January 1st 2013, will forever remain in our minds as another black New Year with the sudden demise of Bisi Komolafe's hitting the air waves with various social media platforms providing a good avenue for the sad news to spread like wild fire. Blackberry dp's and pm's were not so friendly on a supposed day of celebration, a bad opener for Nollywood and the entertainment industry in general. Questions arose from different angles, what killed her? Was she sick? Was it an accident? Endless rhetorics.
Many answers popped up and while some sounded ambiguous others were assumably realistic. Citing one of such, a source had confirmed that Bisi had had a miscarriage which resulted in a long time ill health until her death. Some others assumed it was some kind of spiritual attack but what got me worried was the speech of Mr Yinka Quadri(Bisi's Boss) who confirmed that ANTP were actually trying to source for funds so they can fly Bisi abroad for better treatment before her demise.
The Burial of Bisi Komolafe was a well attended one with hundreds of her colleagues dressed in the black T shirts made to serve the occasion They all wept to show how much they feel the pain and agony that a true colleague is gone, what a bad omen for the industry so early. Report has it that Bisi had been hospitalized for two months before she eventually passed away on that faithful Monday evening dated 31st of December 2012. The greatest surprise of all is that the news of her illness was never made public till her death was announced, guess that was as a result of the usual myopic assumption and superstitious beliefs that " The illness could be worsened if its announced but eventually the poor lady submitted it all to the cold hands of death few hours to a new year leaving her parents and siblings behind in the world.
Just about a month ago, the news and pictures of Ngozi Nwosu's illness spread on the internet with many claiming she was HIV positive before the "Yellow Pawpaw" addressed the issue and declared that what she's suffering from is kidney related issues and not what had been speculated. After clearing this issue, it was declared that Ngozi needs a whooping N6 Million for her treatment abroad. Did i just say "A whooping N6 Million"?...Please forgive me for that, cause i did remember vividly how one of my blog readers had sent me a message after i posted the Ngozi illness story and asked me this way "Do you mean that this woman cant boast of N6 Million despite all the years she's been acting?"...I just winked at that question and never gave a response till now, dp's were soon created for our Super Yellow Pawpaw of the Fuji House of Commotion Fame, just like we did for Debbie some months ago with the #SaveDebbie Campaign. I need to state here that Debbie was a common nigerian like you and i, she had no one. I had personally been to her house thrice before she finally travelled out for her treatment, all she had was good friends who were willing to help her through her most painful moments and they immediately took to twitter to solicit support for Debbie. Michelle Jonathan aka Gossip Girliee did a good job for her friend and got us all involved in the campaign and within a short period the N6 Million was complete and even when Debbie needed to go through Chemotherapy for a period of six times with each costing about N460,000, nigerians still lended a helping hand to raise the funds and saved her life.
Davido, Ruggedman, Iceprince, Solidstar, Don Jazzy, Mocheddah and many others gave donations in millions and thousands to a girl they've never met and not sure they would even meet after the operation except for a thank you visit by Debbie when she returns. Now this got me thinking and highly worried about the state of our own Nollywood, ANTP, Actor Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and the entertainment industry at large. How come Ngozi Nwosu couldnt raise N6 Million within her colleagues, association and the industry in general?
The most surprising of all is that Ngozi's N6 Million only came from the "Who wants to be a millionaire" game show where her fate was dependent on whatever they could win for her even if it was N50,000 and the N4.5Million balance from the Lagos State Government. Isn't it surprising that not even a kobo came from either her colleagues, family, friends, association not to talk of the church she attends. Am sure someone should be able to provide answers after reading. To start with, Is Ngozi Nwosu that bad that no one would want to help her in anyway aside generating money through a TV Game show and from LASG? Would it have been the same if "GOD FORBID" this had happened to a Genevieve r Omotola? Yes they can foot their own bills but what happens if it goes beyond them?
Several of our entertainers have passed away in the past due to unavailability of funds for their treatment either here in Nigeria or abroad and i wonder what the so called Actors Guild of Nigeria does with the contributions and levies it generates from its members. I also wonder why a body like AGN would never consider adopting any Insurance Policy for its members knowing well enough that their career could be stressful and energy consuming, i guess they wont see this as a bad idea. If Bisi Komolafe had gotten the needed funds, I'm optimistic that her life may have been saved by.
This piece is meant to be a wake up call to all the executives of the AGN, ANTP,PMAN,FUMAN and many others to sit and map out a good health policy that will always cater for its members whenever in distress. Enough of deaths and we begging for funds for our own television icons. Ngozi Nwosu has been acting for over 20years and its a shame that we have to create dp's(display picture) on bbm(blackberry messenger) to solicit for what i call a meagre amount for a woman that gave her all to the industry, a woman who got many of us stuck to our TV's weekly to watch "Fuji House of Commotion".....That quickly reminds me "What happened to the Producers of the Soap Opera?"....Thought they should have been able to support her in a little way for the fact that she added glamour to the soap and gave it a brand identity.
In Conclusion, we sincerely pray for our yellow pawpaw and hope that she returns from the theater hale and hearty....
Written by Ayobami Ladipo
Ayobami is a motivational speaker, writer and blogger. He is also the CEO of Porscheclassy Media.