Omo-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, ace actresses, Joke Silva and Funke Akindele yesterday mourned the death of veteran Nollywood actress, Rachel Oniga.
Oniga’s son, Olatunji, confirmed the death of the actress yesterday, saying his mother died Friday night around 10:00 p.m.
“She passed last night around 10pm. She had malaria and typhoid,” Olatunji said.
A popular screen queen, Oniga featured in scores of Nollywood movies —both English and Yoruba— before her demise. Okowa commiserated with the Oniga family, Urhobo nation and Nollywood over the passing of veteran actress.
The renowned movie star hails from Eku in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta.
In a statement in Asaba yesterday by Mr Olisa Ifeajika, his Chief Press Secretary, Okowa expressed bewilderment at the passing of Oniga, saying she was a consummate actress whose demise was a huge loss to Delta and Nigeria.
He noted that the deceased contributed immensely to the “revolution” in the movie industry in the country, saying that she was a great name in Nollywood, which she contributed hugely in birthing and nurturing.
The governor said “on behalf of the government and people of Delta, I offer my deepest condolences to Oniga family and friends, including Nollywood community where the late veteran movie actress featured prominently as a matriach.
“The late Rachael Oniga was one of the country’s iconic movie actresses and was reputed to have featured in over 50 films during her career. She was indeed, a household name and a pride of our State. She will be greatly missed by movie lovers and Deltans.
“It is my belief that the late Rachael Oniga will be long remembered and honoured for her good interpretat
ion of movie roles and for the formation and growth of Nollywood.”
Okowa prayed that God would grant eternal rest to the soul of the departed Oniga and comfort her family and all who mourn her.
On her part, Silva shared Oniga’s picture on her Instagram page with the caption, “Sista… Incredible committed colleague. You have to come correct when playing opposite ‘Rahel’. Rachel Oniga, not much talk but all work. RIP girl. 64 is a bit early. You have completely blindsided me.”
Akindele on her Instagram page wrote, “Hmmm Aunty Rachel. Thank you for being so good to me. God knows best. Rest in peace ma! May the Lord grant your family comfort.”
Comedienne and actress, Princess, wrote “Such a rude shock to hear about Aunty Rachel’s passing. She was so down to Earth and funny. May her gentle soul rest in peace. May God comfort her family in these dark times.”
Actress, Uche Ogbodo, wrote, “Rest in peace mama @racheloniga. May God accept your soul in heaven.
Another actress, Toyin Abraham, wrote, “Iya Yetunde Alakada @racheloniga. Odigba ma’am. RIP ma’am. God, we will continue to praise your Holy name because we can’t question you but eleyin dun mi ganni o (this is so painful to me).”
Sharing a video of how Oniga celebrated her birthday two months ago, Belinda Effah wrote, “This is how I choose to remember you. How you celebrated your birthday May 23rd. RIP.”
Oniga started her acting career in 1993 after working briefly at Ascoline Nigeria Limited, a Dutch consultant company.
She made her Nollywood debut in ‘Onome’ and started pulling the strings after starring in ‘Owo Blow’, her first Yoruba movie.
Oniga went on to establish herself as a household name in the Nigerian movie industry, featuring in several hit movies including ‘Sango’.
She also gained prominence for her role in ‘Super Story’, a popular TV series by Wale Adenuga.
Her colleagues and other Nigerians have taken to social media to pen tributes to her as the news of her demise continues to spread.
Joining the fray, Bimbo Oshin, Nigerian actress, said she was left “speechless” by her death.
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