In Memoriam – 10 celebrity Nigerian deaths that moved us



CD John

John Chijioke a comedian who was known by the stage name CD John became popular for his church chorister and testifying routines which gave him a loyal cult following. 

The popular comedian died in Lagos on 23 March, coincidently, three days before his birthday, from injuries he sustained in a ghastly motor which occurred as he was returning home from attending a listening party at Tribecca on Victoria Island in the wee hours of the morning. Chijioke was rushed to a hospital where he gave up the ghost hours after his arrival.

Chidinma Mbalaso

A couple of days after the death of upcoming comedian CD John, the passing away of Chidinma Mbalaso was announced to the world. The University of Abuja undergraduate met with her untimely death following a car accident on her way to Abuja from Kaduna where she had gone to purchase a new car.

Miss Mbalaso was the 2nd runner-up in the maiden edition of Dbanj’s reality show Koko Mansion, and a rising star in the Nigerian entertainment industry, up until her death was building a career as a stylist and an actress. She was reportedly in a coma for a long time before she eventually died on the early hours on Friday 25 March. She was 22.

Ashley Nwosu

Ashley Nwosu, 57, was an acclaimed Nigerian actor who dominated the Nollywood scene for more than two decades. Among his film credits are Nollywood hits such as ‘Expensive Game’, ‘Passion of Minds’, ‘Aristo’, and ‘Blind Love’.

His family reported that the actor had been ill for a protracted period before his death. He finally passed away on 21 April. He was survived by his wife and a daughter.

Tayo Aderinokun

Tayo Aderinokun was 57 when he bowed to lung cancer in a London Hospital on 15 June. He was one of the founders of leading Nigerian bank, GTBank Plc and was serving as its Managing Director/CEO when he died.

An erudite gentle man, Tayo Aderinokun was one of the most respected bankers in Nigeria who was known for his professionalism and ethical business conduct. Aderinokun was also a philanthropist who touched many lives positively.

Christy Essien Igbokwe

On 30 June, Nigeria’s music industry suffered a huge blow with the announcement of the death of Mrs Christy Essien Igbokwe, world-renowned musician. Igbokwe who was 50, belonged to a generation of women who broke gender barriers to reach the peak of their careers at a time when women were mostly home makers.

She was one of the founders of the Performing Musician Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and she served the organisation as its first president. Igbokwe was also a champion for women and children rights and was actively involved in charity and advocacy work. She will be remembered for such hits as “Seun rere” and “Take Life Easy”. 

Sam Loco Efe

“A polyglot, actor extraordinaire, father to many of us, an intellectual man of immense artistic stature, we will miss him greatly.”

– Chuma Onwudwe (National Secretary of the AGN)

When news first came that the veteran actor had passed away, many brushed it away as another malicious rumours, after all it would not be the first time news of Sam Loco Efe’s death would be spread. This time, his fans and admirers had to wait many hours to receive confirmation of the passing of the 66-year-old actor who was shooting a movie in Owerri at the time of his death.

Till date, the cause of his death remains unclear. No autopsy report has been made public. It was reported that Efe had left the set, a day before he was found, earlier than usual. 

Sam Loco Efe was respected for his theatrical antics and his ability to introduce humour even in the most mundane situations.

Geraldine Ekeocha

The Nigerian movie industry received another shocker, when on 5 September the death of Geraldine Ekeocha was announced barely a month after the passing away of veteran actor Sam Loco Efe. It remains unclear the circumstances of the passing of the actress who was popular in the 80s as there has been no official statement from her family. However, super blogger, Linda Ikeji reported that the actress died from complications following an operation to remove a fibroid growth in Enugu.


Obiajulu Kenneth Nwaozor, Eastern highlife rapper famed for his hit remake single of Osadebede’s song died in a tragic car crash on 14 September on the notorious Benin – Ore Expressway.

Nwaozor was travelling to his home town in Anambra State from Lagos to perform his traditional marriage rites. He was driving and his fiancé and her sister were his passengers. His fiancé was the only survivor.

MC Loph had begun to gain his recognition as an artiste in the country, especially in Eastern Nigeria. At the time of his death, it was rumoured that he had just signed a lucrative deal with an unnamed prominent recording label in Nigeria.


Alex Ibru

The pain of the demise of Nigerian business man, founder and publisher of The Guardian Newspapers on 20 November came as a rude shock to the nation. Ibru will be remembered for his many positive contributions to the development of the nation.

Ibru, 66, was a walking phenomenon who effectively changed the face of print journalism in Nigeria. He would be remembered for his act of resilience during the oppressive Abacha regime and for surviving a number of failed assassination attempts, one of which he sustained an injury which led to the loss of use of his right eye. It can be rightly said that this great man left his mark in the sands of time and would be greatly missed by all.

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu sprang into national prominence in 1966 following a military coup which toppled the civilian government. Though he was not an active instigator of the coup, the then Nigerian soldier was appointed the military governor of the former Nigerian Eastern region.

A politician, statesman, and nationalist, Ojuwkwu will most be remembered for leading an attempt to break-away from the republic by the then Eastern Nigeria under a new republic called Biafra in 1970. This succession attempt led to the 30 month civil war which was ended when his deputy, Phillip Effiong surrendered to Nigerian forces. 

Ojukwu, who passed away on 26 November at a London Hospital after a protracted illness, remained a strong advocate for the actualisation of the aspirations of the Igbo nation and will be remembered for his forthrightness. He authored a book, “Because I am Involved” in 1989. 

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Comments (2)

  1. Tunde a typical bad blood nigerian instead of you to produce yours instead you inject your bad blood unto others. Those your two names perhaps you are not aware the same reason you gave to dismiss the write up fall squarely on your names too.

  2. Maybe this is a list of shocking celebrity deaths from the East. Asides Tayo Aderinokun and Ibru, who I won't readily classify as celebrities, others are easterners;with only a few recognised beyond the east, and other deaths not really shocking, unless the word "shocking" has been lost on u.

    Where's Bimbo Odukoya or livi Ajuonoma. Now those two fall under the tags "shocking","celebrity" and "death".

    Stop belting out names lazily from sittingroom and calling it a write-up.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail