Zik Zulu, the Nigerian filmmaker, has alleged that Saint Obi‘s marital crisis led to his death.
Obi was rumoured to have died on May 7 — although his family is yet to release a statement to that effect.
But on Tuesday, Georgina Onuoha, the actress, shared a tribute by Zulu, where he gave his thoughts on the circumstances surrounding the actor’s death.
In the tribute — which Zulu confirmed to TheCable Lifestyle was written by him — the filmmaker claimed Obi’s marriage to Lynda Saint-Nwafor kept him away from his friends and Nollywood.
He also alleged that the actor faced a wave of attacks in his marriage by his wife’s brothers, which resulted in him leaving their marital home.
“It was this stardom that fetched him his much professed financially strong and powerful wife,” he said.
“Their marriage was quick. He barely told us that he found a wife.
“Saint would be blessed with three beautiful children. But not on one occasion were his friends in Nollywood invited for christening or birthday.
“But more tragic is the fact that his marriage did not only take Obinna away from his friends, it took him away from Nollywood.
“By the next visit, the Saint returned with a deep cut from a knife on his left eye. His wife’s brothers scaled the wall fence of their house to attack him.
“He moved out of his marital home to begin the reconstruction of his destiny, alone without his wife and children.”
The filmmaker claimed Obi battled health issues and sold his vehicles to cover medical expenses.
He alleged the deceased contacted friends from his deathbed, and revealed he had undergone surgeries.
Zulu added that he was the first to hear the news about Obi’s death and then informed Zeb Ejiro, the ace filmmaker.
“Mid last year, Obinna took ill. But he told no one. He was in and out of hospital, he sold two of his three big SUVs to take proper care of his health and to acquire six camry cars he’d use for Uber,” he said.
“In April, he called our mutual friend in the US to give him a devastating message. He was on a deathbed and wanted our friend to pray for him.
“His next call came on May 1, 2023. This time to his mentor, Zeb Ejiro. He told him that he had had three surgeries.
“I was the first to hear the news of his death late on Sunday, May 7. Having confirmed it, I called Zeb Ejiro. Zeb broke down in tears. May his soul find peace.”
Charles Novia, another filmmaker, also took to his Facebook page to address Zulu’s tribute to Obi.
“Saint Obi… I heard the news of his death since Wednesday afternoon last week, when a colleague called me to tell me that it was still being hushed because the family was yet to officially confirm,” he wrote.
“I will not write a tribute until that official statement from his family is released. However, I have read a few tributes and one of such which is making rounds is the touching and nerve-jarring piece written by respected veteran filmmaker, Zik Zulu Okafor.
“In an exclusive and premium WhatsApp group of top filmmakers and important sundry creatives named ‘Filmic’ where I am an Admin, Zik’s piece was posted last night.”
He, however, pointed out “some of Obi’s mistakes” and “holes in this report though for any inquisitive mind.”
“Why would the wife’s brothers sneak into the compound to harm Saint? What did he do? What led to the breakdown of the marriage? Why would the woman refuse him access to his children? So many questions,” he wrote.
“I think there were basic mistakes Saint made in all of this. One of such mistakes is the tragic flaw of this whole story; his propensity for reticence and keeping it too private. How could he marry and not have friends in his circle to invite, either deliberately or whatever? How could he have naming ceremonies and freeze out his core circle of people in the industry who really knew him? How could he cut off everyone after marriage in a seemingly aloof way and isolate his life from anyone until the cracks began to show?
“Man is not made to be isolationist. Man, especially an African man, is spiritually and ancestrally communal. If man enters a realm of wilful isolation, he invites a hollowness in his life which will never go away.
“This whole thing is sad and painful. I have been pondering about it for the past three days and the only conclusion for me is part of the Aristotlelean laws of drama; the tragic hero. The tragic hero in the Greek Tragedy usually causes the tragedy which falls upon his or her life through an action which seems inconsequential at first but would later have nasty consequences. Aristotle believed every man, every human, has a tragic flaw. It’s that tragic flaw which is the weakness which the gods or the unseen use in directing the affairs of man.
“The tragic flaw in this for me, in my own conclusion, was his deliberate isolationism from his circle. That was where the end of this story began years ago.”
Similarly, Daddy Freeze, the media personality, went live on social media, to discuss Zulu’s takes on Obi’s demise.
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