Here are 23 Nollywood celebrities that died in 2022 – The Niche

The year 2022 has not been so good for the Nollywood, as it is left to mourn the death of young and old actors and actresses.
By Eugene Onyeji
Losing a loved one causes unimaginable grief and a deep sense of loss. Nollywood fans experience the same emotion when a celebrity they adore passes away.
In 2021, the Nollywood industry was left with bitter memories with the death of 20 veteran actors and actresses, as well as upcoming ones.
Read Also: 20 Nollywood actors and actresses who died in 2021
The year 2022 has not been so good for the Nollywood, as it is left to mourn the death of young and old actors and actresses.
Sadly, 23 Nollywood stars exited the stage and will be missed for their outstanding talents.
TheNiche Newspaper presents to you the list in order from January to December.
Nollywood actor John Adewuni Adewoye, commonly known as Tafa Oloyede, died at his residence in Osogbo on February 1, 2022. At the time of his death, he was 69 years old. He was born on November 19, 1952, and would have been 70 this year. But unfortunately, he died after a brief illness.
The veteran actor began his acting in 1974 under the tutelage of the Legendary Oyin Adejobi. He is best known for starring in Yoruba movies. Some of his notable movies include Jaiyesimi, Ayanmo, Euro Oloja, Orogun, and Akanji Oniposi.
The Theater Arts and Motion Pictures Producers Association of Nigeria, Osun chapter, organised a concert to honour the late Adewunmi on Thursday, February 10. The late actor’s body was laid to rest in his hometown of Ede, Osun, on Friday, February 11.
2. Romanus Amuta
Nollywood dripped in tears when the death of veteran actor Romanus Amuta was announced on February 9, 2022. He died after battling a protracted illness. Amuta, 79, made waves after he played Natty in the popular 80’s sitcom, New Masquerade.
The veteran actor is known for starring as an elder and title chief in several Nollywood. Sometimes he plays the role of a chief priest and traditional prime minister. Other notable works include Lion Finger in 2003, Eagles Bride in 2005 and Ijele in 1999. Before Amuta’s passing, the industry was mourning the death of John Adewuni Adewoye, popularly known as Tafa Oloyede.
3. Lari Williams
Lari Williams was a Nigerian actor, poet, and playwright born in 1940. The actor passed on in his maternal native home Ikom in Cross Rivers State after a protracted illness on February 28, 2022, at the age of 81 years old. Born to a father Tao Williams who is originally from Lagos Island local council of Lagos state and to a mum Mrs Elizabeth Williams who is from Yala in Cross Rivers state, Lari was first known nationally for his portrayal of Ladipo, the disarmingly humble lead actor in Lola Fani Kayode’s long rested and applauded soap on television Mirror in the Sun.
The old boy of St Paul Breadfruit School and the famous CMS Grammar School all in Lagos, rode on the back of that successful soap to become one of Nigeria’s well regarded character actors starring in numerous stage and screen efforts like For Better for Worse, Village Headmaster, Adio Family and Third Eye. After which he featured in ‘The Witch Doctor’ which happens to be the first home video ever shot in Nigeria. He was the first actor to ever perform on top of Zuma Rock in Abuja FCT, 1,200 feet high, where he performed his late friend, Maman Vatsa’s poem, ‘The bird that sings in the rain.’
Lari Williams was the inaugural president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, which is still active in today’s Nollywood.
He had lectured Theatre Arts in three Nigerian universities – University of Lagos, Lagos State University, and University of Calabar.
4. Shade Akin Taylor (Oluweri)
Shade Akin taylor, also known as Oluweri Magbojo, was a well-known Yoruba actress and producer. In addition, she was the CEO of Saidi Balogun Productions. Shade Akin taylor was famous for her dramatic makeup, especially her curled brows. The veteran actress rose to fame after starring in the film ‘Oluweri Mabo Ojo,’ which gave her the nickname.
The actress passed away on March 1, 2022, at the age of 59, in the United Kingdom. Her death was reported by her family, however the cause of her death was not revealed.
5. Takor Veronica
The news of the sudden death of fast rising Nollywood actress Takor Veronica on March 23rd 2022 shocked the Nollywood industry. Just a few days after her birthday.
