Actors, producers, singers, others pay tribute to Bongoliso

The late Bongoliso

The entertainment industry in Nigeria on Friday held a night of tribute and songs at the Ayo Banloke Center for the late seasoned actor, singer and dancer, Pius Amolo, popularly called Bongoliso.

The Delta-born Amolo (55) died on Wednesday from a gas explosion in his house.

NAN reports that Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN) and some groups were represented at the event.

They planned to raise funds for the family.

Aremu Tope-Babayemi, the Vice President of AGN, told NAN at the event that Amolo distinguished himself in the creative industry.

“Only two weeks ago at this same venue, I saw him perform and thrill the crowd. Guests were amazed at his dexterity.

“He was not just a singer, dancer and actor, Amolo was a quintessential performer. Most artistes are either good dancers or singers or actors, but he was all," he said.

Babayemi also said that Amolo overcame challenges in his profession.

"In spite of the challenges in Nigeria’s creative industry, he excelled. Because he was highly skilled, there was always the need for his services.

“I was not surprised when he became the backbone and anchor of the Friday event at the Ayo Bankole Centre for Arts and Creative Expression.

“Ayo Bankole Centre is for discerning audience. It is for accomplished musicians. I wasn’t surprised to find him there, and he carved a niche for himself.

“He will be deeply missed not only by his family but his colleagues; I pray God to give us the strength to carry on. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

Actress Ann Njamanze said that she met Amolo when she was young in the industry and he was always willing to render help.

“He was never afraid of the mic and he was never selfish with the mic; he was always willing to share the mic and allow anyone play his own part on stage.

“He enjoyed Nigerian music more than anything else. I was on stage with him on a number of occasions. He was a wonderful person, a total package. It is sad he is no longer with us," she said.

Efe Omefe-Orahroha, also an actress, said she would remember the late Amolo for many reason.

“He is one of the very few people I met growing up as an artiste.

“I remember then, when my mother was a costumier in the industry and he was one of the good men in the industry I met.

“He was very reserved and responsible. A lot of men would want to take advantage of a young woman but he never did; instead he advised on how to better one’s life,’’ she said.

The actress said that the late Amolo usually advised cooking gas users to be careful with it.

An actor and producer, Ozi Okoli, told NAN that he first met Amolo at the Don Pedro Obaseki’s stage play, entitled: “Obaseki”.

“He acted a white man; he depicted that character very well and I later saw him sing. He sang well.
“He was a very good actor, dancer and singer, he was a true thespian.

“I was shocked at his death; his future was just opening up for him; when he was about to reap what he sowed, death came knocking; it is so painful,’’ he said.

A script writer, Femi Durojaiye, described Amolo as a reliable friend.

“You would like to have him as a friend; he was loyal and you would want to grow old with him. He was very creative and talented.

Durojaiye advised cooking gas users to be careful with it and regularly ensure it would be in order. (NAN)

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