Last year was a black year for the Nigerian entertainment industry; more stars died that year than we have ever seen in a single calendar year before that. Many have attributed the spate of fatalities to many different reasons, but let us not forget that there was the pandemic period, and that the world was under lockdown caused by the Covid 19 pandemic that went out of control in several parts of the world.
Of course the Nigerian celebrities who died in from 2010 till 2023 all died of different causes, but a good number of them died of illnesses. However here are the Nollywood stars that died in 2023.
List of Top Nollywood Actors & Actresses In Nigeria That Have Died
Below are the list of nollywood actors and actresses that died in 2022 in no particular order.
Sadiq Daba was a Nigerian actor and broadcaster with over 40 years of experience. Even though he is remembered for winning the 2015 Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as “Inspector Waziri,” Sadiq Daba’ contributions to the Nigerian cinema are far more reaching than that. He was one of the top actors of the 70’s and 80’s.
He died on Wednesday March 3, 2021 at the Ayinke General hospital in Ikeja. Sadiq Daba had a long battle with leukemia but also developed prostate cancer.
Rachel was perhaps the biggest Nollywood personality to say goodbye to us in 2021. She had a long and illustrious acting career that started in 1993. Rachel Oniga was a Nollywood heavyweight who featured in very many films, and won several accolades for her work. She died at around 10 pm, on the 30th of July 2021, of Coronary heart issues. She was 64.
Folake Aremu (Orisabunmi)
Veteran Yoruba actress, Mrs. Folake Aremu popularly called Orisabunmi from a movie character she played, died on January 5, 2021. She had featured in several Yoruba language movies in a career that lasted several years. The veteran actress, who hailed from Olla in Kwara State died in her residence in Ibadan, Oyo State, at the age of 60.
Jim Lawson Maduike
Jim Lawson Maduike was a veteran Nollywood actor, as well as a radio broadcaster, voice-over artist, writer, filmmaker and a television personality. He made his maiden appearance in Nollywood in 2004, after which he went to on have a stellar career; appearing in several movies. He died on the on the 9th of January, 2021, at the age of 63, after complaining of severe body pains.
David Mela was a Nollywood actor who was on the rise; still trying to make his mark in the Nigerian movie industry. A social media post he made revealed that he was passing through a hard time.
Veteran actor Dan Nkoloagu had featured in so many movies. However, he died on January 22, 2021, at the age of 83. His death was announced on his facebook page by his son Dan Nkoloagu Jnr.
Ernest Asuzu was a known Nigerian veteran actor who had featured in several movies in a career that was on the rise. However, in 2015 he suffered a stroke which affected his speech. On 26th of January, 2021 he slumped and never woke up. Ernest Asuzu was only 37 years old when he died.
Veteran actor Victor Decker who had featured in several movies both as a lead actor and in supporting roles was found dead in his apartment on Monday February 15, 2021. He was 72 years old. His neighbours broke down his door to find his decomposed body.
Bruno Iwuoha had proved his mettle in the Nigerian movie industry; he had won several awards, after featuring in several movies. However, after suffering from diabetes for several years he died on the 10th of April, 2021. He was 68 years old.
Abiodun Aleja, was a Nollywood actor, writer, and director. He dies at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on Friday, May 21, 2021.
Sound Sultan’s real name was Olanrewaju Abdul-Ganiu Fasas. He was not an actor per se; he was a musician, writer, singer, comedian and recording artist. He was notable for using his music to speak out against the ills of government; corruption, and poverty.
Victor Olaotan was a veteran of the Nigerian movie industry. Some of the famous movies he featured in include: “Three Wise Men”, alongside Richard Mofe-Damijo and Zack Orji. He also featured in the Nigerian TV series ‘Tinsels.’ He died on 27 August 2021. He was 69-year-old.
Rich Oganiru was a popular Nollywood actor. He had featured in 100s of movies during his career, and he received some awards as well. However his undoing was his health which suddenly went bad. A video of him lying on a sick bed while soliciting financial assistance went viral a few months before his death was announced. Rich Oganiru died as a result of kidney failure.
Chinedu Nwankwo is her full name but popularly known as Chi Bernard. The beautiful fast rising Nollywood actress is known for her sultry and sexy roles in movies. Not many were aware of her dedication to GOD until the news of her demise in Church.
Chi Bernard slumped while cleaning the Chapel of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Enugu. She was rushed to the hospital by the resident Reverend Father but was unfortunately declared BID (Brought in Dead) on the 29th of April, 2022.
David Osagie is known for his kingly roles in nollywood movies. He died in his hotel room after filiming according to Adanma Luke a fellow nollywood colleague who was filming alongside the actor. In her words, Uncle Dave as he is popularly called by colleagues said he wasn’t feeling too strong and wanted to go into his hotel room to relax since it was getting late and that since they were done with filming for the day it was normal for him to feel exhausted and want to relax. It was in the morning they got the shocking news that Uncle Dave had died in his sleep. He died on the 4th of May, 2022 at the age of 52years.
