By ANOZIE EGOLE & LAJU ARENYEKA
Eyes popped on the streets of Lagos as Segun Arinze coordinated the traffic. Onlookers waved at Charles Okafor. Cars stopped, not for traffic lights but to gaze at Joseph Benjamin. Celebrities walked the streets, because Enebeli Elebuwa now walks in the land of the dead. A bitter-sweet-celebration formed the candle light procession organised in honour of the departed veteran actor by the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). The procession commenced from Masha bus stop, in Surulere and terminated at the National Stadium complex amid grief.
The parade included the high and mighty in the movie industry. They included the incumbent president of AGN, Miss Ibinabo Fiberesima, Segun Arinze, Joseph Benjamin, Monalisa Chinda, Rita Dominic, Uche Jombo, Okey Bakassi and Charles Inojie. Others were Yul Edochie, Halima Abubakar, Yaw, Richard Mofe-Damijo who represented Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Zack Orji, Stephanie Okereke, Julius Agwu among other celebrities.
The event was anchored by Okey Bakassi. Despite the mood of the gathering, there seemed to be an underlying excitement in the air, as onlookers watched with keen interest. At the stadium, the celebrities took turns to pay their last respect to their senior colleague.
AGN President, Ibinabo, sang songs of praises to God, just as the deceased’s family made a brief remark about the departed actor.
What many would consider as the highpoint of the evening was Stephanie Okereke’s farewell address to Enebeli.
Invited by the compere, emotion-laden Steph, representing the big girls in Nollywood knelt down with tears rolling down her cheeks, as she cried out, “Lord, we would not bury anyone again this year, we declare every sick person healed today in Jesus name. ”
Soon, it was the turn of ace-comedian, Julius Agwu, who sang soul-rendering songs that moved everyone in the gathering as he reeled out the names of all the departed Nollywood actors, including Enebeli.
In her speech, AGN president advised Nollywood practitioners to be more conscious of their health, explaining the need for them to embrace the health programme of the guild by simply registering with the sum of N1,000. It was a night of celebration of the life and times of Enebeli Elebuwa who died last December, in India.