Growing up around the time the Nigerian movie industry started its transition into what is now known as Nollywood, was one of the perks of being born in the 90s. But unfortunately, this has also left us (millennials) with a costly price; the perennial heartbreak of watching the stars who made our childhood memorable succumb.
On the 17th of July, 2022, yet another star fell from the sky. And this time it was the frolicsome Ada Ameh, a symbol of my hometown’s pride!
My heart tugged when I came across the report of her sudden death on social media. Initially, I wished it was a rumour, or better still, one of those staged deaths in movies. I was too timid to accept the reality of her demise. So, I basked in delusion for a very long time, waiting for a miracle to occur.
I finally came to terms with the reality after seeing the report of her passing on some reputed outlets. Hence, this tribute is in memorial to the self-styled “Ochanya Ku’Televison K’Idoma” -The Goddess/Queen of Idoma filmdom.
I never met the versatile and energetic talent that was Ada Ameh while she was alive, but she impacted so much in my life more than a lot of the people I have had physical encounters with. She was the person who fits the description of a good-natured influencer.
Born in Lagos on 15th May 1974, to an Idoma father and an Ibibio mother, Ada quit school at the soft age of 14.
How she became one of the most highly sought-after actresses in the keenly competitive Nigerian motion picture industry without a degree, and despite having a child at the age of 14, is a resilience story for another day.
She broke into the klieg light in 1996 in the landmark movie “Domitilla” alongside Sandra Achums and Sam Arogundade.
Since hitting the reckoning, Ada has starred in dozens of movies and one series in the 26 years of her career, including blockbusters such as “Aki Na Ukwa”, “30 Days in Atlanta”, “The Johnsons”, “A Million Baby”, “Oloture”, “One Good Turn”, “My Village People”, and “Gone”.
She also played a cameo role in songstress, Yemi Alade’s hit record, “Double Double” music video.
But while the ‘Ochanya Ku’Televison’ was creating happiness for millions, death put a beam on hers: On 20 October, 2020, she lost her only child, Aladi Godgift at the soft age of 30. Before 2020, she lost six of her siblings (three brothers and three sisters). In March of 2022, she lost yet another sister. Despite all these, she kept filming. Not many can dare to be brave as she was.
Unfortunately, death came again on the 17th of July, 2022, and put off the shining light that was Ada Grace Obande Ameh at the unripe age of 48.
Let heaven hence tame death
And cause her to leave our earth
Let her glide off every depth
We no longer owe her any debt.
Fellow countrymen and women, fans, friends and family alike, may we all find consolation in the singular fact that she lived a delightful life and left eternal marks in Nollywood and African moviedom at large, and she is now in the celestial theatre entertaining the heavenly hosts.
So long as her movies live, she lives.
Death, do not be proud!
(Sunny Green Itodo, an Abuja-based journalist, poet and columnist can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org)