The Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood, has lost one of its veteran stars, Cynthia Okereke, who died on Tuesday evening at the age of 63. The cause of her death is yet to be disclosed.
Okereke was a popular actress, television personality, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She was born on April 20, 1960 in Enugu State and belonged to the Igbo tribe. She joined Nollywood in 1998 and featured in many movies and TV shows, such as “The King and I”, “The Senator”, “The Governor”, “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel” and “Lionheart”.
Her death was announced by her colleague and friend, Joseph Okechukwu, who shared a photo of her on his Twitter account and expressed his shock and sadness. He said he was about to pay for her flight ticket to come to America to finish a project they had started together.
He wrote: “REST IN PEACE, Nwanyi oma. I’m shattered beyond words. The fact that I was about to pay for your flight ticket to come and finish what we started only to hear you went to be with Lord just last night is one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to deal with in recent times. I pray I’m able to recover from the shock. Life is really just a mist. One minute you have it, the next you don’t. For the more than 20 years that I’ve known you, you’ve been such an amazing, decent and lovely soul to be around. Words fail me. Sleep on, Cynthia. May your gentle soul rest on till we meet again in glory.”
Okereke was kidnapped in Enugu last year along with another actor, Clemson Cornel, but they were released unhurt by their captors after a few days. She is survived by her husband and four children.
Her fans and colleagues have taken to social media to mourn her demise and pay tribute to her legacy. She will be greatly missed by many who loved and admired her work.