Monday, January 25, 2021

Christmas Day deaths shake Nollywood

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Nollywood

… What killed Chico Ejiro, Kola Davis?

… Actors, actresses cry

By Benjamin Njoku

Tributes have continued to pour in following the sudden disappearance of two Nollywood producers, Chico Ejiro and Kola Davis, on Christmas Day.

Ejiro, the younger brother of veteran producer Zeb Ejiro, died in the early hours of Christmas Day from a seizure, while Kola Davis reportedly died hours later.

Chico was said to have just finished directing his new film before meeting his untimely death.

According to sources close to him, Chico had malaria and was treated immediately in the hospital about a month ago. He was just recovering from the ailment.

However, since the sad news broke, condolences have reached social media and colleagues are mourning the huge loss of the film industry.

The Midwest Movement (Edo-Delta Indigenous Peoples Association), in a statement by Dr. Pedro Obaseki, described Chico’s death as a major blow to Nollywood, Nigeria’s largest creative industry, Delta state, the Midwest region (Bendel) and Nigeria in general.

“He was a prince of the nation’s entertainment empire. A celebrated veteran who helped create and sustain the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood). An Isoko man. A delta man. A Bendel man, and possibly one of the gifts from the Midwest region to the Nigerian nation, ”the statement said.

“Our deepest condolences to his family, his wife Joy Chico Ejiro, his brothers, Peter Red and Zeb Ejiro, OON (who is a pioneer member of the Midwest Movement), the Isoko Nation, the Governor of Delta State and all the Delta towns and the entire Nollywood and creative industry in Nigeria, where Chico was a celebrated pioneer.

“Although Chico is no longer physically with us, his work and his many films and productions will remain with us forever – a reminder of his stay on earth. Chico Ejiro’s legacy is etched in the sands of time. “

Also, paying tribute to the late filmmaker,

Madu Chikwendu described him as “a true Nollywood pioneer and hero.”

According to him, although the deceased did not invent the “kpa kpa kpa” style that arguably made Nollywood the most efficient film industry, he popularized it.

“Efficiency driven by speed was paramount for the tabloid man nicknamed ‘Mr. Prolific.’

Having worked on television like most of the Nollywood pioneers, he launched his film career with Deadly Affair, a partnership with Opa Williams.

“Chico’s Grandtouch Pictures was Nollywood in its heyday.

“We will all miss ‘Chikoski’ who I contacted on December 4, 2020, a few hours before giving a speech at the ZUMA Film Festival Abuja.”

Lanre Falana expressed his shock after the death of the popular producer.

“I’m still in shock, does anyone know what really happened? Just a few weeks ago, he was celebrating his birthday. I can’t just understand this. What happened to Chico, was he sick?”

For his part, Kabat Esosa Egbon described Chico as a “storyteller and a true legend”, adding that he understood the reality of Nollywood from the beginning and looked for ways to work within the confines of art and commercialism.

“He knew we couldn’t pay and we had no education, so he thought of a pattern and the means to achieve RESULTS with what we had,” Egbon said.

“I knew budgets were a problem and I was looking for ways to work within those budgets, no matter how small… and still make a profit.

“Chico was a storyteller. Don’t let Chico sit down to tell you a story concept. He was an expert at doing that. He was the master of his game.

“Her cheerful heart and exuberant personality had no place for negative and opposite people. Even if he offends you, he is the first to make amends and laugh at what happened. “

Meanwhile, when breaking the news of Kola Davis’ disappearance on the filmmakers platform on WhatsApp, the director general of the National Board of Film and Video Censors, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, wrote: “I heard that Kola Davis is also dead. He was a good actor and director. “

Nicknamed Mr. Prolific, Ejiro was married to Joy Ejiro and they have four children. He has two brothers: Zeb Ejiro, the best known of the new Nigerian filmmakers outside the country, and Peter Red Ejiro, also a film producer.

Chico appeared in the 2007 documentary “Welcome to Nollywood,” which followed him while making “Family Affair 1” and “Family Affair 2”.

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