue on the morning of the rumoured death day, and had collapsed and was rushed by his brother and his friends to a nearby hospital from where he was taken to a more equipped hospital by the intervention of the CEO of Five Star Group for further treatment.
Adekola, was rumoured to have been killed by armed robbers who stormed his Abeokuta, Ogun State home on Friday, October 31, at night. But the actor in swift reaction on Saturday, November 1, debunked the rumour and described as surprising.
According to an online source close to the Yoruba actor of many film credits including Sunday Dagboru and Monday Omo Adugbo, CKN Nigeria, the actor had in a telephone chat laughed heartily while refuting the rumour, stresing that he was shocked to hear the rumour of his death.
“I heard the rumour just the way everybody did. I was called by a friend on Saturday, who told me that the rumour of my death was all over social media platforms especially Facebook. I later discovered that there is a Facebook page where the discussions took place with many persons making comments about my rumoured death.
“I do not own the Facebook account and do not know how it came about. My Facebook page does not allow for interaction. Fans and friends can only make comments on the pictures posted there. My Facebook account is Odunlade omo Adekola, while my Instagram account is Odun omo Adekola.”
Nuhu was also rumoured to have been killed by armed robbers who reportedly attacked him on Saturday, November 28, at his Kano residence. However, in an interview with BBC Hausa service on Sunday, November 29, the actor refuted the rumour, saying no robbery attack incident occurred.
While attributing the rumour to haters who do not wish him well, the crossover actor said he received lots of phone calls from people who asked if he was alright at the time of the rumoured attack. “I was good and healthy as I’m still when the rumour went viral. There was and has never been any robbery at my residence. I was at the time in Jos, Plateau State shooting a movie,” he said.
With the reported deaths and rumoured deaths in the industry, many celebrities have reasons to thank God for seeing the end of the years 2015, as they miraculously cheated death by the whiskers.
One of Nigeria’s A-list stand-up comedians, Bovi Ugboma, well known as Bovi was involved in a ghastly motor accident in Ikoyi area of Lagos in May. The Delta-born comedian and Diamond Bank ambassador was reported to have been hit by another car at a junction in the highbrow area and was rushed to a hospital where he was treated for an eye injury he sustained from the accident.
In August, what would have been a tragic loss in the Nigerian entertainment was averted when Peter and Paul Okoye of the P-Square fame escaped death by the whiskers after their ox-blood-coloured Range Rover Sport SUV was involved in a ghastly motor accident along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The songsters were reported to have suffered the auto crash on their way back from a concert staged in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Johnny singer, Yemi Eberechi Alade, is one Nigerian act that is grateful to God life as narrowly escaped death in London in the early hours of Friday, August 28. The MAMA 2015 award winner, who was in Wembley to thrill fans, took to her Instagram to announce about a fire she and her team narrowly escaped.
Her post read, “Yemi Alade #3 things I grabbed when the fire alarm went off. I thought it was prank, but I was frigging scared!!! I knew better than to start parking up my cloths! I thought I was dreaming!!!! But I knew I had to leave immediately. I def picked up my phone, my bible and my iconic invanity performance outfit!!! Thinking about it now….I picked the things I loved… Phone: to sha call if I needed to; my bible: cos I was so scared; my iconic invanity: becos I wasn’t going to lose the most artistic and expensive pieces I have ever acquired or perform at Wembley tonight in anything less luxurious. We are fine now sha.”
In September, self-acclaimed Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa, Timaya cheated death when his car was involved in ghastly road mishap on September 17. The Plantain Boy and Dem Mama crooner on his Instagram handle shared a photo of his smashed Bentley and wrote: “#TIMAYA: Had an accident yesterday but I thank GOD nobody got hurt…blessssssss.”
Yinka Ayefele, was in October attacked at Odo Oja Street in Ijare area of Ondo State alongside his band by hoodlums who went on rampage and vandalized his vehicles and musical instruments for refusing to settle them. According to report, 15 persons were wounded as the hoodlums attacked guests who were invited to the burial ceremony of Madam Ebunoluwa Lydia Odumakinde. The urchins went berserk when they learnt Ayefele reportedly got N3 million to perform and had refuse settle the ‘local boys.’
Nollywood actor and son of the veteran, Pete Edochie popularly known as Okonkwo or Ebubedike of Things Fall Apart fame, Yul, was on Friday night, October 18, attacked by armed robbers in Enugu, where he had gone for the shooting of a movie. The actor was reportedly attacked at an unidentified hotel in the coal city, where he had lodged.
Though, he was lucky to escape, he got himself injured when he ran into a glass door while trying run in the process. “I really wish it’s a rumour but it’s not. This really happened; I was attacked by armed robbers, while I was relaxing in my hotel premises after the day’s shoot. Luckily I escaped but unfortunately I crashed into a glass door as I was running for dear life and sustained cut on my ear and a few bruises. Not a funny experience at all. I thank God for his protection,” he said.
Actress Shan George has reason thank God as she celebrated the Christmas with joy and happiness. Towards the end of October, the Nollywood star survived a car crash in Enugu State, while enroute Lagos from Calabar with her daughter and manager. A speeding Toyota Camry car had reportedly left its lane, rammed into the driver’s side of her white-coloured Toyota Rav4 around the Abakpa Nike roundabout/Onitsha road and damaged the driver side of the car.
Also, beautiful Maureen Ihua, is still in the mood of thanksgiving as she survived a kidnap in November. She was reportedly abducted along the popular Ad George road in the oil city, Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital at a function on Tuesday, November 16, by three gunmen. She later regained freedom after the abductors had demanded N10 million ransom.
Messy Scandals And Controversies
Controversial Nollywood star, Tonto Dikeh, in April, set the social media busy after she was slammed by a personal shopper identified as Pearl Chuks, who goes with Instagram handle (@pumpsberry) for allegedly owing her the sum of N192,000 for a product she bought on credit. The aggrieved businesswomen stated that he gave the actress a replicated Givenchy bag after she couldn’t afford the original version.
Rather than enter into a war of words with shopper, the DB Records Queen, blocked the lady on Instagram, without replying. As such the angry business woman had to take to the social media for arbitration, adding that Tonto ordered for the said bag on March 8 and up until March 20, 2015 she had refused to pay her. According to Pearl, Tonto had given her personal assistant named Peter a cheque on March 8 but it was bounced on March 10. Tonto, however, has debunked the claim.
Ogologo Ma singer, Timaya was in June accused by U.S-based lady identified as Shella B of rape. The lady took to Instagram and shared chats between her and a person she claimed was Timaya. But Timaya debunking the allegation said: “I have been talking with this girl for about one year and it’s funny how someone you think you know can act very hungry and low. How can I leave Nigeria and go to America where the law works to rape anyone? Am I crazy?”
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