The death of veteran Nollywood actress Rachel Oniga is still causing consternation among Nigerians. After a brief illness, Oniga died around 10 p.m. on Friday in a Lagos hospital. He was aged 64.
Despite reports that the actress died as a result of complications related to Covid-19, her elder sister, Toyin Odusote, confirmed her death and revealed the cause of her death. According to her, the Delta State-born legendary actress died of heart disease.
She was at ease in both English and Yoruba films. Oniga was fluent in English, Yoruba, and Pidgin, indicating that she was a gifted communicator.
“Contrary to various reports informing the general public that she died from Covid-19 complications, we write to inform the general public that she died from a heart-related issue: an ailment she battled for a short time before her demise,” Odusote said in a statement.
‘‘We accept her abrupt transition as God’s plan and see it as a result of a well-run race of life.” We accept it in good faith and complete submission to her creator, as painful as it may be.
‘‘Arrangements for burial will be made available as soon as possible. We appreciate everyone’s calls, messages, and condolences, and we pray for her beautiful soul’s sweet repose. Please accept this as the family’s only authentic release until we meet to come up with another.”
Olamilekan Ojora, the Public Relations Officer of the Actors’ Guild, Lagos State Chapter, debunked reports that actress Rachel Oniga died of COVID-19 complications.
What makes Oniga’s death even more shocking is that, according to Goldmynetv, who shared the news on Instagram, the veteran actress had only recently shot some scenes in a movie in Mowe, Ogun State, before her death on Friday night.
Premium Times also learned that Ojora and Oniga were scheduled to meet on the set of The Sensation Movie this morning (Saturday).
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Oniga was born in Ebute-Metta, Lagos State, on May 23, 1957. He was from Eku in the Ethiope-East Local Government Area of Delta State. After starring in the Yoruba classic “Owo Blow,” the actress, who has appeared in several notable English and Yoruba films, became a household name.
Before beginning her film career, Oniga worked as a full-time housewife and later as a computer programmer, shortly after her divorce in 1993. She went into trading after they split up.
She briefly worked for Ascoline Nigeria Limited, a Dutch consulting firm, before making her acting debut in the Nollywood classic (Memorial Hospital) in 1993 and her first Yoruba film, “Owo Blow.”
In an interview, she stated that she stopped working after getting married and having children. Her marriage was unfortunately short-lived. She went back to acting after the divorce. In that same interview, she also admitted that one of her life regrets was not fighting for her marriage.
During her 17-year career, she has appeared in films such as “Sango,” Wale Adenuga’s television series “Super Story,” “Doctor Bello,” “Out of Bound,” “30 Days in Atlanta,” “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel,” “The Wedding Party,” and most recently, “My Village People.”
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