The pretty Benue born actress had her birthday on March 12, 2022. She was found dead in a hotel room in the Nyinma suburb of Makurdi, Benue State. The cause of her death is mysterious and no one can actually unravel the real cause of her death.
Veronica Mngohol Takor studied microbiology at Benue State University (BSU), Markurdi, at the 200 level. The actress had appeared in The Devil Must Blow and a few other regional Benue films.
6. Chinedu Nwadike
Chinedu Nwadike, whose full name is Prince Chinedu Nwadike, was a Nigerian actor, preacher, and gospel singer. Additionally, he was a politician from the South East of the nation.
Fans were shocked to learn about Chinedu Nwadike’s demise on 27 March 2022. He had struggled with kidney failure for a while before passing on. He appeared in numerous films, including Divine Sisters and Run Away Prince.
7. Dejo Tunfulu
Dejo Tunfulu was a famous Yoruba actor, whose real name is Kunle Mac-Adetokunbo. His death was announced on April 1, 2022, and the film industry was left in sadness and disbelief. He was a well-known comedian, writer, and producer of Yoruba descent.
Throughout his life, the late actor was known for playing the role of a clown in films, bringing laughter and joy to his fans across the country and beyond.
An actor of vast credit, Tunfulu, as he is simply called by colleagues and fans began his acting career in the late 80’s and has featured in a number of stage and screen productions, including Apere Ijongbon, Omo Oran and Aje ni Iya mi, where he played the role of Dejo. After that, he appeared in several films, including Jide Jendo, Hally The Drummer, and Yemi My Lover.
Adetokunbo was born on 31 May 1972 in Idumota, near Lagos, Ogun State. He attended Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School in Lagos. He later enrolled at Modern Way Nigeria School of Printing, graduating with a degree in printing. He gained the moniker “Dejo Tunfulu” for playing a comical stammerer in movies.
His movie career was greatly inspired by Fausat Balogun (Madam Saje) and Kayode Olasehinde (Baba Ajirebi), with whom he worked closely.
He joined Akuko Gagara Theatre Group and Kolawole International Theatre Group a few years later. He got his first television appearance in 1987 in the drama series “Apere Ijongbon” by the Kolawole International Theatre Group. He shot into the limelight for his role in the “Omo Oran” movie, featuring the veteran actor Fatai Adetayo (Lalude).
8. Chinedu Bernard
The curvy Nollywood actress, Chinedu Bernards Nwankwo, best known as Chinedu Bernards, was a Nigerian-born movie star and photographer from Enugu state, Nigeria. The pretty Nollywood star was a fast rising actress who was already approaching mainstream fame when she met with an untimely death.
On April 29, 2022, beautiful and gorgeous Nollywood actress, Chinedu Bernard slumped and died while cleaning the Chapel of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Enugu. She was taken to the East Side Hospital in Enugu State, where she was declared dead by doctors.
Born on May 26, Bernards had featured in a number of movies including The Regret, Royal Bracelet, Onlocked, My Sister’s Man, Love Without Conscience, Just A Wish, Money Fever, Who Runs The City, among others.
President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Emeka Rollas Ejezie described Bernard’s death as shocking and mysterious.
9. Francisca Choji
While the Nollywood industry was still grieving Chinedu Bernard, it was dealt with another blow as up-and-coming actress Francisca Choji’s death was announced. Francisca Choji was a talented young actress from Nigeria who was also known as a “budding actress athlete”.
The Jos based actress was found dead in a hotel in Jos, Plateau State. It was gathered that her remains were found at Rayfield Resort in Jos, Plateau State, on May 1. The Plateau state police spokesperson, Gabriel Ubah, confirmed Choji’s passing.
10. David Osagie
Osagie Ogbeosamudia David, best known as David Osagie, was an illustrious Nollywood actor, screenwriter, producer, and expert talent manager. The 52-year-old experienced actor passed away unexpectedly on 4 May 2022 after filming on set the previous day. His death was announced by his colleague Ngozi Ezeh who noted that the actor was not sick, but slept and didn’t wake up the following day.
