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What happened to these actresses?
Nostalgia is such a great feeling. A universal feeling. We all like to watch something or see a picture and be reminded of the exact moment in our lives when we first saw that thing. Till today, there are so many scenes and quick shots from movies that I watched at a very young age that are randomly engraved in my mind.
In Nollywood, most of our nostalgia especially as it pertains to Nollywood comes from a handful of actors. Our veterans. Names like Shan George, Eucharia Anunobi, Clarion Chukwura…just the names of these actresses alone make most Nigerians go “Yaaaaa, eyaaaa, what ever happened to her? I used to love her movies.”
Because I too have asked that question for many of these actresses, I went digging and in my digging I have found some answers to your questions and I’m here to tell you today what really happened to some of your beloved actresses and why you don’t see a number of them anymore on screen.
Table of Contents
1. Shan George
Shan George is one of Nollywood’s major veteran actors. She started acting in Nollywood starring in the television soap opera, Winds of Destiny, in 1997. Following Winds of Destiny, Shan George went on to star in her first feature film titled Thorns of Rose, after which she went on to star in a slew of successful Nollywood movies including Outcast, and Blood Diamonds.
The actress unofficially quit acting sometime around 2008. In late 2019, tragedy struck and Shan George had to have a spine surgery. Speaking on what led up to and caused the spinal surgery, Shan said:
Sometime in late 2018, I had just finished organising the artists that would be on the governor’s band for the Calabar carnival in December. After all the rigorous activities, I suddenly realised that my knee was swollen. I didn’t understand what was going on, so I just attributed it to the carnival stress. I took some drugs and rested for a couple of days expecting to be up and about in a couple of days.
However, by early January, the pain had increased. I kept managing it by using pain killers, but by March, it had become worse. I then started going to hospitals to find out what was wrong. Eight months later, my left leg was almost paralysed. I was already bedridden for some months. That was when my doctor asked me to do a series of tests because I had been on medication since January and I wasn’t getting any better. They wanted to know if there was any disease in me that had been feeding on the medications I was taking
All the tests came out negative and they had to do an MRI scan. After the scan, they found out I had lumbar spondylosis, which is a disease of the spine. There is no medication for it and they told me it was a surgery that could correct it; it was a 50/50 situation. I had the surgery on August 29, 2019, and it was successful.
Thank God Shan is still with us. Hopefully one of these days we get to see her on our screens again.
2. Caroline Ekanem
Caroline Ekanem, now Caroline Danjuma, is a Nollywood actress who made her screen debut in 2004, starring in Deadly Care. Following that movie, she went on to star in a couple of other Chico Ejiro’s popular films including Deadly Kiss, Missing Angel, and The Captor.
The actress took a hiatus from acting for a while, but resurfaced in the 2016 movie, Stalker. Since then, she’s appeared in a couple of things such as 2018’s Royal Castle, although she’s no longer acting as frequently as she used to.
3. Rita Nzelu
Rita Nzelu is a Nollywood actress who made her acting debut in the incredibly successful Living in Bondage. Following the success of that movie, she went on to star in other movies such as Baby Mama, Unforgiven, and Nneka the Pretty Serpent.
The actress quit acting when she relocated to the United Kingdom to devote her time to her husband and children.
4. Benita Nzeribe
Benita Nzeribe is a Nollywood actress who made her acting debut in the Nollywood movie, Beyond Our Dream, but gained prominence when she starred in the hit movie, Agony of a Mother. Following that, she went on to star in a slew of movies such as Fire on Mountain, The Peacemaker, and Peace Talk.
Since she got married to her husband who lives in the United States of America, Benita hasn’t had a lot of time to focus on acting. She had occassionally dropped in every now and then over the years, but she’s definitely not doing it as much as she used to before she got married.
5. Lilian Bach
Lilian Bach came into the Nollywood industry in the 1990s as a model. She competed in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant and went on to feature in several TV commercials. She commenced her acting career in 1997, and starred in a number of Nollywood movies including Lost Paradise, The Search, and A Second Time.
Speaking about why she stopped acting, she said:
I purposely took a break from doing movies. I became a producer and I wanted to be doing my own movies but piracy couldn’t allow me. In Nollywood, experience is actually the best teacher; nobody really tells you the truth. You have to go through the experience to find out what others are suffering from. We cannot continue to ignore the fact that piracy has been trying to bring the industry down. That was why I took a break. I couldn’t continue producing movies without recouping my money. It is not a good thing.
6. Regina Askia
Regina Askia is a Nollywood actress who gained prominence in the 1990s and early 2000s. She starred in blockbuster movies such as The President’s Daughter, Suicide Mission, and Full Moon.
The actress now currently lives in America with her family, and is now a family nurse practitioner practicing in New York City.
7. Nkiru Sylvanus
Nkiru Sylvanus is a Nollywood actress who began her acting career at the age of 17, in 1999. She featured in so many successful movies including Buried Emotion, Alice My First Lady, and Divided Heart.
In 2011, Nkiru entered into politics becoming the Special Assistant on Lagos State Affairs to the former governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha. She would later become his Special Adviser on Public Affairs.
In 2012, Nkiru was kidnapped on December 15 but was later released on the 21st.
The actress has not been in any movies since her move into politics. At least we still have her old DVDs to reminisce on.