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2020 in retrospect: Nine controversies, deaths in Entertainment Industry

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By Nsikak Nseyen, Fikayo Olowolagba

The entertainment industry in Nigeria was hit terribly in the year 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic which shook the world earlier in the year.

The pandemic affected everyone in the entertainment industry in Nigeria, ranging from actors to artists.

Tours got cancelled, Cinemas were shut, shows were moved to 2021. However the famous reality show, Big Brother Naija, BBNaija and other controversies brought life into the entertainment industry.

DAILY POST brings you the top nine issues in no particular order:

1. Funke Akindele’s arrest: The Nollywood actress, popularly known as Jenifa, was arrested in April for flouting COVID-19 protocols when she hosted a birthday party for her husband Abdulrasheed Bello, aka JJC Skills.

She was later charged to court and sentenced to 14-day community service and fined N100,000 each.The offence was contrary to the social distancing directives made in pursuant to Regulation 8(1)(a) and (b) & 17(1)(i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020

2. Marlian leader, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley was also arrested and arraigned by the Lagos government for violating COVID-19 restriction orders.

Naira Marley and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Babatunde Gbadamosi were among guests that attended the 42nd birthday party organized by Funke Akindele at Amen Estate.

However, the four counts filed against them were later withdrawn on the condition that the defendants would tender an apology to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

3. The arrest of Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Raymond Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi by Interpol alongside 12 others sometime in June in Dubai during a special operation dubbed ‘Fox hunt 2″ was the talk of the town in June.

Hushpuppi, known for his flamboyant lifestyle on Instagram was charged for hacking into the United States (US) unemployed database and defrauding the US of over $100 million accrued for native Americans.

Hushpuppi was reported to have defrauded over 1.9 million victims, using fake email to people and diverting payments to their account. He was extradited from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the US where he appeared in Chicago court on July 3rd, facing trial for multiple fraud charges.

4. Dbanj Rape Allegation: Music star, Dbanj was accused of rape in June by one miss Seyitan. She had accused the singer of raping her in a hotel two years ago.

The allegation led to strong social and media controversy with several rights groups supporting Seyitan.

D’banj, telling his side of the story, claimed innocence, adding that the allegation was the handiwork of his enemies, who are out to destroy his hard-earned reputation.

The musician subsequently instituted a N1.5 Billion defamation lawsuit against Seyitan.

However, In July, the Nigeria Police cleared Dbanj of all rape allegations, revealing that the police investigation unit did not find any substantial evidence to prove that D’banj committed the act, and that Seyitan had withdrawn the petition filed against the singer

5. Music Producer, Clarence Peter was arrested in June after the death of dancer and video vixen, Kodak. Kodak reportedly died from electrocution while charging her phone at Clearance Peters house in Omole.

He was later detained and questioned as investigation for murder was launched against him, alongside others present at the house when the sad incident happened.

6. BBNaija season 5 which came late in the year got tongues wagging as the biggest fight this season was between housemates, Laycon and Erica.

The latter was disqualified and Laycon emerged as the winner with N65m.

7. 9ice was again caught up in a cheating scandal, this time around with his third wife, Sunkanmi Ajala.

The Gongo Aso crooner publicly made a video begging fans to ask his wife to forgive him over infidelity. It is not certain if the couple have reconciled their differences at the moment.

8. Omah Lay and Tems were arrested in November which got Nigerians attacking the Ugandan government. The fast rising music stars were arrested for flouting COVID-19 rules in Uganda and remanded in prison.

However the Nigerian government got them released but that was not the end of it as Tems took to her social media page blasting Ugandan artist, Bebecool and warning him not to step his foot in Nigeria.

9. In what may seem like the icing of the cake in the entertainment industry, top Music stars, Davido and Burna Boy reportedly fought in Ghana. In the viral video which stirred reactions, Davido was seen walking angry from a night club in Ghana after a confrontation with Burna Boy.

However both parties refused to confirm or give details of the brawl.

But Davido later took to his Instagram page threatening to leave the music industry. According to him, he is hated by his colleagues because he was born rich.

2020 notable deaths in entertainment industry

In 2020, the entertainment industry lost some major players to the cold hands of death. The death of these stars like Majek Fashek, Pa Kasumu, Chico Ejiro, Dan Foster who passed on due to the COVID-19 complications, shocked the industry

They were icons who had made a long-lasting impact through their talents, skills, unique perspective and sacrifice. DAILY POST brings you a list of some of the notable celebrities and industry professionals in film, TV, music who have passed away in 2020.

1. Majekodunmi Fasheke popularly known as Majek Fashek died on June 2 2020. The legendary singer who started his music career in the 80s and was popular for the 1988 album ‘Prisoner of Conscience’, which included the multiple award-winning single “Send Down the Rain’ died at the age of 57.

Majek Fashek was the archetypal musician, not just a singer but also a song writer and a guitarist.

2. Kayode Odumosu: The Veteran Nollywood actor, popularly known as Pa Kasumu died on March 1st 2020. Pa Kasamu who was born on March 16, 1953, died at the age of 67 after a brief illness. He was diagnosed with biventricular heart failure in 2013.

3. Frank Dallas Ebulukwu: The seasoned Nollywood actor and production manager died on February 21st 2020.

Popularly known as “Adedibu” or “Killer” in movies, Frank Dallas reportedly died in a hotel in Abia State. He was also the former Public Relations Officer of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Lagos State chapter.

4.Yomi Obileye: The popular Nollywood actor widely known as Obileye gave up the ghost on Friday, April 24th 2020.

Obileye, who was known for his role in the movie ‘Hostages, reportedly died after battling an undisclosed ailment.

5. Nollywood actress, Jennifer Omole died on January 5th 2020. She was the CEO of jennisFilms and also produced the movie ‘StolenVow.

6. Popular radio presenter, Daniel ‘Dan’ Foster, famously known as ‘the Big Dawg died on Wednesday, June 17 2020. The American who arrived Nigeria in 2000 passed away after battling complications linked with COVID-19.

Until his death, he worked with Inspiration FM and City FM and was a staff of Classic FM.

7. Actress, Emilia Dike, passed away on May 21, 2020. Although the real cause of her death was not revealed it was reported that she slumped and died in Enugu State.

8. Veteran actress, Chizoba Sam-Boye who was the star of M-net produced TV series, “Tinsel.” died at aged 53. Chizoba died of diabetes related complications.

She was reported to have battled diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure for many years now and would be remembered for her pioneering role in ‘Living in Bondage.

9. Gbolagade Akinpelu: Famously known as Ogun Majek, dead on June 25th 2020. The actor who was reported to have battled prolonged-sickness before his demise died at his Imalefalafia, Oke-Ado, Ibadan home.

10. Professor Ayo Akinwale, a prominent senior lecturer and former Nollywood actor died on Sunday, September 13, 2020.

The versatile producer, academician, playwright and former broadcaster, who produced popular movie, ‘Sango’died at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.

11. Chico Ejiro: The 57-year-old producer and film maker died on Christmas day, 25 December 2020. Ejiro who was popular for blockbuster movies in the 90s is believed to have passed away after a seizure.

The Delta state-born will be remembered for his works, which includes ‘Deadly Affair, Blood Money, Silent Night, and several others.