altVeteran actor and ‘Mr. Andrew’ of the popular, “I’m checking out” television commercial in the 1980s, Enebeli Elebuwa, who had been battling stroke for over two years, is dead. He died in a hospital in faraway New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

National Secretary of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Abubakar Yakub, confirmed the death of the seasoned actor to P.M.NEWS this morning. His colleagues, including the AGN President, Ibinabo Fiberesima, are expected to meet his family to arrange for the transportation of his corpse back to Nigeria.

The late Enebeli hails from Ukpane in Otagunu Local Government, Delta State. He lost his dad at a tender age and moved to Lagos to seek greener pastures. He started acting in 1967 and the first soap opera he did was Mirror in the Sun. He also featured as a police officer in The Village Headmaster, which was the most popular soap opera back then. His first film which was on celluloid, Dinner with the Devil, produced by Sanya Dosumu, was in 1974.

Enebeli joined the Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood, fully in 1994. Formerly a Producer/Director in Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), he was in the movie industry for over 30 years. He was married with four kids.

Before the deceased actor was flown to Indian, he was first taken to an Abuja private hospital on the bill of actress Stella Damasus. But when his health did not improve, the decision to fly him abroad was taken. The actor actually spoke from India some days back, claiming that his health was improving and that he would be back on his feet soon.

Reacting to his death, former AGN President, Segun Arinze, said: “It was a big loss. He was a national hero and we will try our best to give him a befitting burial. I pray that God will give his family the fortitude to bear the loss.”

Also reacting, the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma lamented: “Enebeli was a good friend. He was an icon in Nollywood. From nothing, he became something in life. He lived an exemplary life a fine actor, who will be missed in the Nigerian film industry. Our prayer is that God will grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

(c) Nico news