The Nigerian Film industry has recorded yet a shocking death.
Bubbly and dynamic filmmaker, Otu Njama, has died. He passed away on Tuesday night in his Lagos apartment less than 48 hours to the maiden edition of a show he was organising to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Prince Nico Mbarga, the legendary composer of ‘Sweet Mother’.
A sister to the deceased, Judith, confirmed to newsmen that her brother died around 9pm on Tuesday.
TCN learnt that complications arising from high blood pressure was suspected as the probable cause of death.
Njama, who was in his late 30s, was said to have gone to a clinic around his Badore, Ajah Lagos residence to have his BP checked.
It was said that the systolic read 197 at first measurement and 200 at second measurement, prompting the nurses to request of him to be admitted immediately.
An average systolic is expected to read 120, while diastolic is expected not to be more than 80.
However, it was learnt that Njama requested to be allowed to go home first before he could return for admission.
It was gathered that he branched over at a bar he operated beaide his home, gave out instructions and asked not to be disturbed while he retired into his apartment to rest.
TCN could not immediately ascertain whether his refusal to be admitted at the clinic was as a result of his show slated for 6pm tomorrow Thursday, August 11 at the CCX venue on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Tagged ‘An Evening With Nico Mbarga’ and being promoted by Njama in collaboration with Chocolate City, the ‘Nico Mbarga Festival’ as he chose to call it, was planned to celebrate the Nigerian-Cameroonian born Mbarga, who died in Njama’s home town of Calabar on June 24, 1997.
Njama had become enamoured of the Sweet Mother composer lately. On November 8, 2021, he announced on his Instagram page his plan to immortalise the highlife musician through a biopic.
“The name Prince Nico (Mbarga) has been on my mind for over two years. Together with my team, I look forward to making this a reality,” he said in the post.
He also had a Sweet Mother NFT Masterclass between July 7 and 9, with a view to using the training programme to raise awareness towards the ‘Nico Mbarga Festival’ tomorrow.
It was gathered that members of the Nico Mbarga family had arrived Lagos to participate in tomorrow’s show but were flabbergasted learning to be confronted with his death.
“Otu (Njama) paid for our trip to be on this show only to be told his body is at the morgue,” one of the Mbarga family members was reported to have said.
TCN gathered that a high blood pressure medication was found in his apartment but family members said his health status as an hypertensive patient was unknown to them.
Njama belonged to a few film and creative industry whatssap groups where he was quite active. He had earlier on Tuesday participated in a tribute organised by one of the whatssap platforms for Biyi Bandele, the director of Half of a Yellow Sun and Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman, who died in Lagos on Sunday at 54.
Njama had last Friday attended a film industry hangout by members of a Whatssap Group at a lounge in Ikeja and on Sunday had attended the premiere of SetUp2 at the Imax cinema in Lagos after which he joined a few friends for drinks.
Active as a filmmaker and hospitality business entrepreneur, Njama wrote, produced and directed the acclaimed feature film, Inhibition, in 2019.
He was a content director on Big Brother Naija Season 4, and loved to describe himself as an NFT creator and a pandemic survivor, a veiled reference to surviving covid19 infection in 2020.