Veteran actress, Bukky Ajai is dead. She was one of the pioneers of Nollywood, the film industry in Nigeria.
She died a few hours ago according to a family source on Wednesday.
Details of her death are yet unclear. But Ajai is known to have been battling cancer for some time now.
She was 82 years old.
She won a Lifetime Achievement Award last year at Movie Viewers Award in Lagos during which she made an emotional speech on her health situation.
The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) have described her death as a big loss to the entertainment industry.
The Chairman, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the AGN, Mr. Agility Onwura, said Ajai died at a time when the young generation of actors were still drawing from her wealth of experience.
Onwura said: “The news of her death came to us as a surprise.
“She died when her wealth of experience and guidance were most needed by the younger generation of movie stars.
“Though at 82 one can say she was quite old, but we in the entertainment industry were still learning from her,” he said.
Also, National President of PMAN, Mr. Pretty Okafor, extolled Ajai’s contributions to the growth of Nollywood and the entertainment industry in Nigeria.
“She was an enviable professional, who inspired us with her outstanding roles in many home movies.
“Her exit will leave an indelible footprint on the entertainment industry generally,” he said.
Okafor, however, said solace should be drawn from the fact that the late actress lived a fulfilled life as a professional and role model to many.