Popular Yoruba actor, Murphy Afolabi, has been buried.
The Osogbo-born actor, popularly known for his Yoruba accent, was buried at his Ikorodu house located at Owoniboys, Mopelufa, by Aleke Bus Stop, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, amid a crowd of mourning friends, family, and sympathisers.
Afolabi, who clocked 49 on May 5, died on Sunday after he reportedly slipped in his bathroom at his Ajao Estate residence.
Our correspondent, who visited the deceased’s house on Monday, observed that some youths in the area, who crowded the late actor’s yet-to-be-completed building, prevented reporters from capturing or covering the burial ground until later in the evening when the burial took place.
The burial, which was scheduled for 1pm, did not take place until around 6pm as the body of the deceased did not arrive at the venue of the burial until around past 5pm.
Our correspondent also observed that the burial ground had been dug much earlier before the arrival of the deceased’s body.
‘Area boys’ create a scene
The house of the late actor was thronged by colleagues and sympathisers. Among them was the President of the Theatre Arts and Movies Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Bolaji Amusan, alias Mr Latin, who was waylaid and prevented from getting to the burial ground by some youths, who described themselves as “omo adugbo” (area boys), and demanded that Mr Latin “settle” them before they would allow him access to the burial ground.
The issue was later resolved and Mr Latin was eventually granted access to Afolabi’s burial ground.
Speaking to journalists, he described Afolabi’s demise as a “great loss” to the Nigerian movie industry.
He said, “Anybody can die. Murphy was not sick as far as we know. As you must have heard, he went to have his bath in the bathroom, slipped, and died. The news of his death came as a rude shock to us and is a great loss to the industry.”
As more actors and actresses arrived at the venue, there continued to be scenes of pandemonium created by the area boys who demanded money from the mourning thespians.
Moreover, the area boys created a scene when the body of the deceased arrived at the venue around 5pm, delaying the undertakers for several minutes from conveying the corpse from the ambulance that brought him to the burial ground.
Other thespians, who paid last respect to the late Afolabi, included Fausat Balogun (popularly known as Madam Saje), Yemi Ayebo (popularly known as Yemi My Lover), Mercy Aigbe, Oluwole Coker (also known as Baraka), and Taiwo Akinwande (popularly known as Yetunde Wunmi).
Each of the thespians at the venue hailed Afolabi for his contributions to the Nigerian movie industry. Amusan said Afolabi was “a good person” and advised those he left behind in the industry to strive to have good records.
Wunmi, who was sobbing while speaking to journalists, said Afolabi was too young to have died.
Speculations about marriage
There have been speculations about issues relating to Afolabi’s marital life with some claiming that the deceased had no wife but had children with different women.
Speaking exclusively to The PUNCH, actress and a former apprentice of Afolabi, Folasade Gold, said she would rather not comment about the deceased’s marriage.