Veteran producer Zeb Ejiro has described the sudden demise of his younger brother, Chico Ejiro, as ‘a rude shock’ adding that ‘I am ‘short of words.’
Chico Ejiro died in the early hours of Friday from a seizure.
He had just concluded directing his new movie on Christmas Eve.
Zeb, who was still gripped with shock, only confirmed that his younger brother has passed on, and his remains deposited at the undisclosed morgue. “That’s how I see it. Chico is no more. He died this morning and his remains have been deposited at the morgue,’ Zeb muted.
Also confirming Chico’s demise, Fidelis Duker, said he flew into Lagos from Calabar to just see his long time friend. ‘As I am talking to you now, I am in his house. I am short of words too,” said the founder of Abuja International Film Festival.
The deceased was said to have been in and out of the hospital for a while now.
According to sources close to him, Chico had malaria and was promptly treated in the hospital about a month ago.
He was just recovering from the ailment before he met his untimely death.
However, since the sad news of Chico Ejiro’s death went viral on the internet, many of his colleagues in the movie industry have been expressing shock, disbelief and grief.
Born Chico Maziakpono in Isoko, Delta State, Ejiro is a movie director, screenwriter, and producer.
Prior to his death, he held the record of the Nollywood director with the highest number of released movies.
According to him, he had produced and directed over 85 movies in his career spanning three decades.
Chico studied Agriculture in school but later ventured into video production because Nigerians would not buy blank video cassettes.
His body of work was typical of the second generation that started in the 1990s when cheap video-production equipment became available in the country.
He owned a production company called Grand Touch Pictures, which is based in Surulere, Lagos.
Nicknamed Mr. Prolific, Ejiro was married to Joy Ejiro and they have four children. He has two brothers: Zeb Ejiro, the best-known of the new Nigerian cinema auteurs outside of the country, and Peter Red Ejiro, also a movie producer.
Chico was featured in the 2007 documentary Welcome to Nollywood, which followed him as he made Family Affair 1 and Family Affair 2.