20 Nollywood actors and actresses who died in 2021 (2022)

By Eugene Onyeji

Nollywood industry in Nigeria is left with bitter tales in 2021, leaving them with memories they can never forget in a hurry as the year comes to an end. It has been a year of weeping and wailing as veteran actors and actresses, as well as upcoming ones passed on almost every month of the year.

On the list are:

1. Folake Aremu (Orisabunmi)

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Veteran Yoruba actress, Mrs. Folake Aremu popularly called Orisabunmi, died on January 5, 2021.

Her death, which threw the theatre industry into sadness, was confirmed by a family source.

The veteran actress, who hailed from Olla in Kwara State, died at 60 in her residence in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Her death came four months after the demise of her ex-husband, Jimoh Aliu popularly called Aworo under whose tutelage she rose to prominence in the film industry.

2. Jim Lawson Maduike

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Veteran actor, Jim Lawson Maduike was a famous Nollywood actor, radio broadcaster, writer, voice-over artist, filmmaker and a television personality. He joined the film industry in 2004 where he starred in several films.
The Imo-born thespian died on the 9th of January, 2021 after complaining of severe body pains, he died at the age of 63.

3. David Mela

David Mela was a fast-rising actor. He died from an undisclosed ailment on January 11, 2021.

The young actor was said to be passing through a hard time in his life as revealed by a post before his untimely death.

4. Dan Nkoloagu

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Veteran actor Dan Nkoloagu died on January 22, 2021.

His son, Dan Nkoloagu Jnr, announced his death on his Facebook page.

He wrote: “IT WAS A BLACK FRIDAY FOR US YESTERDAY as my Dad left us without saying goodbye.”
Nkoloagu, who died at 83, was popular for playing the role of a native doctor in many Igbo movies.

5. Ernest Asuzu


Ernest Asuzu was a known Nigerian veteran actor, he was born on the 7th of May 1984, and died on the 26th of January, 2021.
The actor came down with a stroke in 2015 which affected his speech. He was also bedridden for three years. This affected his acting career and he was off the screen for many years.

His partner, Jennifer Asuzu confirmed the sad incident and according to her, he slumped on Tuesday evening and never woke up. Ernest Asuzu died at the age of 37.

6. Victor Decker

Veteran actor, Victor Decker, was found dead in his apartment on Monday February 15, 2021, by his neighbours at about 5 pm.

TheNiche gathered Decker’s neighbours broke down the door to his apartment before they found his lifeless decomposed body in his sitting room.

He died at the age of 72 but the cause remains unknown. Mayor of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Abuja, Jesse Nazareth, also confirmed the incident.

7. Sadiq Daba

Sadiq Abubakar Daba, known simply as Sadiq Daba was a Nigerian actor and broadcaster. In 2015, he won Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as “Inspector Waziri”

The veteran broadcaster died on Wednesday March 3, 2021 at the Ayinke General hospital in Ikeja, after he battled with leukemia and prostate cancer.

Confirming his death, popular filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, said he spoke with his wife and son who confirmed his passage to him.

8. Bruno Iwuoha

Veteran actor, Bruno Iwuoha, was a Nigerian multiple award-winning Nollywood actor. He died on the 10th of April, 2021 after a prolonged battle with diabetes. The veteran actor and the father of six children died at the age of 68.

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Bruno Iwuoha hails from Ehime Mbano Local Government Area in Umunumo Umuanunu kindred, Imo state.

9. Abiodun Aleja

Nollywood actor Abiodun Aleja died on Friday, May 21, 2021.

Aleja took ill and was admitted at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) where he breathed his last.

Aleja was a contributor to several Nollywood flicks and a collaborator with Kunle Afolayan and Tunde Kelani.

10. Sound Sultan

Popular musician, Olanrewaju Abdul-Ganiu Fasas aka Sound Sultan was a Nigerian rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, comedian, and recording artist. He was regarded as one of the pacesetters of modern hip hop music in Nigeria. He was notable for using his music to speak against poverty, corruption, bad governance and societal ills in Nigeria.
The multi-talented musician and actor was born on November 27, 1976 in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.

Sound Sultan died on Sunday July 11, 2021 after he lost his battle to cancer of the throat at age 44.

His elder brother, Dare Fasasi aka Baba Dee, confirmed the sad incident on his Instagram page.

He wrote “To Allah we belong and to him we shall return”.

11. Rachel Oniga

The ‘Owo Blow’ actress, whose acting career began in 1993, died at about 10 pm, according to family sources. Rachel Oniga was a well-known Nigerian Nollywood actress. The star actress was born on the 23rd of May 1957 and has starred in over 100 movies before her death. Rachel died from Coronary heart on the 30th of July 2021, at the age of 64.

