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Efo Gozah

TRIBUTE: Ada Ameh: Barrack girl who became Nollywood sweetheart

Fri, 22 Jul 2022 Source: EFO GOZAH

The Nigerian moviedom was thrown into mourning on Monday following the announcement of the demise of famous actress Ada Ameh.




Ms Ameh, star of films like “Blood Money”, “One Good Turn”, and “Phone Swap”, died on Sunday night at age 48, according to a statement from her family.

She was one of Nollywood’s most versatile and feted actresses, starring in many films.

Since her passing, which was said to have occurred on Sunday night in Delta State, fans of Ms Ameh have been filled with grief.

The film star died at a hospital in Warri, Delta state.

She died a few weeks after she announced that she was battling mental health issues.

As an actress, the late Ameh, who showed no signs of physical illness, still had a lot of grounds to cover.

Her long career was marked by several memorable roles across decades and genres.

Chief among them was the mother of mischievous movie brothers Aki and Pawpaw, played by Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme.

She also played Titi in the acclaimed movie ‘Oloture’.

Her colleagues remember her not only for her artistic gifts but also for her character.

Veteran actor Fred Amata described her demise as devastating.

“I am yet to absorb the news of her death, a devastating one, but true talent never dies; she lives on because her legacies live on,” Mr Amata said

Life and times

While the late actress was loved by many, her life was rife with intrigues.

A native of Idoma in Benue State, Nigeria, she was born and raised in Ajegunle in Lagos State.

She grew up in the Nigeria Navy Barracks, Apapa in Lagos, where she spent most of her childhood and some of her adult life.

She received her primary and secondary school education in Lagos State.



She was born into a family of ten, most of whom are now deceased.

Her father, now late, was a naval officer.

Teenage pregnancy

Ms Ameh became a teenage mother, causing her to quit school at 14.

According to information, she was impregnated by a naval officer in the barracks where she grew up.

She later stated that, despite the initial setbacks, the incident was a blessing.

As trying as the period was, she once said in an interview that her family members and siblings were very encouraging.

Despite initially sending her out of the house, her father later accepted her and encouraged her through that period of her life.

Acting

The late actress found her way into Nollywood in 1996 through the cerebral producer Zeb Ejiro, who gave her her first acting role in the iconic movie ‘Domitila’.

According to Ms Ameh, she didn’t set out for a life in the arts but chanced upon it when she met Zeb Ejiro, and he saw the potential in her.

She once said in an interview, “we are here today because somebody like Zeb Ejiro discovered me from where I was born and raised in Ajegunle, Lagos. He allowed me to shoot my first movie, ‘Domitila’.”

She acted in many movies and TV series, including the Guinness award-winning ‘30 Days in Atlanta’.



Some of the other rave-making films she starred in include ‘Aki na Ukwa’, ‘Phone Swap’, ‘Blood Money, ‘Òlòtūré’, ‘Ghana Must Go’, ‘My Village People’, ‘Gone’ as well as ‘The sessions’.

She also starred in the acclaimed TV series ‘The Johnsons' until her untimely death.

Businesswoman and philanthropist

Despite being a successful actress, the late Ms Ameh channeled her energy into her business.

Although she didn’t talk much about it, the deceased actress was into buying and selling, contracts and interior designs.

She also threw her weight behind programmes that had to do with the girl child, especially those battling early child pregnancy and prostitution.

Bereavement, depression

By her admission, she had a long-drawn battle with depression, triggered even more when she lost her only daughter two years ago.

In a recent interview with TVC, which perhaps was her very last, she revealed that she had depression for some years following the loss of six siblings.

The late Ameh said it worsened significantly when she lost her daughter in 2020.

“We practically grew up together. I was 14 when I had her, so she was more like my younger sister and friend. She was my best friend. And I just saw my world crumble before me.

“I had lost three of my sisters before that time, and each had like three children. I had lost three of my brothers and my father.

“After burying all these people…I thought I was going to be the next. But when my daughter died, my world crumbled before me. I could cry for days. I’ve been in and out of the hospital,” she said.

Tributes

Without a doubt, the late Ms Ameh endeared herself to her numerous fans, industry colleagues and followers on social media.

Going by the tribute pouring in, the deceased not only lived true to herself but led a fulfilled life.

On its Twitter handle, Netflix Nigeria described the late actress as a thorough professional.

“Ada Ameh was a thorough professional who devoted her years to entertaining us. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues at this time. May she rest in power,” it wrote.

Her industry colleague, Nancy Isime, says that she is weighed with heaviness.

“My heart is so heavy; I don’t even know what to say. One of the people I look up to in the film industry. Rip aunty Ada Ameh. I’ll miss you so much,” she wrote.

For popular OAP, Do2dtun, Ms Ameh’s death is a painful experience, especially given that she is one of his favourite cast members on ‘The Johnsons’.

He, too, wrote, “Ada Ameh’s death is so painful. One of My favs is on ‘The Johnsons’, especially when she says “a lucky lo lo” “Apr”. She just lost a child, and now.. May God put us through our tough times. This one is harrowing.”

Even a fan of the late actress named Chigbu Joshua penned a tribute to her. Literally! Chigbu’s pen drawing has elicited comments from fans of the late actress.

Members of The Johnsons cast and crew have also paid tributes to her.

Actor Charles Inojie, who played Mr Johnson and Emu’s husband in the family drama, shared a picture of the actress on his Instagram page.

He wrote, “It has taken a while to authenticate this sad news before going public under advisement from Ada’s manager who was on his way to Warri to secure physical confirmation of the horrible information that hit us all this morning.

“He has just called in from Warri, and sadly he has confirmed our worst fears. Our beloved Emuakpor Johnson is no more!

“It is with deep sense of loss, total submission to the will of God, that Native Media Tv, cast and crew of @theofficialthejohnsons painfully announce the passing of our dear sister, friend, colleague and Matriarch of The Johnsons clan Ada Obande Ameh (aka Emuakpor Johnson)”.

Sourced from: Premium Times, Nigeria.

Source: EFO GOZAH