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Sunset for top Yoruba actress, Remi Abiola

Nollywood on Wednesday was thrown into a mourning mood as one of the prominent Yoruba genre actress-Remi Abiola gave up the ghost in a hospital in far away New York hospital, where she was reportedly  rushed to last week following a severe medical crises.

A reliable source, who has acted as the godfather of most Yoruba actors and actresses in the United States told a US based The Diasporan Star published by Ekerete Udoh “we lost her this morning. The doctors did all they could to revive her, but it was not successful. She was taken off life support. We will miss her tremendously.”

Remi Abiola who was said to have been married to the late politician and acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12 Presidential election in 1992, was brought to the U.S. by Otunba Tai Balofin, the publisher of the New York based publication_The Third Eye (now defunct) last year, to receive an award of excellence alongside other prominent Yoruba genre actors and actresses.

At the end of the award, she decided to stay back in New York, where sources revealed that she later picked up a job and took care of  herself, having adjusted to the rigors and pace of life in New York city. Until last week, she went into coma from where she never recovered.

According to our source, Remi never had any major health crises.  But some people are however attributing her sudden death to stress and other challenges that newly arrived immigrants encounter in the U.S.

Remi Abiola was in her 50’s and efforts are being made by friends, fans and colleagues to fly her body back to Nigeria for funeral.

Trained as a stage-actor, Remi Abiola started out her career on stage in London in the 1970s while she was on study leave from her employers, the defunct Nigerian Airways, where she worked as a flight attendant.

Though she was comfortable, the quest for higher education saw her applied for a study leave from the country’s national carrier at the time. When she got to England, she fell for acting and enrolled at the Fielding School for Dramatic Arts, where she went on stage for the first time.

However, when she returned to the country, she auditioned for roles in television series, which was the vogue at the time, for the duo of Bayo Awala and Chief Tunde Oloyede series, which ran on NTA Channel 10.

Though she was trained, her acting career never really took off for a combination of reasons. One being marriage and much later, having children. She returned to the scene in 1989 in a movie produced by Yemi and Segun Remi. And has since become a household name in the country’s acting scene.

A mother of two, one of which was born for late MKO Abiola, Remi believed while she lived that no Nigerian film can compete internationally. She attributed this to lack of encouragement from the government.


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