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Celebrities who made headlines for right and wrong reasons in 2019 – Part 1

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Blossom and his former wife, Maureen

For most celebrities, 2019 will remain a fantastic year. But while some made the headlines for the right reasons, others got into the news for the wrong reasons. Here is a review of the good and bad off screen moments of some Nollywood celebrities

Those Who Said ‘I Do’
Nollywood closed the year with the wedding between popular actor Sylvester Madu and his heartthrob Ify Ubah. The couple marked what a popular blogger Precious Ezeh described as ‘the beginning of the journey of love and togetherness’ on December 14, 2019 in Lagos. Sylvester is a Nollywood actor best known for movies such as ‘Days of My Wedding’, ‘Wedding Pandemonium’, ‘To Love An Angel’, ‘Different World’ and ‘Ogbanta, the Family Hunter’, while Ify is a model, television talk show host, event planner and actress. But the wedding of the year is most definitely the wedding between star actress Toyin Abraham and Kolawole Ajeyemi. The news was all over the place in August 2019 that Toyin had welcomed a baby boy and had quietly said ‘I do’ to fellow actor Kolawole Ajeyemi. The news of her safe delivery came almost a week after their wedding pictures went viral on social media. Toyin’s marriage to Ajeyemi, an Abeokuta-based actor is coming almost four years after her marriage to her former husband Adeniyi Johnson, crashed. Her marriage to Kolawole also came almost three years after she got into the news for the wrong reasons following her relationship with the embattled filmmaker Seun Egbegbe. With her wedding to Ajeyemi who is also a father to a teenage daughter, Toyin should be rightly addressed as ‘Mrs. Toyin Kolawole Ajeyemi’.

Those Who Separated
In a year when some marriages in Nollywood have continued to stand the test of time, a few crashed as fast as they were contracted, making fans wonder why some of these celebrity marriages don’t last. One of the most shocking ‘break-ups’ for 2019 is the wedding between notable screen actor IK Ogbonna and his Columbian wife Sonia. IK and Sonia met on social media and after a whirlwind romance, which they heavily publicized on social media, they tied the knots and started their journey as husband and wife. But barely months after fans joined them to welcome their first child, they were surprised to read on social media that they have decided to go their separate ways. Another surprise divorce is the marriage between notable Nollywood actress, Yvonne Jegede and Olakunle Fawole who is popular as ‘Abounce’. The couple got married in 2018, but by March 2019, Yvonne who had reverted to her maiden name and had indeed moved out of her matrimonial home, declared in an interview that it was all over between her and Abounce, who is the son of the late veteran actress Bukky Ajayi. It was also in 2019, that the celebrated marriage between notable Nollywood actor Blossom Chukwujekwu and his heartthrob Maureen Esisi packed up like badly stacked cards. Fans were shocked to find that the former lovebirds who were just three years into their wedlock, ‘unfollowed’ themselves on their social media handles and deleted their wedding photographs as well as photographs and videos of their public display of affection. It was also in 2019 that Tinsel actor Gbenro Ajibade publicly declared that the three-year-old marriage between him and popular actress and model Osas Ighodaro was over.

Those Who Are Still Single and Those Who Have Remained Separated
As 2019 rolls by, fans of popular screen celebrities like Bisi Ibidapo Obe, Ebube Nwagbo, Rita Dominic, Nkiru Sylvanus, Franca Aernam, Benita Nzeribe, Genevieve Nnaji, Lillian Bach, Empress Njamah, Jim Iyke among others say they will be on the look out for their pre-wedding photos in 2020. However, there are some screen celebrities whose marriages hit the rocks between 2017 and 2018 but have remained separated. On that list are notable screen celebrities like Mercy Aigbe, Uche Jombo, Lillian Esoro, Damilola Adegbite, Chris Attoh and Tonto Dikeh.

The late Dammy Eke

Those Whose Marriages Have Remained Rock Solid
In the midst of the tales of divorce and separation, there are celebrity marriages that are still waxing stronger. The celebrity marriages include that of Olu and Joke Jacobs, Nnamdi and Omoni Oboli, Matthew and Omotola Ekeinde, Bob-manuel and Cassandra Udokwu, Zack and Ngozi Orji, Norbert and Gloria Young, Ejike and Ogechi Asiegbu, Richard and Jumobi Damijo, Victor and Rosaline Osuagwu, Emeka and Stella Enyiocha, Paul and Chizoba Obazele amongst others.

Those Who Quit The Stage
Nollywood lost some of his notable players in 2019. Death dealt a blow on the industry when it snatched notable producer and scriptwriter Paul Okoeghene Emema. Indeed tears and tributes flowed all over Nollywood and the television industry as soon as news broke that light had dimmed on the creator and writer of all the episodes of the defunct television drama hit ‘Behind The Clouds’ and later ‘Supple Blues’, produced then by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). Both Supple Blues and Behind The Clouds ruled the Nigerian screen in the 80’s and the multi-talented native of Ovrade in Isoko town of Delta State who studied Mass Communication at the University of Uyo signed those productions. The passage of prolific movie director Ifeanyi Onyeabor also threw Nollywood into deep mourning., The dark, tall and hefty filmmaker who is popular as ‘Big-slim’ reportedly passed on in April in Jos, Plateau State, while directing his new movie project ‘True Legends’. It was also in 2019 that the entire theatre and entertainment community in Nigeria was thrown into deep mourning with the news that veteran theatre director, actor, broadcaster, playwright, singer, poet, and composer Jide Ogungbade had passed on. The theatre director who is best remembered in the theatre and entertainment circuit as the director of the famous Ajo Productions series of plays, which began in 1983 and culminated in the Ajo Festival of plays in 1986 reportedly passed on, after a period of illness. Others who passed on in 2019 include Chief Eddie Ugbomah, Duke Oliver, Gbenga ‘Burger’ Akintunde, Rotimi Popoola, Adio Majester, Henry Okoro and notable Nollywood actor Prince Dammy Eke.


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