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Sunday, April 14, 2024

AGN President Zack Orji undergoes two brain surgeries, needs post-surgery evaluation abroad

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After veteran actor Amaechi Muonagor’s death, misinformation swept through social media that Zack Orji had passed on, a false narrative the President of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas, debunked.

Mr Orji was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital in Abuja on New Year’s Eve after he collapsed in his house’s toilet.

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PREMIUM TIMES reported on 3 January that the famous actor underwent a successful brain surgery as well as improvement in his health.

Providing an update on Afia TV’s ‘The Am Show’ posted on YouTube Wednesday, Mr Rollas said, “As I speak, Zack Orji is not in a position of seeking or seriously needing attention. If it weren’t for privacy concerns, I would connect him on a video call, and you would see him.

“He just needs a post-surgery evaluation abroad, and we are gradually putting together funding to send him aboard. He has undergone two brain surgeries, and he’s in good health.”

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The AGN President said Mr Orji was recuperating at home and would travel abroad for his post-surgery evaluation soon.

He said the individual who spread the death rumour displayed inhumanity by wishing harm upon another human being.

“The death rumour was distressing for the family when it circulated. I spoke with Orji’s wife and reassured her not to let the rumour trouble her or her family, as it reflects people’s wickedness,” he noted.

Speaking about the late actor, Mr Rollas said, “His organs shut down before he was rushed to the hospital.’’

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He revealed that the funds collected for the late actor were intended for his resuscitation while in the intensive unit.

Mr Rollas refuted the claim made by actor Kingsley Orji that the late actor required a kidney transplant in India.

A few days before Mr Muonagor died, Mr Orji shared a video on his Instagram claiming that he (Amaechi) needed funds for a kidney transplant in India.

Expressing shock at the move, Mr Rollas said, “As at the time, he was shouting that the late actor needed a kidney transplant; Amaechi deeply had diabetes; therefore, he couldn’t be operated upon. Even the doctors treating him knew this. I visited him on 2 December 2023.”

He also criticised actors who seek funds illegally on behalf of ailing colleagues, saying, ‘It’s disrespectful and embarrassing to Nollywood. It’s offensive and against the constitutional authority to record people on the sick bed and start circulating it purposely for money”.

Mr Rollas emphasised that before the Guild solicits funds for sick actors to receive treatment abroad, costs overview, doctor’s reference forms, and other necessary documentation must have been obtained.

He said: “While Mr Ibu was at Evercare, we encountered a similar issue. There was a moment when we intended to fly him abroad, but upon submitting the doctor’s reference form and other documents, nearly all hospitals in India and America declined. They stated that individuals with his prognosis would not survive the journey to any country.”

The AGN President disclosed that the Guild has initiated the ‘Operation Take Care of Your Health campaign’ to raise awareness among actors about prioritising their health.

He mentioned that the awareness campaign commenced in Asaba, Delta State, on 17 March, featuring medical treatments, sports activities, and a walk for life, among other events.

He also said the second phase is scheduled for 11 May in Lagos State and highlighted the establishment of a committee and the actors’ briefing.

Mr Rollas said medical practitioners will be present to provide proper health care for the actors during the campaign.

He said: “There is some iota of truth; some actors live carelessly. An actor’s mental health should be crucial and paramount to his life. If you act in about five films in a month, and in each of these films, you play different roles from different categories and different walks of life.

“In your first scene, perhaps you were a carpenter; in the second, a medical doctor; and in the third, a TV presenter. This implies that across these five films, you have portrayed the roles of five individuals in various occupations. Each time you transition into the next role, it takes about a day or two to emerge from the character fully.”

According to Mr Rollas, actors who neglect their health will likely encounter health problems, mainly once they are 55 or older.

He said that many actors suffer from illness, yet some opt not to vocalise their struggles, preferring to manage their ailments privately.

He added, “As a Guild, some of our members are enrolled in our health scheme, and they are gradually taking care of their health.”

The AGN President noted that most of these illnesses are related to old age, overwork, and stroke, among other factors.

Mr Rollas stated that any Guild member found guilty of illegally soliciting funds for ailing actors would face consequences.

“The young man that circulated the late Muonagor’s video is not part of the Guild. Some of these people don’t belong to registered Guilds associations in Nollywood,” he said.

Mr Rollas stated that individuals who are not bona fide members of the Guild but hide under its guise to seek funds for ailing actors will face legal action.

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