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Thursday, February 29, 2024

SAINT OBI WAS A VICTIM OF BAD MARRIAGE-THE MARRIAGE AND DEATH of SAINT OBI By Zik Zulu Okafor

His social life was blunted. Perhaps by his reticent disposition.His persona, two dimensional. To a distant public, he was upscale and cool. His manly bearing spoke loud. His onscreen image ironically amplified some idiosyncrasies; heroics, romantic adventures and traits that did not gel with the mortal privacy that eerily define his quiet and lonely life. Saint Obi, real name, Obinna Nwafor, was shy, almost bordering on timidity and insecurity. He cherished the pleasantly tranquil interactions among a few friends. He would vanish at any outburst that could upset the poise of such small meetings. As he repeatedly told me, he just wanted to live a cool, quiet and fulfilled life. But, has he lived this cool and fulfilled life he envisioned? I have my doubts.

I tell Saint’s story here with painful tears in my eyes; because he was a star, a superstar whose life turned out a gleam of irony. Yet, it was this stardom that fetched him his much-professed financially strong and powerful wife. And their wedding, that solemn ritual of love would drastically alter the cause of his life and tragically yank him off the creative community that threw him up for the wife to capture and indeed conquer. Their marriage was at best a dramatization of love. It was quick. He barely told us that he found a wife. Then, the marriage happened. It was something of a mystique, only those involved understood the histrionics that played out. None of us who were his closest pals, who walked with him through the crucible to the crest of his career in Nollywood, none of us was invited. The distance between us and the guy I admirably called Saint of the Storm had begun. This gulf would widen with each year. We saw him perhaps once a year after this marriage. And life actually seemed to have given him a fair shake of the dice. He dressed well, drove big cars and even his skin, in literal lingo, spelt wellness. 

The Saint would be blessed with three beautiful children. But not on one occasion were his friends in Nollywood invited for a christening or birthday. We were told that his wife was in the topmost hierarchy in the telecom giant, MTN. But even if their celebrations were designed to be a rendezvous of the elites of the technocracies that his wife chiefly belonged to, you expected that Saint would reach out to a few of his fellow creatives, for even if they would herald his small beginnings, there could be no tinge of shame to it because we all have our journeys and our stories. And even at that, the actor or cineaste in Nollywood is by no means poor. But more tragic is the fact that his marriage did not only take away Obinna from his friends, but it also took him away from Nollywood. Saint stopped acting and absconded from his career and perhaps his calling. It would seem prognostic now. Yes, because I recall leaving my house in Lagos Mainland for his massive office in Lekki, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was about six years ago. There, I demanded to know why my friend abandoned our industry. He told me with his usual shy expressions that he wanted to focus on some other businesses and also to work behind the camera. 

Because his visage was unconvincing to me, I told him in stark terms, that whatever his new vision and pursuits, he must not abandon the trade that made him who he was. It took another three years for Saint to return to his homies. But when he did, some of the deeply disappointed ones sniggered behind him. This was because the simmering rumours of cracks in his marriage had hit home. And though secretive in his ways, he knew it was time to open up. And he did.” I do not know why my wife’s siblings see me as a gold digger. They confront me, harass and fight me in my own matrimony. And my wife did nothing to stop them. I work hard, I earn my money. I have never depended on my wife”, he lamented, eyes blurred with tears. You could tell he was in deep pain. By the next visit, the Saint returned with a deep cut from a knife on his left eye. His wife’s brothers, he said, scaled the wall fence of their house to attack him. They were captured by hidden closed-circuit television, CCTV, installed for surveillance and security, he revealed. He reported them at the police station and subsequently acquired a gun to defend himself. This effectively marked the beginning of the end of his marriage and perhaps Saint Obi’s long walk to a sad end. He moved out of his marital home to a new house to begin the reconstruction of his destiny, alone without his wife and worse still without his three beautiful children. 

Meanwhile, his wife went to the police to defend her siblings using her financial power to manipulate the cause of justice, Saint stated unequivocally. The wife also sued for divorce, not in Lagos, but in Ogun state. As Saint put it, “It was to make the journey difficult for me. But I will not bend neither will I break. I will fight with my last blood to take custody of my children. They love me and they know it will be hard for me to live without them. The divorce is not an issue. My marriage has long been over”, he said with a mix of courage and a quaky heart that betrayed his distress. About mid-last year, however, Obinna took ill. But he told no one. He simply became scarce. He was in and out of the hospital, we would later learn. He sold two of his three big SUVs to take proper care of his health and to acquire six Camry cars he’d use for Uber. But his vanishing health continued unabated. He seemed to have a premonition of his own passing as he wept repeatedly about not seeing his children. 

