Six days, four deaths; these are arguably not the best of times for the Nigerian creative industry following the demise of some of the biggest names in the sector in less than a week.

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It all started on Monday. As it’s the case with deaths, no one saw the passing away of Yusuf Grillo, the legendary Nigerian visual artist, coming.

Grillo, famous for his stained glass paintings, died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 80 in the early hours of August 23.

Ifeanyi Dike dead
Ifeanyi Dike

His death had elicited multiple reactions as people took to social media to pay tributes to the artist who is considered one of Nigeria’s outstanding and academically trained painters.

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But barely four days after Grillo’s death, Victor Olaotan, the lead actor of ‘Tinsel’, the popular Nigerian soap opera, also passed away.

The veteran Nollywood personality breathed his last on Thursday, August 26, after a prolonged illness caused by a ghastly road accident in 2016.

In 2018, Olaotan had sought financial aid for medical treatment outside Nigeria to avert the amputation of his legs.

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Olaotan’s death had also come as a shock to many movie lovers who witnessed his heroics on the screen during his heydays.

However, the dust over the news of the ‘Tinsel’ actor’s demise had yet to fully settled when that of Prince Ifeanyi Dike, another movie star, surfaced.

The film star, who was the board of trustees (BoT) chairman for the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), died on Friday.

Victor Olaotan, 'Tinsel' actor, is dead
Victor Olaotan

His death had come on the same day when Rachel Oniga, the Nollywood actress who passed away in July, was buried.

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Again, Dike’s death sparked reactions with colleagues and movie lovers penning tributes to celebrate his illustrious career as an actor.

Abubakar Yakubu, national secretary of the AGN, had described Dike’s death as “devastating”, citing the circumstances surrounding it.

“You can imagine how these things happen! Today, we buried Rachel Oniga. Victor died too. Just as we’re trying to get over that, Ifeanyi Dike followed. It’s a very devastating moment for all of us. We’ve been crying since,” he had told TheCable Lifestyle.

“We’re in a very bad mood. He’s our BoT chairman and an entirely good colleague of ours. It’s sad, really. It’s sad.”

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A few hours after, the country’s creative industry was again struck by the news of the death of Victor Uwaifo, the veteran Nigerian highlife.

Uwaifo, better known as ‘Guitar Boy’, breathed his last on Saturday after reportedly battling a yet-to-be-identified illness.

Victor Uwaifo: Why I want govt to take over my museum
Victor Uwaifo

Just like the other entertainers, his death sent social media into a frenzy as his colleagues and music lovers celebrated his legacies in the country’s music landscape.

Until his demise, Nwaifo was also a writer, sculptor, and instrumentalist.

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He won numerous awards and recognition including the National Merit Honours of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) in 1983.

For years to come, the outgoing week would be remembered as one the Nigerian creative industry lost for big names to the cold hands of death.



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