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Good Night, Mama T…

 By  Japhet Alakam

It was yet another shock for the art community as the news of the demise of one of the veteran actresses, dancers and icons of the movie industry Toun Oni, popularly known as Mama T  was broken last week.

Mama T who was an outstanding role model to a lot of upcoming actresses and will be remembered for her professional roles in the popular TV series Checkmate and Fuji House of Commotion died on the early hours of Wednesday as she was being rushed to the hospital.

According her son Toyin Oni, “She complained about not feeling too well last night and then this morning (Wednesday) she felt very weak so we had to rush her to the St. Paul’s Hospital, Ebute-Metta, but she passed on before we arrived there.”

According to reports, the body of the late actress has been taken to St. Paul’s Hospital morgue. Funeral arrangements are currently being made by the family at the family house, 66a Brick Field Street, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

The news which was unexpected, once again threw the art community which is just recovering from the series of deaths that have befallen them since last year into mourning.

Since the death of the well received actress, her colleagues in the art industry; and especially from the entertainment end have been paying commendable tributes to the woman, who is acknowledged to have excelled in her chosen field of acting.

The late Oni came to limelight in the 1960s as a member of the late Ola Rotimi’s Ori Olokun players. Though she had only a secondary school education , she made so much impact on the theatrical scene specialising on the stage; with few television and Yoruba film appearances.

Her versatility on the stage made the Federal government to confer on her the prestigious honour of Order of the Niger (OON) in 2006. She was one of the 76 actors expected to attend the red carpet honour for Noble laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka at the Nigerian Premier of Preemptive  held last Tuesday at the Muson Centre Onikan , Lagos.

The members of the Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood, described her death as an unfortunate incident that could happen to a developing industry like Nollywood..

The National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Segun Arinze, described the demise of the popular actress as a sad development.

“The news came as a big shock to me and it is quite painful. I spoke with her son and he told me that she died after complaining of headache. Toun Oni is not just one of the most talented actresses we had, she was a role model to many people,” Arinze said, adding that AGN will make plans to immortalise her.

According to NANTAP in a release signed by the PRO, “we deeply regret the demise of one of our  veteran actress and member Late Mrs. Toun Oni {OON}A.k.a ‘Mama T’

 We hereby use this medium to extend our heart-felt condolence to the family and friends of our beloved and devoted Veteran Thespian ‘Mama T’ who was so passionate about the Arts and the entire Creative Community.”


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