In most films, David was best known for playing a king or as an elder kinsman. Some of his films include The Royal Battle, My Sorrow, My Pain, Agunna, and Lost Battle.
11. Gbenga Richards
Gbenga was a famous Nigerian actor, director, producer, and entertainer. Just a week after the death of David Osagie, Nollywood again suffered yet another loss on Thursday, May 12 as veteran actor, Gbenga Richards was confirmed dead after battling an unknown ailment. He was born in 1962 and passed away at the age of 60.
The once vibrant actor, who was a force to reckon with in the 1990s and early 2000s, according to reports suffered from a series of ailments and raising money for his treatment became difficult because he had fallen on hard times.
Richards made his acting debut in 1977. He appeared in several big-budget films, including Sango, Mirror in the Sun, and Betrayed by Love.
12. Leo Mezie
Leo Mezie whose real name is Leonard Onyemachi, is one of the Nollywood celebrities that died this year, 2022. Leo Mezie is a well-known actor in Nigeria, model, author, television personality, businessman, and philanthropist. Following a protracted battle, he succumbed to kidney disease on Saturday, 14 May.
Nollywood star Chioma Toplis revealed the actor’s passing on Instagram. He passed away after undergoing kidney transplant surgery. He rose to stardom after acting in the Nigerian movie Labista in 2003.
He also featured in Total War, No Man’s Land, Heart of a Slave, Close Enemy, King’s Sleepless Night, and Empty Throne. He has acted alongside Jerry Williams, Emma Ehummadu, and Zack Orji, among others.
13. Gbadebo Osmond
Gbadebo Osmond was one of the Nollywood actors who passed away in 2022. His sudden death came as a huge blow to the movie industry and Nigeria at large. Osmond, who was a Nollywood actor and filmmaker died on 30th May.
Gbadebo Osmond passed away when he was in his forties. He rose to stardom when he was featured in films such as Hired Killer, Queen Lateefat, Edunjobi, and Ewon Ife, among others.
14. Johnson Davidson
Nigerian actor and renowned voice over artist, Johnson Davidson died on Thursday, June 2, after a protracted battle with kidney failure, and other illnesses, which ultimately claimed his life.
Davidson, while alive, was the brain behind Heavy Metal Studios, an indigenous and globally focused audio visuals company, established in February 2004.
His death comes just a few days after the passing of another Nollywood actor, Osmond Gbadebo who died on Monday, May 30.
15. Yinka Ogundaisi
Late veteran actor, Yinka Ogundaisi, died on Wednesday, June 15, at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Lagos. The Village Headmaster actor was buried on the evening of the same day in Ibadan.
He had been bedridden for years before his death.
16. Olaniyi Raji (Baba Atoli)
Olaniyi Raji, the ace Nigerian actor better known as Baba Atoli, has passed away on June 22, after battling an undisclosed ailment for over a year. Ropo Ewenla, a member of the Ibadan Film Circle (IFC), the group to which the late filmmaker belonged, confirmed the news of his death in a statement. Foluke Daramola, an actress, has also confirmed the death of the ace Nigerian actor in an Instagram post.
Atoli has appeared in several TV shows and movies, including, The Village Headmaster, Happy Homes, Give and Take, and Hostess. In addition, he revived and repackaged a popular and long-running Yoruba TV program called FEYIKOGBON.
Baba Atoli’s death came a week after the demise of Yinka Ogundaisi, the actor and filmmaker.
17. Prince Emma Buchi
Prince Emma Buchi (Born 20 April 1970) is a Nollywood actor, filmmaker and movie producer who died on Friday 8 July 2022. He was reportedly killed by his personal assistant identified simply as Sunny, in Asaba, Delta state.
Until his untimely death, the Abia-State-born actor was on the ‘Family scandal’ set produced by Wisdom Productions and shot in Asaba, Delta State.
The actor was a regular in Asaba movies and has played supporting roles alongside some of the biggest names in the Nollywood sub-sector like Queen Nwokoye, Ngozi Ezeonu, Nuella Njubigbo and Destiny Etiko.
He recently concluded another shoot alongside Van Vicker, Georgina Ibeh, and Yul edochie.
