Artistes have continued to pay tributes to the late eminent artiste and playwright, James Iroha, a.k.a Giringori, who succumbed on Tuesday.
Giringori, a humourist, who created one of the longest television soap operas ``The Masquerade”, died at the age of 70.
Mufu Onifade, Lagos State Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), said that Giringori’s death was a “painful loss” to the art world.
“He came and worked hard to keep Nigeria alive with his pure heart-rending humour.
“He is gone but his work lives forever in our hearts,” said the NANTAP leader.
Also, NANTAP spokesperson, Ozi Okoli, said it was “very sad that those who contributed to the foundation of Nigerian television drama usually got little in return in their old age.”
“It is a case of the creator of laughter not experiencing the laughter he created in his life before leaving the scene of laughter he created,” said Okoli.
He said that Iroha would be remembered for his humble, idyllic lifestyle, adding, ``I wish all of us would emulate him.”
A veteran actor, Lari Williams, said that the country had “lost a theatre gem”.
“As you know, theatre is almost dead, and he is one of the pillars of the theatre”.
“I worked with him on the set of the Masquerade in Enugu; he was a very amiable person, a very peace-loving person, always trying to bring out something out of nothing,” he said.
Zeb Ejiro, a film producer, said Iroha’s death was a sad story.
“He has left a vacuum that cannot easily be filled by anybody; it is sad that people who put smiles on the faces of everybody are not being recognised and honoured”.
A former Director-General, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Eddie Ugboma, expressed regrets that Nigerians were fond of making noise when a star is dead.
“It is a shame that James Iroha died in penury. May his soul rest in peace,” Ugboma said.
An actress, Ibidun Allison, popularly known as ``Amebo” in her role in the defunct “Village Headmaster” television series, said Iroha’s death was a sad news for the art industry and for Nigerians.
“He really paid his dues, we will all miss him, may his soul rest in peace,” she said.
The Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, Prof. Tunde Babawale, said Iroha was a good actor who exhibited one of the finest traditions in the performing art.
“He did it for the love of the art and gave it all that he had. For that we can commend him.
“In a way, we can call him one of the pioneers of what has become Nollywood industry directly or indirectly. We wish his soul eternal repose,” Babawale said. (NAN)
A famous Nollywood actor, Mr Pete Edochie, has described the death of the veteran actor, James Iroha, as a tragic loss to the industry.
Edochie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday that the late actor was a humour merchant, an interesting comedian and a veteran on stage.
“His death is a tragic loss because he was one of the most competent thespians on stage. He was a humour merchant, he was an incredible comedian. James is somebody you stay with and you laugh your ribs into some pains.
“He was a fantastic human being so I miss him and the industry will also miss him.’’
He said the late Iroha was a dear friend, a gem who spent his life entertaining members of the public.
Edochie, however, said the movie industry would work together with the children of the late actor to ensure a befitting burial for him.
Also reacting, Dr Eddie Mbadiwe, a House of Representatives member representing Ideato North and South Federal Constituency, said the late actor’s talent was not fully exploited.
He said that such talents should be encouraged in the movie industry.
Iroha passed away on Tuesday at the age of 69 after a prolonged illness.
The actor was popularly known for his role as ''Giringori'' in the popular comedy series, `The New Masquerade’.
He was from Amokwe Item in Abia. He was also a member the Theatre Arts Department at the University of Ibadan. (NAN)