….Ex-Benue Governorship Aspirant, Chenge Demands Investigation Of Actress’ Death, as Nollywood mourns
AMINA BRAI OMOIKE
A former Benue State Governorship aspirant, Engr. Roseline Ada Chenge has called for autopsy for late Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh.
Ameh reportedly slumped and died on Sunday in Warri, Delta State.
The actress had earlier shared a video of herself eating with her host family before the news of her death.
Reacting to the death in a video shared on her Facebook page, Chenge said she was shocked at the news, adding that she spoke with her hours before her death.
She said: “With pain in my heart and deep sorrow, I am here this afternoon to ask questions. I have been trying to call online to ask these same questions, but nobody is picking my call. And I need to call and ask Nigerians and also ask Nollywood.
“I am Engr. Ada Chenge, I am Benue by origin. I am Idoma. I woke up this morning to see on social media that my sister, whom we call the TV goddess in Idoma land, collapsed and died. I am so shocked, so shocked that my brain is not able to calculate it.
“Precisely about 5:15pm yesterday (Sunday), 17th of July, 2022, I put a call across to Ada. Because I came to Lagos from Benue and I am staying in Lagos in my house. I called her at about 5:15pm and she picked the call and said ‘aunty, your Excellency, how are you?’. And I said I want to see you, I am in Lagos. And she was like ‘oh aunty, I am in Warri’. And I said what are you doing in Warri? And she said ‘aunty we went for the burial of the parent of one of my friends. We are hanging around, we are doing one or two things there.’ And I said okay when you return I want to see you because Idoma land needs you right now for a very special mission. And she said ‘okay aunty, I will be Lagos tomorrow morning because I am shooting throughout this week in Lagos’.
“I spoke with her myself, she was in high spirits, she was in a high mood. There was no depression or mental issue. Yes, she was going through a lot after her daughter died. But if you checked her Instagram page on Saturday when she left for Warri, you can see the mood that she was. And in the afternoon, I saw another caption online that she slumped when she was eating about 12:53.
“No, that is not true. Because I spoke with her for close to about 10 minutes. I spoke with her yesterday about 5:16. So, that was after she ate that meal. So, there was some problem. There is a missing link. What’s going on? I am hearing she went to Warri, she was treating herself … I don’t understand. She told me precisely ‘Aunty, I will be back on Monday. Her Excellency, when I come on Monday, I may not be able to see you because of Lagos traffic. Just send me the address, I will be with you on Tuesday’.
“You can imagine how my brain is going; that I spoke with her 5:15pm and she died this morning. Yes, people die like that. But Ada Ameh is such a star that she cannot just disappear from planet earth without us knowing the real reason.
“Since morning, I have called her line like 20 to 50 times. I sent a text that I am Engr. Ada Chenge from Idoma that we heard something about you. Are you in touch with her people in Otukpo? Are you in touch with the people in Lagos as to Nollywood? But no reply.”
Chenge challenged the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) to insist on conducting an autopsy on Ameh’s corpse to ascertain the true cause of death. She sought the support of relevant Idoma stakeholders in getting to the root cause of the death.
Tributes have continued pour following the death of veteran actress, Ada Ameh who died on Sunday night in Warri, Delta State. She was fondly remembered for her role as Emu Johnson, the matriarch of the family in the popular Africa Magic series, ‘The Johnsons’. Her colleagues remember her not only for her artistic gifts but also for her character.
Actor Charles Inojie, who played Mr Johnson and Emu’s husband in the family drama shared a picture of the actress on his Instagram page.
He wrote, “It has taken a while to authenticate this sad news before going public under advisement from Ada’s manager who was on his way to Warri to secure physical confirmation of the horrible news that hit us all this morning.
“He has just called in from Warri and sadly he has confirmed our worst fears. Our beloved Emuakpor Johnson is no more!
“It is with deep sense of loss, total submission to the will of God, that Native Media Tv, cast and crew of @theofficialthejohnsons painfully announce the passing of our dear sister, friend, colleague and Matriarch of The Johnsons clan Ada Obande Ameh (aka Emuakpor Johnson).
“To all our teeming fans around the world, we have truly lost a rare and vibrant gem, but celebrate the life of an icon who daily put smiles on every face and spreads love in every home.
“Together, we join our voices with yours to offer prayers on behalf of the family. May God grant them the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.
“ADA, you will be missed but your memory will live on in our hearts forever. We love you.”
Netflix Nigeria, on its Twitter handle, described the late actress as a thorough professional.
“Ada Ameh was a thorough professional who devoted her years to entertaining us. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues at this time. May she rest in power,” it wrote.
Actor Richard Mofe-Damijo (aka RMD) posting an carousel said “It’s been from one heart wrenching news to another today as Nollywood loses two of its finest actresses. My path crossed with both fine actresses. Each death reminds me of how really fragile we all are. May the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
Actress Lilian Bach also posted : “This hurts deeply. I was hoping it would be fake news. God knows best. Rest in peace, Ada Ameh”.
Quoting with the popular hymn, ‘Abide with me’, ageless actress Kate Henshaw wrote ‘Goodnight Ada. We will meet at the other side”.
Actor and director, John Njamah posting a white background on his Instagram page said: “I tried carrying on like nothing happened where sad news has become the order of the day and reality has been coloured in black for that is all we see. I refused to go black and dark for death has not won this battle and will never win. So I want to go all white to give us a glimmer of hope and rejoice for our loved ones have gone to sleep in peace. Let us take solace in the good times we spent with them and reminisce and be glad we had them for the moment we had them. I will not go black for death has not won this battle! Sleep in peace Ada Ameh”.