18. Ada Ameh
Ada Ameh is a veteran Nollywood actress who died in 2022. Ada Ameh, died on July 17, 2022, at the NNPC hospital in Warri, Delta State. She was aged 48. It was reported that she slumped and was rushed to the hospital where she was confirmed dead. A few hours before she passed away, she posted a video of herself eating lunch with her family.
Ada was a Nigerian actress who worked in Nollywood for over 20 years. The actress gained popularity for her role as Emu Johnson in the award-winning Nigerian television series The Johnsons. Ameh made her acting debut in the 1996 film Domitila, playing Anita in the lead role. Some of the films she has featured include Blood Money, Our Husband, Double Trouble, Lockdown, and many more.
A ‘Night of Tributes’ event was organised by the cast and crew of the popular TV series, ‘The Johnsons’, in her honour as the lead actress of the series, on Thursday, August 18, 2022, at Freedom Park, Lagos. She was buried on Friday, August 26, 2022, in her father’s compound in their hometown of Otukpo, Benue State.
19. Onayiga Sola
On Monday, 18 July 2022, the veteran Nollywood actress Sola Onayiga passed away. Two weeks before her passing, she was admitted to the ICU section of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
The gap-toothed actress was popular for playing Ireti in the now-defunct family drama, Fuji House of Commotion. The accomplished actress was also featured in the Lockdown and Movement Japa.
Ngozi Nwosu and Jude Orhorha, who co-starred in the drama series and fans of the show, mourned the late Onayiga.
20. Biyi Bandele
Biyi Bandele, a Nigerian novelist, playwright, director of Half of a Yellow Sun and co-director of Blood Sisters, a Nigerian series, died on Sunday, August 7, 2022.
He was laid to rest in Lagos on Friday, September 23, 2022. The ceremony was low-key and was attended by the late filmmaker’s family and close associates. He worked with the Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as writing radio drama and screenplays for television.
Bandele directed the Netflix and Ebonylife TV co-production Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman, the screen adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s stage play Death and the King’s Horseman, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2022.
21. Otu Njama
Popular Nollywood filmmaker, Otu Njama, died on August 9, 2022. He was found dead at his Badore Ajah apartment on Tuesday night. The death of Njama, who was in his early thirties, came barely a day after the death of the director of EbonyLife’s Blood Sisters, Biyi Bandele.
The director of Inhibition (2019) was said to have died on Tuesday night following reports of high blood pressure, unknown to his family members.
It was gathered that the filmmaker had visited a bar that he owned near his residence to check on his staff. After taking his meal, Njama reportedly retired for the night and told nobody to disturb him. His lifeless body was however found later.
A renowned movie critic and film specialist, Husseini Shaibu, confirmed Njama’s death on his Instagram page.
Otu Njama is known for One Night Stand (2014), Inhibition (2019) and Experience Marathon (2015). Otu Njama has starred in a lot of Nollywood movies and Tv shows, he has also worked with Nollywood actors, like Alex Ekubo, Charles Okocha, Juliet Ibrahim, Kanayo O Kanayo, Charleyboy, among others.
22. Rico Swavey
Big Brother Naija former season 3 housemate, Patrick Fakoya, popularly known as Rico Swavey was involved in a car crash which led to him being placed on life support. He died two days after the accident on Thursday, October 13, 2022.
A night of tribute and candlelight walk for him took place at Retro Citi, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
A private service was held at the Methodist Church of the Trinity, Tinubu Square, on Thursday before his burial at Ebony Vaults, Ikoyi, Lagos.
23. Kamal Adebayo
Nollywood actor, producer, director of films, and filmmaker, Kamal Adebayo, who is also the father of comic star, Abidemi Adebayo, popularly known as Isbae U, died on Tuesday, 27th of December, 2022. The Yoruba veteran actor was said to be suffering from an undisclosed disease for some time.
Chairman of the Lagos State Parks and Garages Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo, announced the actor’s death via Instagram.
Kamal Adebayo was one of the most successful actors working in the Yoruba Nollywood business; he acted in a number of films, and was also nominated for a number of awards. Between the late 1990s and 2012, the seasoned and gifted actor was recognized for portraying the character of the “Bad Boy” in a variety of home films.


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