For most celebrities, 2020 was a sweat and sour year, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. But while some made the headlines for the right reasons, others got into the news for the wrong reasons. Here is a review of the good and bad off screen moments of some Nollywood celebrities.
Those Who Said ‘I Do’
Nollywood closed the year with the wedding between notable actor Samuel Ajibola aka Spiff of the Johnsons and his heartthrob Sandra Adanna. The white wedding ceremony, which was attended by family, friends, colleagues and loved ones, held under strict COVID-19 protocols on December 19.
The couple had earlier had their traditional wedding ceremony in Anambra State in January 2020. Spiff, as fans popularly call Ajibola, is best known for playing the character ‘Spiff’ in the popular drama series on African Magic The Johnsons. Ajibola had revealed that they courted for two years, but they have been friends for a while.
Other Nollywood celebrities that tied the knot in 2020 include actress Angela Okorie who got married to her husband Desmond; actress Anita Joseph who had a civil wedding ceremony with her husband Michael Fisayo aka MC Fish and Emmanuel Ikubese who married his celebrity make up artist heartthrob Anita Adetoye in March. The colourful wedding ceremony between Emmanuel and Anita featured performances by Timi Dakolo, Orezi, Sean Tizzle and Tiwa Savage. It was a wedding industry observers described as ‘spectacular’ and ‘any couples dream wedding’.
Those Who Remain Divorced, Separated Or Single
IN a year when some marriages in Nollywood have continued to stand the test of time, those who were either divorced or separated between 2019 and 2020 have remained divorced or separated. Those on the shortlist include notable screen actor IK Ogbonna and his enstranged Columbian wife Sonia; Nollywood actress Yvonne Jegede and Olakunle Fawole who is popular as ‘Abounce’; Nollywood actor Blossom Chukwujekwu and his heartthrob Maureen Esisi and Tinsel Star Gbenro Ajibade who publicly declared in 2019 that the three-year- old marriage between him and popular actress and model Osas Ighodaro was over.
However, there are some screen celebrities whose marriages hit the rocks between 2017 and 2018, but have remained single. On that list are notable screen celebrities like Tonto Dike, Uche Jombo, Lillian Esoro, Damilola Adegbite and Chris Attoh
Those Whose Marriages Have Remained Rock Solid
IN the midst of the tales of divorce and separation, there are celebrity marriages that are still waxing stronger. The celebrity marriages include that of Olu and Joke Jacobs, Nnamdi and Omoni Oboli, Matthew and Omotola Ekeinde, Richard and Jumobi Damijo, Bob-manuel and Cassandra Udokwu, Zack and Ngozi Orji, Norbert and Gloria Young, Ejike and Ogechi Asiegbu, Emeka and Jumai Ossai, Victor and Rosaline Osuagwu, Emeka and Stella Enyiocha, Paul and Chizoba Obazele amongst others.
Those Who Quit The Stage
Nollywood lost some of his notable players in 2019. Death dealt a blow on the industry when it snatched notable production manager, actor and producer Frank Dallas. Indeed, tears and tributes flowed all over Nollywood and the television industry as soon as news broke that light had dimmed on the Abia State born motion picture practitioner who is versed in industry politics.
A former Public Relations Officer of the Actors Guild of Nigeria and a prominent member of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Frank Dallas who was popular as ‘Adedibu’, passed on while on an assignment in Umahia, Abia State.
Also, Nollywood was thrown into deep mourning again when news broke that Tinsel Actress and notable producer Chiboza Boye had passed on. Chizoba, wife of the movie director Sam Boye, passed on Saturday May 10 and was buried on May 18, at a quiet interment ceremony attended by her husband, daughter, immediate and extended family members. The stage and actress, show host and producer died after a protracted illness.
Aged 52, Chizoba had her major screen debut when she featured in the epoch-making Igbo language home video Living in Bondage. Reputed as a major content provider for the Igbo Channel on DSTV, the actress, who would also remembered for her role as auntie Tinuke in the popular television series Tinsel, produced one of the longest running Igbo comedy series on DSTV entitled Kanyi Si Ebi.
It was also in 2020, precisely in March, that veteran Nollywood actor Kayode Odumosu, better known as Pa Kasumu, passed on. The Yoruba film star who had been battling ill health for a while passed on after an illness. Pa Kasumu’s health became a concern for members of the public when a video of his frail state surfaced online last year. At the time, the late actor in an interview said that all he needs are fervent prayers and not financial aid from well-wishers and well-meaning Nigerians. He also disclosed that his sickness is of a spiritual nature and not medical as many have presumed.
Just as industry practitioners were preparing to celebrate Christmas, news broke that the prolific movie producer and director Chico John Meziakpano Ejiro had passed on. Chico died in the early hours of December 25. His family said he died of heart related ailment and would be buried on February 20, in his hometown Ozoro, in Delta State. A producer and director of vast credit, Chico would be remembered for helming some of Nollywood acclaimed productions such as Silent Night, Full Moon, Outkast, Scores To Settle, Blood Money and lately Night Bus To Lagos.