Justus Esiri – Loss of Another Nollywood Giant

| February 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Photo: Leadership

Last Wednesday turned out to be another sad day in the annals of the Nigerian entertainment industry. It was a day the industry recorded the death of yet another of its legendary actors, Mr. Justus Esiri. FLORENCE UDOH reports

The news about the death of veteran actor, Justus Esiri, threw the Nigerian entertainment industry into mourning last week, while still trying to recover from the shock of Lugard Onoyemu, Goldie Harvey and Collins Ifeanyi Chukwu’s deaths.

The legendary actor and father of musician, Dr. Sid died on Tuesday night at the graceful age of 71.

Late Esiri, was born on November 20, 1942, in Oria-Abraka, Delta State. He attended Urhobo College and later went to Germany to study Engineering before he developed interest for the theatre.

Famous for his role in the popular television series “The Village Headmaster” in the 80’s, Esiri rose to prominence playing the role of a teacher in that long-running drama on national television. He started his acting career in Germany and also worked for the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and German Service as a translator. He was a recipient of the honorary award, MON from the Federal government of Nigeria.

Announcing Esiri’s death online, Dr. Sid put up a photo of the veteran actor on his Twitter avatar as ‘R-I-P Dad’. The singer was all smiles trying to cheer the rest of the family, saying, “His life is being studied in Universities in the UK. He lived to be 70, and anything else after 70 is a gift, so there’s really nothing to be sad about.”

Dr. Sid who was told about the death of his father by his brother over the phone said “He lived well. I will like to be like him when I grow up.”

The president of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN)Ibinabo Fiberesima, confirming the death of Esiri in a statement said, “We regret to announce the passing away of our member and veteran actor, Justus Esiri who died last night. He was said to have died of complications resulting from diabetes at a hospital in Lagos.

“Declared as one of the strong men of the African film industry, Justus Esiri is widely known for his role in the now rested popular TV series, ‘The Village Headmaster’. We commiserate with the family and pray that God gives us the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

Meanwhile, reacting to his death, former president of AGN, Mr. Ejike Asiegbu described Justus Esiri as “one of the best actors this country has ever produced.”

Another former AGN president, Segun Arinze said, “It is so bad. Uncle Justus Esiri was a figure and a great motivator to us.

He left a legacy that needs to be sustained. Justus Esiri contributed his quota to the growth of The Nigerian entertainment industry.”

Justus Esiri has featured in several Nollywood movies and stage plays within and outside the shores of Nigeria. Just last year August, he was a member of a star loaded Nigerian cast that performed at the Stratford Royale Theatre London alongside Olu and Joke Jacobs, Keppy Ekpenyong, Segun Arinze, Bimbo Akintola and others.

In a recent interview, when asked about Dr. Sid’s involvement in the music industry, Esiri said, “I just called him and told him both the negative and positive aspects of the entertainment industry and he has to be focused. I scolded but gave him my blessing and he picked up.”

His death came two months after Enebeli Elebuwa died of stroke in an Indian hospital and eighteen months after legendary actor Sam Loco Efe also took his bow.

The late actor was married to his wife Omiete and together they had six children, one of them, a dentist-turned pop artiste called Dr. Sid.



Category: Uncategorized