Popular screenwriter, director and producer, Chico Ejiro, passed away on Christmas Day, bringing the Nigerian entertainment industry into mourning.
It is said that he died suddenly around 2 a.m. Ejiro, who was popular for films such as’ Silent Night ‘,’ True Romance ‘,’ Blood Money ‘and’ Night Bus to Lagos, was said to be recovering from an illness and had just finished filming a movie.
Meanwhile, his peers, friends and fans have continued to pay tribute to the prolific filmmaker.
In an interview with Saturday Beats, popular actor Kanayo O Kanayo stated that Ejiro ‘led the pack in Nigerian film production’. He said, “He was an asset to the filmmaking community and remained relevant to the industry until his very last moment. In fact, I saw the photo that he is said to have posted (on social media) two days before his death. That means it was still active.
“We have lost a teammate and a team player. The industry will undoubtedly miss him greatly. “
Actor Mike Ezuronye also argued that the history of Nollywood would be incomplete without including the late Chico Ejiro. He said, “It is shocking. You cannot write the history of Nollywood without putting the name of Chico Ejiro in it. He was a visionary and icon who also made many icons. He was a pioneer and we will miss him. His name would definitely be written in good Nollywood books. He was one of those that brought Nollywood to the fore. Chico Ejiro has left ”.
For his part, veteran actor Bob-Manuel Udokwu described Ejiro as an Iroko (large hardwood) tree in Nollywood. He told Saturday Beats, “I am totally shocked. Besides being a colleague, Chico was also a friend. I had worked with him in the past. This is a great loss. Chico was not the type to be in a boring place. He was a quiet person, but when he was with his friends, it was all about fun and laughter. There really is a lot to say about Chico. He was a nice person. You couldn’t be near him and not be happy. He was a nice guy to be with. His contributions to Nollywood were enormous. It wasn’t me who named him ‘Mr. Prolific’. It was like an ‘iroko’ tree. It was tiny but very big in the industry. In fact, it is a great loss. “
Popular actress and filmmaker Uche Jombo used her Twitter account to mourn the filmmaker. She wrote, “I am saddened by the death of a senior colleague. An older brother, friend, and of course one of the pioneers of the home video industry, which is now known as Nollywood. Rest in peace Chico Ejiro. Such devastating news this Christmas. “
Similarly, screenwriter and filmmaker Chris Ihidero took to his Twitter account to pay tribute to Ejiro. He wrote, “One of the best filmmakers in Africa has died. I saw him just three weeks ago at a showcase at Genesis Cinemas in Lekki (Lagos). Travel safe, oga Chico Ejiro. You played a very important (role) in what has become the most phenomenal film tradition in the world. May heaven receive you. “
One filmmaker, Imoh Umoren, also wrote: “Rest in peace, Chico Ejiro. This is the guy that inspired me the most as a filmmaker. His work ethic was unmatched and he was one of the industry pioneers that we have now. Thanks and bye.”