Journalism in the service of society

Saint Obi: Time to let sleeping dogs lie 

SINCE the death of the Nollywood actor Obinna Nwafor, better known as Saint Obi there has been a lot of unpleasant comments about his personality and marriage crisis.

This could be attributed to an article written by a Filmmaker cum journalist Zik Zulu Okafor who was also a close friend to the late actor.

Zulu in his article painted Obi as a weakler who married a wealthy woman, Linda, and allegedly made him turn his back against his family and colleagues

Zik Zulu went ahead to remember Obi as one who lived at the mercy of his in-laws and became a shadow of the Nollywood star he was.

In another article written by the publisher of Yes International! Magazine, Azuh Arinze, Obi was remembered for his contribution to the movie industry without dwelling on his marital woes. 

Inarguably, the life of a celebrity does not end in death as people replay their time on earth. However, it should be done with compassion by those who knew and loved them, and not in a way to stir controversy.

Given the negative narratives about the deceased, the Nwafor family had to issue a press release condemning Zulu’s article.

“Our attention has been drawn to the publication by one Mr. Zik Zulu Okafor concerning the death of our son, Mr. Obinna Nwafor, popularly known as Saint Obi, and the accompanying negative commentary in social and other media portraying his widow in an unfair and most defamatory manner,” reads the statement signed by Nwafor’s sisters, Ugoeze Obichukwu and Freda Nwachukwu. “This is in no way, shape or form an accurate portrayal of the Lynda that we know and relate with.”

The family also revealed that Zulu did not consult them before writing, and therefore, they found his claims “false, malicious and insensitive to the wife, children and entire family he left behind.”

Saint Obi’s case of drama after death could be likened to that of Osinachi Nwachukwu, one of Nigeria’s best-known gospel singers.

In April 8, 2022,  the 42-year-old died at a hospital in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Her husband and then manager, Peter Nwachukwu, a pastor, said she had been suffering from an undisclosed illness, but in the days that followed family members and friends alleged that she had died from injuries sustained from domestic abuse.

Her four children told Nigerian authorities that Nwachukwu had suffered constant violence at the hands of their father, who they said had sworn them to secrecy. People who knew the couple cast Peter Nwachukwu as a dominating figure, controlling her finances and decisions.

In media interviews and social media posts, relatives and friends have said they pleaded with Nwachukwu to leave her husband, but she resisted, believing it to be a sin and insisting that he would change. “She felt that God is against divorce,” her sister Favour Made, told a National Daily. “We told her that separation is not a sin but just for her to stay alive.”

Obi who died on May 7, in Jos, Plateau State from an undisclosed illness should be allowed to rest in peace.  It is time to respect the dead and let the sleeping dog lie!

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Naija Times