Popular Nollywood actress, Rachael Oniga, has passed away, aged 64.
Her family confirmed the demise of the popular actress on Saturday in a statement signed on its behalf by a sister to the deceased, Deaconess Toyin Odusote.
The actresses, according to the statement, died on Friday night around 10pm from a heart-related condition.
“Contrary to diverse reports informing that she died from Covid-19 complications, we wish to inform the general public that she died from a heart-related issue, an ailment she battled with for a short period before her demise,” the statement read in part.
It added that the burial arrangement would be announced in due course.
But TCN reliably gathered that the popular actress had last week treated typhoid and malaria fevers while on the set of a big-budget film production in Lagos.
She was said to have also complained of excessive sudden cold while filming on the set of the said movie on Wednesday in Lagos but was determined to stay on set given that she was playing a co-lead role in the movie.
Being a diabetic patient, TCN learnt the actress was careful about her meals while on the set of the movie and had thought her cold and fever had to do with the resistant malaria fever and typhoid she had treated the previous week.
It was learnt that she eventually left the set of the movie on Wednesday night for an undisclosed hospital with a promise to return to the set to finish her remaining scenes over the weekend only to develop further complications that resulted in her death on Friday night.
Oniga featured in a lot of Nollywood movies — both English and Yoruba before her death.
She first starred in ‘Onome’ which was directed by Chico Ejiro in 1996 while her debut movie in Yoruba was ‘Owo Blow’ by Tade Ogidan in 1997.
The 64-year-old actress used to work for a European engineering consultancy firm with its regional head office in Nigeria before settling down to acting.
In a career that spanned about 27 years, the multiple award-winning actress also featured in movies like ‘The Wedding Party’, ‘The Royal Hibiscus Hotel’, ’30 Days in Atlanta’, ‘Sango’, ‘Out of Bounds’, among others.
Born on May 23, 1957, the actress began her acting career in 1993.