Saint Obi’s Cause Of Death: How Bad Marriage & Violent In-Laws Contributed To His Early Death
The Tragic Journey of Saint Obi: A Life of Stardom, Struggles, and Heartbreak By Zik Zulu Okafor
In the glittering world of showbiz, Saint Obi was a name that resonated with fans and admirers alike. With his charismatic onscreen presence, dashing looks, and captivating performances, he captivated the hearts of many. However, behind the scenes, Saint Obi, whose real name was Obinna Nwafor, lived a life shrouded in irony, loneliness, and untold struggles.
Contrary to his larger-than-life persona on the screen, Saint Obi was a man of quiet and introspective nature. Shyness and timidity seemed to define his character, and he treasured the tranquility of intimate gatherings with a close-knit circle of friends. He would withdraw from any situation that threatened to disturb the poise of these small gatherings, seeking solace in the simplicity of a cool, quiet, and fulfilling life.
But did he truly live the life he yearned for? Doubts linger as we delve into the complex tale of Saint Obi.
It is with a heavy heart that I recount Saint’s story, for he was a superstar whose life took an unexpected turn, casting a shadow of irony over his once-promising future.
It was through his stardom that Saint Obi found love and companionship. He entered into a marriage that would profoundly alter the course of his life, pulling him away from the creative community that had propelled him to fame and success.
The union was swift, almost enigmatic. Saint barely had the chance to share the news of his impending nuptials before the wedding took place. It was a mystique event, veiled in secrecy, with only those involved truly understanding the theatrics that unfolded. To the surprise of his closest pals, who had stood by him throughout his journey in Nollywood, none received an invitation. The chasm between Saint and his trusted companions had begun to widen, and with each passing year, the divide grew greater. Annual encounters with Saint became rare occurrences.
On the surface, it appeared that life had smiled upon Saint Obi. He dressed elegantly, drove luxurious cars, and radiated an aura of well-being. His skin, quite literally, exemplified a state of perfect health.
Saint was blessed with the arrival of three beautiful children. However, his friends from the Nollywood community were never invited to share in the joyous occasions of their christenings or birthdays. It was revealed that his wife hailed from the upper echelons of the telecommunications giant, MTN.
Even if their celebrations were intended to be exclusive gatherings of the elite from the world his wife belonged to, one would have expected Saint to reach out to his fellow creatives. Despite their humble beginnings, there should have been no shame in embracing their shared journeys and stories. After all, actors and cineastes in Nollywood are by no means destitute.
Tragically, Saint’s marriage not only isolated him from his friends but also severed his ties with the world of Nollywood. He ceased to act and disappeared from the industry, leaving behind his career and his true calling.
In hindsight, this turn of events seems prophetic. I recall a visit I made to Saint’s massive office in Lekki, Lagos, approximately six years ago. I sought to understand why he had abandoned our beloved industry. With his characteristic shyness, he explained that he wanted to focus on other business ventures and work behind the camera. His explanation did little to convince me, and I sternly reminded him that he must not forsake the trade that had elevated him to his esteemed status.
Three years would pass before Saint returned to his colleagues, but his reappearance was met with disappointment by some
Rumors of cracks in his marriage had begun to circulate, and Saint sensed that it was time to share his truth. And so he did.
“I cannot comprehend why my wife’s siblings see me as a gold digger,” he confided, his eyes welling up with tears. “They confront me, harass me, and disrupt the harmony of my matrimony. My wife does nothing to stop them. I work hard, I earn my money. I have never relied on my wife,” he lamented, his voice trembling with pain.
It was evident that he was suffering deeply. During my next visit, I noticed a deep cut above his left eye, a battle scar from a physical altercation. He recounted how his wife’s brothers had scaled the walls of their house to attack him, their actions captured on hidden closed-circuit television cameras installed for security purposes.
Saint reported the incident to the police and obtained a gun for self-defense. This marked the beginning of the end for his marriage and, perhaps, Saint Obi’s descent into a tragic fate. He moved out of his marital home and embarked on a journey of self-reconstruction, alone and without his wife and three beloved children.
Meanwhile, his wife utilized her financial power to manipulate the course of justice, defending her siblings through legal means. Astonishingly, she filed for divorce in Ogun State, strategically complicating matters for Saint. Unyielding and resolute, he vowed to fight for custody of his children, knowing that their love for him would make it unbearable to live without them.
Divorce, he declared, was not the issue. His marriage had long since disintegrated, a casualty of irreconcilable differences and shattered dreams. Saint spoke with a mixture of courage and a trembling heart that betrayed his anguish.
In the midst of these tumultuous events, Obinna fell seriously ill. However, he chose to suffer in silence, confiding in no one. He became increasingly elusive, frequently seeking medical attention and selling his prized possessions, including two of his three luxurious SUVs, to cover the costs and acquire smaller vehicles for use as an Uber driver.
But his health continued to deteriorate, his premonition of an impending end growing stronger. He wept for the lost opportunity to see his children and his emaciated frame mirrored the bleakness of his existence.
Life painted a grim portrait.
My final encounter with Saint took place in January 2023. He appeared aged, a mere shadow of his former self. The macho allure he once exuded had diminished, his once-fat wallet reduced to mere memories. Only his unwavering will remained intact, his eyes reflecting a sense of loss and confusion.
Little did I know that it would be the last time I would lay eyes on him.
Unbeknownst to many, Saint quietly left Lagos and sought solace with his sister in Jos. He disclosed his departure to no one, retreating into the solitude he had grown accustomed to.
Yet, a month ago, in April 2023, the enigmatic silence that had enveloped Saint was shattered. He reached out to our mutual friend in the United States, delivering a devastating message. He lay on his deathbed, he said, pleading for our friend’s prayers.
“It’s not looking good,” he implored. “Please pray for me.”
Then, on May 1, 2023, Saint made his final call. His voice quivered as he shared his plight with his mentor, Zeb Ejiro, the man who had played a pivotal role in his rise to stardom.
With a voice heavy with despair, he revealed that he had undergone three surgeries but remained hospitalized in Jos. His situation, he confessed, was dire. He lamented the pain of not being able to see his children, yet he pleaded with Zeb not to disclose the gravity of his ailment to anyone.
And so, the curtain fell on the life of this creative hermit, a solitary performer plagued by personal demons and a tragic destiny.
I was the first to receive the news of his passing late on Sunday, May 7. With a heavy heart, I confirmed the news and reached out to Zeb Ejiro.
“I have devastating news, my brother,” I began.
“What is it? What is it?” he anxiously inquired.
“A shining star has fallen in Nollywood.”
Zeb broke down in tears. I hadn’t even mentioned Saint’s name, but amidst his uncontrollable sobbing, he whispered, “Please don’t tell me it’s Saint Obi.”
Sadly, he was right.
May his soul find eternal peace.