POPULAR Nigerian actress and Nollywood queen, 64-year-old Rachel Oniga, is dead, the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Lagos State chapter, has confirmed.
“We got the news early morning today. We have nothing to say other than to give glory to God for a life well spent,” AGN chairman Emeka Rising said.
Oniga’s son, Olatunji, said she died on Friday at 10pm.
“She had malaria and typhoid,” he said.
Veteran Nollywood actress, Patience Ozokwo, broke down in tears as she mourned her colleague, Rachel.
On her verified Instagram page, Ozokwo uploaded a video of herself weeping and eulogising the deceased, stating that she’ll miss Oniga.
A statement from Oniga’s family on Saturday stated that the actress died of heart-related disease, “an ailment she battled with for a short period before her demise.”
In the video she shared, Ozokwo said, “Oh Rachel, I can’t believe this. I thought it was one of those scams. If anyone had told me it was going to be so sudden, I would not have believed it.
“Rachel, we had discussions the last time we met when we were doing Chief Daddy part two. Wonderful actress. Bold and beautiful. Oh my goodness, I wish this is not true.
“I believed this because I saw it on the Actors Guild of Nigeria’s page. No one even told me you were sick. I couldn’t even say sorry to my friend.
“Sorry my sister. Sorry. The ‘sorry’ I couldn’t say to you when you were sick. I didn’t know you were sick. I’m not even in the country.
“My sister from another mother. All the plans we had together. God knows the heart.
“The heavens have done it’s worst. So sad, so heartrending. I’ll miss you so much.”
Oniga was born on May 23, 1957 with her acting career beginning in 1993.
Before venturing into acting, the single mother worked for Ascoline Nigeria Limited, a European engineering consultancy firm with its regional head office in Nigeria.
Oniga featured in scores of Nollywood movies, both in English and Yoruba.
Her first movie was the blockbuster “Onome”, while her debut movie in the Yoruba language was “Owo Blow”.
She bagged multiple awards and featured in movies such as “The Wedding Party’”, “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel’”, “30 Days in Atlanta”, “Sango”, “Out of Bounds’’, “Passion of Mind’’, “Power Of Sin”, “Restless Mind’’, and “Doctor Bello”.
- Source: Punch / The Nation