The death on Tuesday of Kannywood actress, Aisha Dankano has sparked worries in Nigeria’s movie industry about why actors and actresses are suddenly being taken away by death.
Aisha was just 34 years old when she died. No fewer than six other actors have died in the last two months.
The actors who passed on, mostly after brief illnesses included – comic actor, Dede One Day, 14-year-old actor Olamide Daramola and veteran thespian, Mike Odiachi.
Others were- top Yoruba actor, Sikiru Adesina, popularly called “Arakangudu’’ and veteran actor Festus Aguebor.
Now stakeholders in the industry, popularly known as Nollywood, have expressed concern over the spate of death that hit the sector in recent times.
Mr Agility Onwura, President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Abuja chapter, described the trend as “very pathetic’’.
He called on actors to always go for regular medical checks to prevent avoidable death.
“I advise every actor not to take matters of their health lightly.It is possible to amuse others and make them reduce blood pressure, while you are under pressure yourself as an artiste.The life of an actor is such a busy one, moving from one location to another, to the extent that there is hardly enough time to rest.
“If this trend continues for a long time, there may be possible breakdown of health, which may eventually result to death,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Nzeh Frankwhite, immediate past chairman of Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Abuja, chapter, said that death is inevitable.
According to him, “death happens in every sector of the society and Nollywood is not exempted’’.
“Just as the Bible says, there is time for everything; a time to live and a time to die. Why it is pronounced with that of Nollywood is because they are celebrities.So death is everywhere, not just in the industry’’.
Frankwhite, however called for fervent prayers for the industry.
“The industry needs prayers for God’s protection and guidance,’’ he said.
He also advised artiste to play their parts by going for medical check up and maintain healthy living.
Mrs Imaobong Abia, President, Association of Movie Producers (AMP) in the FCT said “people died in every sector, however, the death of an artiste always make newspaper headlines.
“As public figures, people are always interested in everything that happens around them. However, acting is such a stressful job that sapped one’s energy.That is why every actor should take enough time to rest after going on set,’’ she advised.
Abia also cautioned actors on what they eat and drink that could constitute health hazards.
“Too much of alcohol intake and smoking will affect ones health negatively.However, this does not imply that every death comes from smoking and drinking,’’ she said.
The 45-year-old talented comic merchant, Dede One Day died of high blood pressure on Dec. 14, 2015 after performing at an event.
Olamide, the 14-year-old kid actor and a popular face in the Yoruba sector of Nollywood, also passed on, Jan. 17 at the General Hospital Ikeja, where he was rushed to after complaining of stomach pains.
The talented actor, who won the Best Kid Actor at 2015 Best of Nollywood Awards, was said to have been mistakenly kicked in the stomach while playing football with his friends.
On February 9, Nollywood was also thrown into mourning with the news of the death of Arakangudu. The veteran Yoruba actor died in Kaduna of heart attack which he reportedly suffered as result of stress.
Barely a week after the death of Arakangudu, Nollywood was also in grief with the news of untimely death another actor, Mike Odiachi.
Odiachi, aged 51, died Feb. 15 at the General Hospital Ikorodu, Lagos, after a brief illness.
On Feb. 23, the movie industry again suffered loss of two more prominent members- veteran Nollywood actor, Festus Aguebor and Kannywood actress, Aisha Dankano.
Aguebor who was highly respected and known for his role in the movies “Rituals’’, “the king and I’’, died in his 70s.
Dankano, aged 34, was confirmed to have also passed away at her home in Kano after battling with an illness which was not made public.