Omotola… Screen diva battles COVID-19
When one of Nigeria’s biggest movie stars Omotola Jalade Ekeinde announced during the week that she had tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19), fear gripped her colleagues in Nollywood and all across the entertainment industry.
A loud bell alarm, the kind that reminds Catholic faithful of the early morning mass, rang all across the nation. Her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages got over 1 million views within five minutes of the announcement that she has contracted the virus. Her fans all over became worried and concerned and it is understandable.
Omo T, as the actress and recipient of the national honour of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR), is one of Nigeria’s enormously successful actresses. She’s a constant visitor to so many homes and one of Nigeria’s most revered screen figures. The mother, housewife, entertainer and philanthropist, is one darling of the screen, who is hugely loved and admired. So, the worry for her fans may not be unconnected with the fact that, if Omo T could catch the virus, anybody, just anybody could.
This was how Omotola revealed her health status on Instagram on early on Saturday: “Hello all, I know most of you have been wondering where I have been. Well, I contracted COVID. I have been ill, in isolation and now getting better. More on the details soon…thanks for your love and prayers as I recover fully.”
Omotola’s revelation was such big news that some highly placed government officials and citizens pulled calls through to her or issued a social media post to wish her well. However, next day August 16, Omo T released the details of how she contracted the virus.
She declared via the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) instagram page that she contracted the virus from “a movie set” even though she made efforts to “stay safe at all time.”
According to the 42 years old screen star, “Dear friends, I struggled with going public with this, but I had no peace and I believe this is what God wants me to do. So, I hope His will be done. People who know me are all shocked as I am one of the most careful who kept really safe. What then happened? Well, I got this on a set; a movie set. So, please, I am speaking to you all out of love, please, we need to be extra careful now.”
Although the actress didn’t name the movie set on which she contracted the virus, she admonished her colleagues to get tested regularly and to take care of their health especially that Nigeria is still racking up more new cases of the infection though with lesser casualties.
Observers are of the view that Omotola’s revelation may force the authorities to design a special protocol for film production.
“We need one urgently,” remarked a movie producer. “If a superstar like Omotola who is careful and who is given preferential treatment on set can contract the virus, what will you say of extras, those we call waka pass? We need a protocol in Nollywood that we can adopt to stop the spread. It is only the living that can act. We pray for her quick recovery,” the movie producer surmised.
Meanwhile, the actress has daily been updating her status and the last time she made a post, she lifted spirits by saying that she was “doing very well and the lord is in control.”
A UNSDG, UNWFP Ambassador and Time 100 Most Influential Personality, who is also a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures otherwise called Oscars, no other genre of showbiz has achieved immense popularity and financial gain for the Estate Management graduate of the Yaba College of Technology as acting.
Omo T clearly remembers how her decision to take a leave from modeling for a career in acting has today paid off so well. It was in 1995. She got a place to feature in Reginald Ebere’s critically acclaimed movie Venom of Justice. It was that appearance that started it all for the actress married to Mathew Ekeinde, a trained pilot. It was indeed that outing and her early movie credits like Mortal Inheritance that shot Omo T to national prominence. Since then, there has been no stopping for the actress, who has since then been shooting up like a meteor.
Friendly with an easygoing warmth that contrast with the straight face she wears often on set, Omotola whose story could simply be termed the triumph of human spirit, has continued to blaze all over the country and the continent with rave reviews. There has equally been some mounting adulation for her shimmering talent.
An actress of many credits, Omotola’s talent has continued to blaze all over the country and the continent with rave reviews. In her movie pouch are critically acclaimed movies like Mortal Inheritance’, ‘Ije, Games Women Play, Ogbaje, House Girl, Dark Moment, Last Flight to Abuja, Blood Sisters, Ties that Bind, The Celebrity, Alter Ego, Games Women Play and others.