The news keeps spreading. So also the shock. Which has continued to reverberate. Nollywood, and indeed, Nigeria’s entertainment sector, has not rested ever since it was confirmed that one of our biggest filmmakers, Chico John Meziakpono Ejiro, is no more.
The easy going but very hardworking director with dozens of movies to his credit left to be with his creator on Christmas day – Friday, December 25, 2020.
YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine reliably gathered that the father of four had been ill, but had recovered substantially. He suffered a relapse and before help could come, he had bowed out. Never to be seen again, until the day of resurrection. This, we gathered, was around 2am. His remains are currently at the morgue of the General Hospital, Broad Street, Lagos.
As the news of his unexpected demise began to spread, many, of course, doubted. Till one of his colleagues and friends, actor and producer, Paul Obazele, confirmed it thus on his Facebook wall: ‘Am very very PAINED. AM JUST COMING FROM MORTUARY where I just rolled in my Friend….my BROTHER MR PROLIFIC….CHICO EJIRO. REST MY BROTHER REST.’
With the confirmation came torrents of tributes, which were still pouring in as at the time YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine was writing this.
The godfather of showbiz reporting, Femi Akintunde-Johnson, aka FAJ, said this about him: ‘ Whaoh…! On a day synonymous with joy…and merriment…the Nigerian creative family announces a moment of deep loss, and dismay at the fickleness of living.
Humble, self-effacing but prodigiously inventive director and visual interpreter, CHICO EJIRO has moved beyond our realm… Today…on Christmas day!
We commiserate with his wife, Joy; his older siblings, Zeb, Peter…and the entire Ejiro family.
Chico’s footsteps cannot be erased…because he worked hard within the breath of his God-given talent to bring joy, purpose and prosperity to many in Nigeria, Nollywood and across the world.
Oh, wicked death… with its poor timing …we didn’t get to say another “Merry Christmas!”
Adieu, Chico… Don’t forget to dazzle them yonder…but let your restless spirit find eternal rest. Good night.’
Another respected hand in Nollywood stories and publisher of Daylight Newspaper, Azuh Amatus, said: ‘ Bros Chico, rest in peace. No amount of tears will bring you back. Adieu Mr. Prolific.’
Mr. Madu C. Chikwendu, a former Association of Movie Producers President, added that, ‘Chico was an authentic Nollywood pioneer and hero.
Whilst he did not invent the ” kpa kpa kpa ” style which arguably made Nollywood the most efficient film industry , he popularized it .
Efficiency fuelled by speed was primary for the man tabloids dubbed ” Mr.Prolific “.
Having cut his teeth in television like most Nollywood pioneers he launched his movie career with Deadly Affair a partnership with Opa Williams.
Chico’s Grandtouch Pictures was Nollywood in it’s boom years .
We shall all miss ” Chikoski ” whom i communicated with on December 4 , 2020 ..just a few hours before presenting a Keynote at ZUMA Film Festival Abuja .
But the man likely to miss him more is Actor Segun Arinze .At ZUMA we had discussed Segun’s reprise of his Black Arrow character in the planned remake of Chico’s seminal movie Silent Night .Sad.
Chico Ejiro’s night is now silent …forever.’
Top actor, Bob Manuel Udokwu, on his parted, said this: ‘Resting in my country home after attending a wonderful Christmas church service, I didn’t even know that a giant of the Nigerian film industry had fallen till a journalist from a popular newspaper called to know my reaction to Chico’s sudden passage! Shock! Shock!! I’m still in shock!!!
Could it be that the Legendary movie director was making attempt to break into acting big time? Alas this is no longer the make-believe we would’ve loved it to be, for sadly, it’s been confirmed that our friend and colleague Chico Ejiro has transited into eternity!
He was a phenomenon. He left indelible mark in the sands of time and therefore will never be forgotten in a hurry.
Good night Chico Ejiro. Godspeed. May The Lord’s light shine upon you forever!!!
Rest In Peace. 🙏🏽😕’
Popular Yoruba actor, Mr. Latin lamented: ‘This is so saaaaaaaaaad. May God grant all of us the fortitude to bear this great loss.’
Actress cum producer, Blessing Ebigieson said: ‘This is a very sad Christmas for us in Nollywood…I’m still in shock…One of Nollywood’s finest filmmakers, Mr. Chico Ejiro…May his soul rest in peace.’
Content creator, provider and producer, Sola Fajobi, summed today up as a ‘sad day’. Indeed, a sad day it is.