Veteran comedian Ali Baba describing Ada Ameh as a very, very good person said he spoke to her before her trip. ‘You tell me say you dey go give dem for Warri – say Emu don enter; I no know say you wan check out. Rest on Sister”.
Her industry colleague, Nancy Isime, says that she is weighed with heaviness.
“My heart is so heavy; I don’t even know what to say. One of the people I look up to in the film industry. Rip aunty Ada Ameh. I’ll miss you so much,” she wrote.
For popular OAP, Do2dtun: “Ada Ameh’s death is so painful. One of My favs is on ‘The Johnsons’, especially when she says “a lucky lo lo” “Apr”. She just lost a child, and now.. May God put us through our tough times. This one is harrowing.”
Veteran actors Segun Arinze and Fred Amata in separate interviews to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos described late Ameh’s death as a huge loss to the entertainment industry.
Arinze said: “It was a crazy morning for me to wake up to this kind of news, it is more than heart-wrenching for me. I am surprised that she was talking about mental health issues and nobody was looking in her direction. I think it is high time we actors began to check on one another. We should value ourselves, reach out to one another. I do that sometimes; everything is not all about money and hustling. I pray God grants her family and we, her friends the fortitude to bear the loss, it is a sad one, but she has played her part,” he said.
Sharing a snippet from the movie ’30 Days in Atlanta’ where Ameh played the role of AY’s mother, the comedian said: “Life, unfortunately, means there has to be death; it is inevitable. And as much as we hate losing those special people from our lives, we have to come to terms with it. Rest in peace @adaameh.
For Amata, his words were: “I am yet to absorb the news of her death, a devastating one but true talent never dies, she lives on because her legacies live on”.
Ada Ameh died in Warri, Delta State around 11 pm on Sunday. She was said to have been a guest of an oil company toyshop and his family when she suddenly collapsed.
It was gathered that she was rushed to the NNPC’s hospital but passed on before they arrived the facility.
Report has it that several movie stars went to the facility on Monday morning to see her remains.
She became famous following the role of she played (Anita) in the movie ‘Domitilla’ in 1996, and was more recently adorned for her comic characters especially in the series, The Johnsons.
Born on May 15, 1974 in Ajegunle, Lagos, the popular actress shared a video of her eating with the family around 12:53pm on Sunday on her official Instagram page.
Ameh stared in films like “Blood Money”, “One Good Turn”, and “Phone Swap.
She was one of Nollywood’s most versatile and feted actresses, starring in many films.
Her long career was marked by several memorable roles across decades and genres.
Chief among them was the mother of mischievous movie brothers Aki and Pawpaw, played by Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme.
She also played Titi in the acclaimed movie ‘Oloture’.
While the late actress was loved by many, her life was rife with intrigues.
A native of Idoma in Benue State, Nigeria, she was born into a family of 10, most of whom are now deceased. She was also raised in Ajegunle in Lagos State.
She grew up in the Nigeria Navy Barracks, Apapa in Lagos, where she spent most of her childhood and some of her adult life.
She received her primary and secondary school education in Lagos State.
Her father, now late, was a naval officer.
Ameh became a teenage mother, causing her to quit school at 14. Sources say she was impregnated by a naval officer in the barracks where she grew up. She later stated that, despite the initial setbacks, the incident was a blessing.
As trying as the period was, she once said in an interview that her family members and siblings were very encouraging.
Despite initially sending her out of the house, her father later accepted her and encouraged her through that period of her life.
The late actress found her way into Nollywood in 1996 through the cerebral producer Zeb Ejiro, who gave her her first acting role in the iconic movie ‘Domitila’.
According to Ameh, she didn’t set out for a life in the arts but chanced upon it when she met Zeb Ejiro, and he saw the potential in her.
She once said in an interview, “We are here today because somebody like Zeb Ejiro discovered me from where I was born and raised in Ajegunle, Lagos. He allowed me to shoot my first movie, ‘Domitila’.”
She acted in many movies and TV series, including the Guinness award-winning ‘30 Days in Atlanta’.
Some of the other rave-making films she starred in include ‘Aki na Ukwa’, ‘Phone Swap’, ‘Blood Money, ‘Òlòtūré’, ‘Ghana Must Go’, ‘My Village People’, ‘Gone’ as well as ‘The sessions’.
Despite being a successful actress, the late Ms Ameh channelled her energy into her business.
Although she didn’t talk much about it, the deceased actress was into buying and selling, contracts and interior designs.
She also threw her weight behind programmes that had to do with the girl child, especially those battling early child pregnancy and prostitution.
By her admission, she had a long-drawn battle with depression, triggered even more when she lost her only child, Aladi, two years ago.
In a recent interview with TVC, which perhaps was her very last, she revealed that she had depression for some years following the loss of six siblings.
The late Ameh said it worsened significantly when she lost her daughter in 2020.
“We practically grew up together. I was 14 when I had her, so she was more like my younger sister and friend. She was my best friend. And I just saw my world crumble before me.
“I had lost three of my sisters before that time, and each had like three children. I had lost three of my brothers and my father.
“After burying all these people…I thought I was going to be the next. But when my daughter died, my world crumbled before me. I could cry for days. I’ve been in and out of the hospital,” she said.
Ameh will be sorely missed by her fans and the entire entertainment industry.