Saint Obi: Can the Man Just Rest in Peace?
A slew of commentaries have dominated the media space since the death of the Nollywood actor Obinna Nwafor, better known as Saint Obi. Unfortunately, the comments have not been palatable and this can be attributed to an article written by a journalist Zik Zulu Okafor.
Zulu in his article painted Obi as a recluse who married a wealthy woman, Linda, and supposedly turned into a slave. He wrote about how Obi’s private life was shielded in such a way that not even his closest friends, including him (Zulu), were invited to his wedding. Zulu went ahead to remember Obi as one who lived at the mercy of his in-laws and became a shadow of the Nollywood star he was.
In another article written by the publisher of Yes International! Magazine, Azuh Arinze, Obi was remembered for his contribution to the movie industry without dwelling on his rocky marriage. Regarding himself as one of his closest friends, Azuh wrote about how Obi told him about his marriage and was present at the dedication of his (Obi’s) first son and the burial of his mother
Inarguably, the life of a celebrity does not end in death as people replay their time on earth. However, it should be done with compassion by those who knew and loved them, and not in a way to stir controversy.
Zulu’s attempt to elicit sympathy for the deceased took a misguided turn, causing his article to take a nosedive in quality. Like a chemical reaction, people were swift to condemn the widow, especially since Zulu’s piece gained widespread attention.
Given the negative narratives about the deceased, the Nwafor family had to issue a press release condemning Zulu’s article.
“Our attention has been drawn to the publication by one Mr. Zik Zulu Okafor concerning the death of our son, Mr. Obinna Nwafor, popularly known as Saint Obi, and the accompanying negative commentary in social and other media portraying his widow in an unfair and most defamatory manner,” reads the statement signed by Nwafor’s sisters, Ugoeze Obichukwu and Freda Nwachukwu. “This is in no way, shape or form an accurate portrayal of the Lynda that we know and relate with.”
The family also revealed that Zulu did not consult them before writing, and therefore, they found his claims “false, malicious and insensitive to the wife, children and entire family he left behind.”
Obi who died on May 7, in Jos, Plateau State from an undisclosed illness should be allowed to rest in peace. If his life took a sad turn as reported by those close to him, would it not be better to keep good memories of him than dwelling on the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his life and marriage?