Segun Arinze bids Chico Ejiro farewell
Arinze described the death of the prolific filmmaker as a difficult and bitter pill to swallow, noting that he was still trying to come to terms with this rude shock and was still waiting for the “news to say you are alive.”
Arinze recalled how he first met Chico in the 90’s first on the set of Ripples by Zeb Ejiro and later while filming the weekly TV Series Fortunes as produced by Ralph Nwadike and Charles Owoyemi and directed by Zeb Ejiro was directing.
But their first close encounter as Arinze recalled was in 1996 when Chico spoke to Arinze about a movie idea that was later titled Silent Night.
“He wanted me to play a supporting role. He asked if I wouldn’t mind shaving my hair off because he wanted the character bald. I agreed and that was how we shot Silent Night with Ramsey as the lead and me as Black Arrow. A funny conversation happened between us while filming. Black Arrow was to be executed with Stanley (Ramsey), but I suggested to Chico, ‘why not make Black Arrow escape and come back in part 2 to avenge his fallen colleagues?’ He paused, looked at me and spontaneously shouted, ‘Yes! And that was how part 2 became a Monster Hit.”
He continued: “Chico and I became extremely close from then on and went on to shoot more hits; we became brothers. Chico is one person outside work that will always call to check up on you. He had a way of getting friends out of any problem or mess they found themselves,” he said of the filmmaker who is survived by a wife, children and brothers.
“There are so many stories I could go on and on to tell about Chico but will save it for my memoirs. We talked so much about remaking Silent Night and called it The Return of Black Arrow. We only just recently signed with a company Nevada BridgeTV for the Remake and this happened! Chico my brother, my friend, why did you choose the wrong grotto on Christmas day? Why the grotto of death? Adieu, Mr Prolific, Icon, Chico. Sleep on my brother, my friend,” he signed off.
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