By Sandra Birungi
Saturday night saw Nollywood pay tribute to their fallen comrade, Enebeli Elebuwa who passed away last year in India.
Elebuwa’s burial arrangements kicked off last week on Wednesday with a candle light procession and Night of Tribute, organized by the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, at the celebrity hangout, O’jez, National Stadium, Surulere. The candle light procession kicked off from Masha roundabout, in Surulere and ended at the National Stadium with various actors paying tribute to the fallen Nollywood veteran.
A wake-keep was held in his honor on Thursday at NTA Channel 10 ground, Tejuosho, Yaba and a Requiem Mass was held Friday at St Michael’s Catholic Church, while internment follows immediately at Victoria Court Cemetery, Ajah. A thanksgiving service was held at Michael’s Catholic Church, Lafiaji, Lagos. He was put to rest at the Victoria Court Cemetery, Ajah, Lagos.
Several actors and actresses had this to say about Elebuwa.
Rita Dominic, “Yet again, we have lost an icon in the industry. He will not be forgotten.”
Ininabo Fiberesima, “For those that were privileged to have met him, he impacted positively on their lives. He was fatherly and a professional in every sense of the word. He was a colossus in the industry and we know he rests in the bosom of our Lord.”
Yaw, “I have known him for sometime now. Two years ago, he wanted me to help him promote his song on radio. He asked me to listen to the song and tell him what I think about the song which I actually did and gave him my comments. He promised to go back to the studio, work on it and get back to me. That was just before he became ill. The few times I spent with him, I remember him always telling me how he had worked so much in the industry and how he had given his life to Christ, and asking me to do the same too if I haven’t done that yet.”
Halimar Abubakar, “He was not only a senior colleague but a dad to a lot of us. He was a father-figure. Someone that loves to give advice a lot. He was very funny and always made sure that everyone was comfortable. I’m sure we will miss him a lot.”
Charles Novia, “When I was with NTA, he was a mentor to me. I learnt quite a lot from him. I learnt how to do scripts up to the seventh graft. He was really a hard man to please when it came to getting the right scripts. He could tear down a script apart and tell you how it really should be. I was now privileged later, when he had left NTA, to direct him in one of my movies, ‘Heart and Soul’. He is surely going to be missed.”
Uche Jombo, “He was a great actor to work with. He was a team player, being that he not only looked out for his own interests, but he cared about the entire production. I think he was a born-director even though he chose to act more. I worked with him severally and he never failed to show his professionalism.”
Stephanie Okereke, “Uncle Enebeli was a veteran in the industry. He was loved by everyone, both young and old. I’m happy to be here in his honour. We will surely miss him.”
Monalis Chinda, “I must say that his death is such a loss to the Nollywood industry. Uncle Enebeli as we fondly called him, will be missed by the entire industry.”
Victor Osuagwu, “We are going to miss a lot of things about him; his personality and his fatherly advice mostly. He was so mebody that when you meet him, he gives you advice that will help you grow in the industry.”
Richard Mofe Damijo, “He was a very humble man. We did about three movies together. I think, over and above everything else, it was the conversations that I had with him before he died. Two days before he died, we spoke. We were planning what he would do when he gets back home. It’s so unfortunate that he is no more with us.”
Desmond Elliot, “He was a very cheerful man. He was just an awesome person. God gives, God takes. I wish the situation was a lot better or he had left when the industry was way better. We thank God for his life.”
Princess Anne Inyang, “He was a very good actor, very humourous at that too. I have fun memories of him as a young person when he did ‘Andrew wan check-out’. When he died in India, the first thing that came to my mind was, oh my God, he should have come back to ‘check out’ here. God knows our end from our beginnings, so I just want to thank God that he came in, played his part and he has finally taken a bow.”
Dejuma Lewis, “I used to always love to have a chat with him. The man had the most philosophical views about life.”
Professor Linkin, “As a kid, I remember him as Andrew from the television commercial. I eventually met Uncle Enebeli for the first time about two years ago. He was the kind of man that was always full of advice.”
Okey Bakassi, “He was an inspiration to a lot of us that came to the industry much later. I remember in my first movie, ‘Journey to Hell’, much of the time I was busy admiring him and being grateful to be working with a veteran. His work ethics was excellent.”
Mahmoud Balogun, “Enebeli Elebuwa was a man I ascribe the most utmost respect. A lot of people may not know that he gave me my first movie role. Yes, he did, and we have been friends ever since.”
Zack Orji, “I wish we were meeting here under a very different circumstance, like maybe, celebrating him for winning an award or being honoured for a cause.”
Justus Esiri, “He is a man that I have known for decades and we have worked in different capacities in that period of time. I know him to be very humble, down-to-earth and always committed to his work and family.”
Charles Okafor, “As a young man in secondary school, I was opportuned to meet him during a production I had gone to watch then. He encouraged my school mates and I then…When I grew up and got into Nollywood, we met again and I reminded him of our first meeting years back. He gave me a hug and we became very good friends ever since. I take solace in the fact that the talent that God gave him was put into perfect use.”