He emaciated. Life took a grim picture. When I saw him by chance in January 2023, the dude called Saint looked 15 years older than his age. His macho cut had shrunk. His fat wallet was gone. What was left was only his fat will. His eyes seemed lost in their socket. This would be the last time I would see him. Saint snuck out of Lagos to hang in with his sister in Jos. He told no one. But a month ago, in April precisely, the once delightful actor who brought joy to many a home broke his icy silence. He called our mutual friend in the US to give him a devastating message. He was on a deathbed, he said and wanted our friend to pray for him.” It’s not looking good, pray, pray for me “, he appealed passionately. 

His next call came on May 1, 2023. This time to his mentor, the man who made him a star with his productions, Zeb Ejiro, OON. He told him with a wavering voice that he had had three surgeries but was still in hospital in Jos. He averred again that his situation was not looking good, that he is also in deep pain, distressed that he could not see his children. But still, he begged him not to tell anyone about his ailment. Such was the life of this creative hermit, a lonely trouper. I was the first to hear the news of his death late on Sunday, May 7. Having confirmed it, I called Zeb Ejiro. “I have very bad news my brother, Zeb”, I began. “What is it, what is it,”, he asked anxiously. “A big star has fallen in Nollywood “. Zeb broke down in tears. I hadn’t said who it was. But sobbing helplessly now, he said, “Don’t tell me it is Saint Obi”. Sadly, he was right. May his soul find peace.

By Zik Zulu Okafor

Meanwhile, Saint Obi’s Family Debunks Allegations Against His Wife, Says It’s ‘Malicious’. The family of the late prominent Nollywood actor, Obinna Nwafor, also known as Saint Obi, has responded to rumours surrounding the actor’s demise. In a statement written on behalf of the family, the actor’s two older sisters debunked the ‘malicious’ statement allegedly written by filmmaker Zik Zulu Okafor, following their brother’s death. The family also added that the funeral services would be made public in due course, asking that their privacy be respected as it was a sad moment for them.

The press statement was titled, “RE: DEMISE OF SAINT OBI (MR. OBINNA NWAFOR).” It read, “Our attention has been drawn to the publication by one Mr Zik Zulu Okafor concerning the death of our son, Mr Obinna Nwafor, popularly known as Saint Obi, and the accompanying negative commentary in social and other media portraying his widow in an unfair and most defamatory manner. “This is in no way, shape or form an accurate portrayal of the Lynda that we know and relate with. “The Nwafor family also views the said article by Mr Okafor as sad and most unfortunate. It was neither written in consultation with any member of the family nor authored with our consent or authority. We totally disassociate ourselves from it.

“The views and allegations contained therein are entirely the opinion of the writer. They are false, malicious and insensitive to the wife, children and entire family he left behind. “This is a mourning period for the family, and while we appreciate the condolences of friends, fans, and well-wishers, we ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this time. “The funeral rites will be communicated to the public in due course. May the soul of our dearly beloved brother, son, father and husband, rest in perfect peace. Amen.”

The statement was signed by Ugoeze Edith Chinyere Obichuku and Freda Nwachukwu, for the family.

Disclaimer: 

The opinions and views expressed in this write-up are entirely that of the Writer(s). They do not reflect the opinions and views of the Publisher (Nze Ikay’s Blog) or any of its employees. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of materials herein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the Publisher (Nze Ikay’s Blog) or its employees concerning the legal status of any country, its authority, area or territory or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers. Equally, the sketches, images, pictures and videos are obtained from the public domain

NzeIkay
NzeIkayhttps://nzeikayblog.com
Nigeria is an Enigma. The capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of her is undoubtedly God’s endowment to us, her citizens. As a citizen of this lovely nation, I’ve spent decades of my life trying to understand this, Mirage. Hope someday, this Mystery that houses about 250 million blacks will be globally understood, widely accepted, and given the opportunity to play its vital role in the world stage. So, help us God! #NigeriaDeservesBetter #AfricaDeservesBetter

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