Fondly called by colleagues as Daddy Sam. He was a film producer, writer, president of script writers guild of Nigeria before his death. Sam Obiagu was born 25th September 1964 and died on the 23rd of December 2021. He was 57 years old when he died. Sam Obiagu died as a result of stroke and its complications. He died at 2am on the 23rd of December, 2021.
The pretty yoruba actress is known for her lovely, motherly and humble roles in her movies. Moji Olaiya died from Cardiac arrest after child birth in Canada on the 17th of May, 2017. She is survived by her husband and daughter.
The Benue State born actress was and raised in Ajegunle on the 15th May, 1974. She rose to fame in the popular nollywood movie titled Domitila. Ameh attended both primary and secondary school education Ajegunle though she dropped out of school at the age of 14 after getting pregnant. The popular actress widely referred to as Emu in the popular TV show series “The Johnsons” lost her daughter whom she gave birth to at age 14 in October 2020. In an Instagram live feed in June 2022, the actress narrated how she was being sued and threatened for a job she couldn’t complete, she narrated how she was going through mental health illness but kept assuring herself that everything was going to be just fine. Unfortunately, she died after collapsing at an Oil company event for toys at 11pm on the 17th July 2022.
Sola Onayiga (Ireti)
News hit Nigerians on the 17th of July, 2022 about the death of popular nollywood veteran, Sola Onayiga popularly known as Ireti from the popular TV series in the early 90s ‘Fuji House of Commotion’. Until her death, Ireti was a member of a political party, Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in 2015 for the Lagos State House of Assembly Ikorodu Constituency 1 and also worked with the Federal Capital Development Authority. She will be remembered for her role in bringing laughter to the faces of Nigerians through her talent.
Saint Obi (1965 – 2023)
Obinna Nwafor Professionally known as Saint Obi, is a Nigerian born actor, a producer, humanitarian and as well a director. Saint Obi is perfectly known for his roles in “Candle Light, Sakobi, Goodbye Tomorrow, Heart of Gold, Festival of Fire, Executive Crime and Last Party”. At the University of Jos, he studied Theatre Arts. Saint Obi;s career took a big hit in the year 1996, after doing an advertisement for Peugeot on NTA. His first movie titled Take Me to Maama was produced in the year 2001, in which he starred as Jerry, together with Ebi Sam, Rachel Oniga, Nse Abel and Enebeli Elebuwa. He featured in more than seventy (70) movies. Until his death he was planning a relaunch of his acting career according to Tchidi Tchikere based on their telephone conversation in January, 2023.
The late handsome Nollywood star died at the age of 57 at his sister’s house in Jos after long battle of an undisclosed ailment as mentioned by the family. Indeed Nollywood has lost a legend.
The yoruba born actor was christened on May 9, 1974, in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. Murphy Afolabi emerged as a prominent figure in the Nigerian entertainment industry and his talents spanned across acting, producing, and directing. With his career commencing in the late 1990s, Afolabi became widely recognized for his remarkable performances in Yoruba-language films.
Among his notable works are “Enu,” “Gbolahan,” “Owo Ale,” “Asake,” and “Igbekun,” among others. His exceptional contributions to the Nigerian film industry garnered him numerous accolades, including the prestigious Best Actor in a Leading Role (Yoruba) award at the Best of Nollywood Awards in 2012.
Murphy Afolabi died on the 14th of May, 2023 as a result of the injuries he sustained after falling down in the bathroom. He is survived by his wife, 2 sons and 1 daughter. May his gentle soul rest in peace.
Chikezie Nwazie is a Nollywood actor that has featured in several Nollywood movies including the movie, “Musical Whispers”, a film focused on autism, other movies are the “Village Destroyer” alongside Osita Iheme, Ugo Ugbor, and “Last Kiss”, where he starred alongside Emeka Ike, Ini Edo, Ejike Asiegbu and Mercy Johnson Okojie. So far, he has starred in more than 40 movies until his death.
He died on the 14th of May, 2023 as a result of a second unsuccessful brain surgery in the United States of America.
A popular nollywood actor that died on the 15th of June 2023. He first slumped and was diagnosed of high blood pressure which led to stroke. He was then taken to his native home town in Anambra for traditional treatment. He died the next day (15th June, 2023). He died at the age of 56. May his gentle soul rest in peace.
Some Other Nollywood Actors & Actresses Who Died Since 2000 Till 2023 Include:
Prince Ifeanyi Dike
Losing a celebrity yearly is always a hard pill to swallow especially for the Nigerian entertainment industry; the likes of which entertainment fans will never want to witness ever again. However, that year also brought about a lot of solidarity from the actors and fans alike, as people came together to run to the aid of any ailing actor to prevent further deaths.