Nollywood actors Stephanie Linus, RMD, Tchidi Chikere, others mourn Saint Obi

Saint Obi
Saint Obi

It has been reported that Nollywood’s talented and respected actor, Saint Obi, whose real name is Obinna Nwafor, passed away on 7th May after a prolonged illness.

His death, shrouded in mystery, is now being mourned by fellow Nollywood actors Stephanie Linus and Richard Mofe Damijo and a filmmaker, Tchidi Chikere, on their social media handles.

While there has been no confirmation or denial from his family, Saint Obi’s legacy as one of Nollywood’s finest and pioneer actors will be deeply missed by many.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that The Actors Guild of Nigeria is yet to make a statement as the family reportedly has a minor disagreement which has stalled a formal announcement.

Nonetheless, his fans have continued to pay their last respects to the veteran actor with the hashtags #RIP Saint Obi and #Obinna Nwafor on Twitter.

Stephanie, who starred alongside Saint Obi in several films in the early 2000s like ‘More than a Woman’, described his death as shocking and heartbreaking in her tribute.

Nollywood’s talented and respected actor, Saint Obi, whose real name is Obinna Nwafor, passed away on 7th May

‘‘Losing someone you know and have worked with can be incredibly difficult. I have worked with Saint on several movies, and it is so sad to hear of his passing. May God give his family the strength to bear this loss and endure the difficult times. Your work and impact will always be remembered. Rest in peace, Saint’’.

Similarly, Tchidi, in his tribute, expressed regrets about not fulfilling his lifelong desire to feature the late actor in his movies.

The filmmaker also disclosed that Saint Obi turned down his offer to star him in three lead roles in three films.

‘‘I offered you a movie role in February, and you declined. You said you had gained weight and wanted to return to shape before acting. You told me loads of stuff and how you love your children and how you wish you could see them. You didn’t sound like your old self. I felt you’d lost your zeal for life.”

“So I called a few days later and offered you three lead roles in three movies, which you declined. You refused to act. I was shocked. You said, “Tee, I’ll come to the USA, and we will do big things; I want to relaunch myself with something big” Those were your words…And’’ his tribute partly read.

RMD, in his tribute, revealed how his kind gesture thronged Saint Obi into the limelight, narrating how he sought help to break into Nollywood in the 90s.

‘‘I recall being at an event in Abuja some years ago, and we were just catching up, and he said to me, “Bros, you nor remember say na you start me on this my journey?” And I was like, ‘no way,’. I had said I wasn’t doing any film then, but I could send him to a friend and brother who did more productions than anyone else at the time, and that brother and friend was Zeb EJIRO. I wrote behind my card, and off he went and became a big star. The exciting thing then was that Zeb loved him so much that he told me I had given him a natural replacement for me in the movies’’.

RMD confirmed that his colleague and friend Zik Zulu broke the news of Saint Obi’s demise and that they were both in denial and promised each other to find out more details.

Nollywood’s talented and respected actor, Saint Obi, whose real name is Obinna Nwafor, passed away on 7th May after a prolonged illness

Saint Obi was famous for his roles in State of Emergency; Candle Light; Sakobi; Goodbye Tomorrow; Heart of Gold; Festival of Fire; Executive Crime; and Last Party, amongst others.

In 2015, he delved into music and dropped a track, ‘Imagine the Dream’, and an accompanying video. He worked at the post office before majoring in Theatre Arts at the University of Jos and ventured into acting in 1996 via a Peugeot television commercial.

He starred in over 60 movies. In 2001, he produced his first movie, Take Me to Maama, where he starred as Jerry alongside Ebi Sam, the late Rachel Oniga, Nse Abel and the late Enebeli Elebuwa.

He last made news headlines in February 2022 when the news of his divorce and custody battle filtered online. The famous actor and his ex-wife battled over the custody of their three children after a divorce suit.

According to a lawsuit filed by the actor’s lawyers in Suit No: HCT/128/2019, the actor alleged an attempt on his life by his estranged wife.

In the same suit, the ‘Glamour Girls’ star joined his estranged wife’s brothers, Michael Amobi and Chukwumobi Amobi. Nollywood’s actor, Saint Obi, whose real name is Obinna Nwafor, passed away on 7th May after a prolonged illness

The actor also alleged that his estranged wife allegedly ‘imprisoned’ their three children with the help of men from the police force. The couple married in 2006 and have three children- two boys and a girl.

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