Kidney failure as Nollywood’s death nail


Death  is said to be a necessary end for all human. However, frequency of its occurrence becomes a source of worry when its causes is centered on one issue. Kidney failure has left a huge scar in the world today, but its scale on celebrities remains a source of concern.  CHIKAODI CHUKWULETA takes a look at the dreaded  disease and its death toll on Nigerian celebrities. She writes.

Kidney failure happens when the kidney fails to function properly . Kidney  is a  two bean shaped organ located on either side of the body, just beneath the ribcage  that carry out a number of important functions,  including filtering out waste products and excess water from the blood before converting them into urine , helping to maintain blood pressure, among others.

Over three million people in the country have chronic kidney diseases and an estimated 13,000  people die from the  disease each year.

According to research , kidney failure is more common among black people. The reasons for this include high rate of diabetes and high blood pressure, painless glomerulonphrtis and a hereditary condition called polycystic disease. There are a lot of symptoms associated with kidney failure such as feeling tired, swelling of legs, hands or face,  increased need to urinate, particularly at night, darkness or redness in urine which may have an offensive odour or look foamy, persistence thirst, Itchy skin, loss of sex drive in men, erectile dysfunction  etc.

Those who have fallen under the hammer of kidney failure

 James Uche: This actor was ill  for eight years, battled with diabetes and kidney failure and finally died on the way to undergo dialysis, two days to his scheduled trip to India for a kidney transplant and eye surgery.


Prince James Uche

Obi Madubogwu: Battled with chronic diabetes sore and kidney failure for sometime, before he finally lost the battle to death. He was known for his lead role in movies such as king of Musanga, Passion of Blood, Mother-in-law, etc.

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Ademola Ariyo: The cinematograher died in, 2017. The movie maker was known to have shot movies like Osuofia in London, Blood Money, Igodo, to name a few.  Ayiro who also shot the popular tourism and travel programme, titled ‘Goje Africa’, suffered  financial  problem and begged for financial aid on the streets of Surulere, Lagos,  as his health  worsened and could not get the money for his treatment.

Muna Obiekwe: A darling of the entertainment industry and a rising star of unlimited possibilities   died on Sunday, 18th  January, 2015, in a hospital in Festac, Lagos, after his condition of health deteriorated . He was said to have required up to 20 dialysis to stablise his condition at about 250, 000 every week which proved too high for him  and his close friends to shoulder.


Muna Obiekwe

OJB Jazreal, a popular musician, who was some years back flown to India for a kidney transplant which was successful, but latter relapsed and led his death.



OJB Jazreal

Chike Bryan: Former president of Scriptwriters Guild of Nigeria died three years after he survived a kidney transplant in India.

Chike Bryan

Ajidara,  as was popularly called, a Yoruba actor and chairman of the Threatre and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Branch, died after he was  reportedly ill. He took the role of a pastor in many of the films he acted  with “Abela pupa” (Red Candle) being  one of the works that gave him popularity. He died in the  process of raising fund for his treatment according to his colleagues.

Adeshina Ajidara



Those who battled and survived kidney failure.

Leo Mezie: He was down with kidney related disease for almost four months. Mezi returned from the United States, where he went for medical treatment, looking hale and heathy. It was in July, 2017, that news broke that he was down with advanced stage of kidney failure and required over 60,000 pounds to carry out a transplant, but surprisingly, his kidney started working again as confirmed by a source. .

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Prince Ifeanyi Dike: The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), who suffered from the disease was successful after kidney transplant in India. He was out of the country for more than one year. Dike is a movie producer who founded Actors Guild of Nigeria back in  the  90’s.

What people think about kidney failure

Possible causes: Recent findings from research works by some health agencies revealed the life expectancy of Nigerians to be  between 53-55 years. It added that a good number  of people die early due to their  recklessness  and  carefree attitude towards eating. The source confirmed  that eating  balanced diet is the surest way to ensure that the metabolic activities  of the body are in gear.

A source who don’t want his name to be published , who survived kidney transplant attributed it on lifestyle and medication, noting  that smoking and drinking contributes immensely to the  disease but stressed that too much of self medication should not be discontented. “ One thing that causes it  especially in Nigeria is too much of self medication to suppress pain, too much  of use of analgesics. I think that  was  what knocked my kidney down  because I used  to work very hard and every time I swallow two tablets to quell the pains without giving my body rest tod reinvigorate  itself.

An upcoming female actress who wound not want her name published, wondered why it is mostly  men that are falling to kidney and organ diseases; adding that it is mostly the men who engage  in heavy and irresponsible drinking.

Also an actor in the movie industry, Chika Chukwuka, said it might be difficult to establish a link  between these habits  and kidney related illnesses except  one speaks with a  medical expert.

Nollywood actress and  politician, Oby Okafor (Lolo), said kidney failure wass a disease  people suffer, especially  Africans,  adding that it’s not only celebrities that fall under the hammer of kidney failure. “ The case of celebrities is that they are stars, whatever that happens to them, people must know,” she said and advised everybody to always  go for  medical checkup.

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Many have said a lot of things concerning this issue. A  close friend, Chinwe Obi, who lived at Surulere, observed closely that whenever celebrities gather  at Winny’s Hotel,  Surulere,   one is likely to encounter a good number of  actors, popular and unpopular luxuriating with endless bottles of beer and liquors while waiting for meeting and job offer.

Doctor’s angle to causes of kidney failure

Dr Maxwell Ogwa, a medical practitioner with Saviour Foundation Hospital, Achi, Enugu State, said diabetes and high blood pressure ( hypertension) were the most  common causes of  kidney failure, adding that not everybody with diabetes or high blood pressure will develop kidney failure. “ It is important for those with these condition to be checked regularly to  find out if the kidney are affected.

What can be done to reduce cases of kidney failure.

Dr Maxwell Ogwa advises a healthier lifestyle as a way of reducing the risk of  chrome kidney disease. These, he said, includes avoiding of self medication, especially analgesics, antibiotics and other pain killers and over the counter (OVT) drugs. “ If you are sick, go to the hospital and get tested. That is the only way to know what you are suffering, but for some people, once  they have a fever,or headache , they  conclude its malaria and they go to the local chemist down the street and buy drugs which they take, adding that taking drugs without prescription, especially for a prolonged period can lead to kidney damage. He also advised moderation of alcohol, smoking and use of  herbal medicines that has not been chemically tested to be safe for use , stressing the need for people to maintain a healthy weight to avoid diabetes and high-blood pressure,  eating healthy and  regular exercise.


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