Oniga, a native of Eku, Delta State, was born in Ebutte-Metta, Lagos on May 23, 1957. After she was made popular by her role in a Yoruba family drama, Owo Blow, she also featured in other films and drama series like The Wedding Party, 30 Days in Atlanta, Doctor Bello and the popular Wale Adenuga’s television series, Super Story, to mention a few.

12. Rich Oganiru

The actor died on 11 August after months of illness. Before his death, a video of the actor went viral where he was lying on his sickbed seeking financial assistance from well-meaning Nigerians. The illness led to his death.

Oganiru had featured in over 300 movies. Some of them are Queen of Hasso Rock, Wasted Effort, Pay Day, Lacrima, Stoneface in Love, Givers Never Lack, His Majesty, Yellow Fe Rich Odichinma Azu ver, My Destiny, Battle Of The Rich, Political Control, among others.

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13. Stanley Okoro

Another Nollywood actor, Stanley Okoro died on 12 August. He reportedly died of suspected case of food poisoning.

Okoro, an actor who normally played comedian roles in movies, had been a fast rising star.

The actor’s death came a day in which another Nollywood actor, Rich Oganiru, died weeks after reports of his ill health surfaced online.

14. Prince Ifeanyi Dike

A veteran Nollywood actor, Ifeanyi Dike died on 27 August after battling a kidney-related ailment gotten years ago.

Dike died after being hospitalised for weeks, Emeka Rising, Chairman of the Actors Guild Association (AGN).

15. Victor Olaotan

The veteran actor, best known for his role in the Nigerian TV series ‘Tinsel,’ died on 27 August. He was 69-year-old.

The actor became incapacitated for five years following a car accident he was involved in, along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

The actor was reportedly driving to a film set in 2016 when the accident happened.

In 2018, the actor requested financial aid to facilitate his treatments outside the country, after two years of being incapacitated. Shortly after, Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola, agreed to settle his bill of about N39m.

An accomplished stage and screen actor, Olaotan warmed his way into the consciousness of television viewers, playing the character of Fred Ade Williams on the Mnet flagship soap “Tinsel”.

An actor of vast credit, Olaotan has featured in films such as “Three Wise Men”, alongside Richard Mofe-Damijo and Zack Orji, “Love struck,” and “Lotanna”

16. Joshua Johnson

The veteran actor died on 28 October after battling an undisclosed illness.

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Until his death Johnson was one of the popular faces in the movie industry with a career spanning over two decades.

In his last days, Johnson became a regular in most of the TV drama series created by Africa Magic.

17. Baba Suwe

Alhaji King Babatunde Omidina, better known by his stage name as Baba Suwe. He was a known Nigerian actor and comedian. He was born on the 22nd of August, 1958, and died on the 22nd of November, 2021.

His son Adesola Omidina disclosed the death of his father on his Instagram page. Baba Suwe died at the age of 63.

18. Ngozi Chiemeke

Rising Nollywood actress, Ngozi Chiemeke was shot dead at Ika North Local Government Area of Delta State by gunmen on 8 December.

The young Nollywood actress was said to have gone to use POS shop on Deeper Life Road, in Boji-Boji area of Agbor when some armed men invaded the place and shot her on Tuesday, 7th December, 2021.

19. Karibi Fubara

Nollywood actor, Karibi Fubara was a Nigerian ace movie star. He died on December 12, 2021.

Karibi was married to a popular Nollywood stylist and costumier, Yolanda Okereke, in December 2018 and was famous for his outstanding roles in ‘Smart Money Woman’ (2021) and ‘God Calling’ (2018).


In 2020, the talented actor revealed how he found out he had a large mid-stage kidney tumor/cancer.
The actor’s sister, Stella, confirmed the news via her Instagram page.

Sharing a picture of her late brother, she wrote, “He was a warrior. Now he’s an angel in heaven. Rest on, my darling brother Karibi. We will only remember the good times.

20. Sam Obiagu

Sam Obiagu was a popular Nigerian actor, movie producer, and TV personality who has featured in over 100 Nollywood movies. He started acting in 2013 and managed to rise to be one of the most sought actors in Nigeria. Sam Obiago often plays the role of Kings, fatherly roles in movies.

Read Also: Nollywood actor, Sam Obiagu passes on

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Daddy Sam was confirmed dead on Wednesday being the 22nd of December, 2021, by the president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Emeka Rollas. He died just 2-3 days before Christmas.

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