By Mateen Badru
Veterans Nollywood actors on Friday mourned the death of veteran filmmaker, Chico Ejiro, saying that the movie producer would be missed by the industry.
Ejiro died on early on Christmas Day, throwing the industry into mourning.
Speaking on the passing of Ejiro, the President of the Directors’ Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Fred Amata, said the departed producer would be missed greatly by Nigerians, Nollywood, DGN and his immediate family.
“Yes, it’s been confirmed, the worst has happened. Chico Ejiro is dead. He has passed on. It is a very sad day for Nigerians, Nollywood, DGN and his family.
“You know the Ejiros and the Amatas are like family, so we are really pained but to the Glory of God. Chico Ejiro has lived a life and has impacted on the development of the industry.
“Many pioneers of great influence have passed through Nollywood but not many of those that pioneered Nollywood can be said to have influenced the development as much as Chico Ejiro.
“In creating jobs for directors, actors, scriptwriters, marketers, Chico Ejiro has achieved all this.
“In fact, his office has become a Mecca as everyone troops to his office to do their businesses and his office is always open to all.
“Chico’s office became a centre of the entire industry in Lagos and from his office, he reached out to Jos, South- East and North. Chico touched everyone so it is a painful loss.”
Amata noted that the DGN would be doing more than lip service as some provisions of the Guild’s Constitution had already covered Chico.
“Although he just died but there are certain provisions of the constitution which already covered him.
“We will also come up with a proper celebration of his life. He died quite young but his influence is huge,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Amata as saying.
Also, Don Pedro Okojie, the Chief Executive Officer of Don Pedro Media, an entertainment promotion outfit, expressed his sadness over the demise of the veteran filmmaker.
Okojie said that the passing of Ejiro had made his Christmas celebration a sad one.
“I can never have a good Christmas. This is not the best of Christmas. This is not the time and this is not the person that should be leaving us now.
“You cannot be the foundation of building and after erecting all the pillars that can take it to the highest top and not be there to see it thrive.
“Chico Ejiro stood the test of time at the time Nollywood was at zero level, when you couldn’t call people producers or directors, a time when it took the perception of pure intelligence to put together a story.
“At a time when we don’t have good writers, producers or directors but rare people like this to come out from the blues to build what a lot of us are benefitting from today.
“It is a wonderful 2020 but it has become the worst for taking such a pure soul.
“I am not believing that Chico is gone because I don’t understand why. I am not saying death should not happen to anyone but this is a man that is full of life.
“He has so many productions still in the pipeline. So many stories to tell So many directions he wanted to make and then this.
“I don’t know what to say to the Ejiro family, one great family of the film industry that has gifted us so much. I don’t know how else to describe their contributions to the movie industry.
“I am yet to believe that Chico Ejiro is really not with us but because of our faith in Christ, we believe that nobody really dies in Christ and there is still life after death in Christ.” he said.
Similarly, veteran film director, Lancelot Imasuen also said he was devastated when he got the news, adding that Chico Ejiro would be sorely missed by the movie industry.
“I just got the news of his death and I am devastated. This is to say the least as my frustration for this country has gotten to the highest of all time.
“Oh my God, this is an unbelievable news. I really can’t express this. How can there be an emergency situation and there is no adequate response.
“This is beyond expression. Chico Ejiro will be greatly missed by the movie industry.”
Nicknamed Mr Prolific, Ejiro was popular for his blockbuster movies in the 90s, some of which are Scores to Settle, Outkast, Silent Night, Blood Money, Deadly Affair, among others. (NAN)