Category Archives: Obituary

DMX, electrifying rapper who defined 2000s rap, dies at 50

Earl Simmons, better known as DMX

DMX, the prolific rapper and actor who rose to fame in the late 1990s and 2000s, has died nearly a week after suffering a heart attack, his family said in a statement Friday. He was 50 years old.

The rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was hospitalized in White Plains, New York, after suffering the heart attack on April 2. He spent roughly a week on life support and was facing what his family called “serious health issues.”

“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him,” his family said. “Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time.”

Known for his electrifying hits, aggressive rhymes and growling voice, DMX defined the 2000s era of hip-hop, becoming the first artist to debut an album at No. 1 five times in a row on the Billboard charts. He also became a welcome face on screen, becoming an actor with roles in the cult classic “Belly” in 1998, “Romeo Must Die” in 2000 and “Exit Wounds” in 2001.

Fellow musicians and celebrities responded to news of DMX’s hospitalization with public displays of support and condolences to his family, including Missy Elliot, Ja Rule, Rick Ross, Sisqo, LL Cool J and Chance The Rapper. And his fans hoped to lift him up outside the hospital where he was admitted. Dozens attended a prayer vigil, playing the rapper’s greatest hits, chanting his name and sharing their love for his work.

The rapper was born on December 18, 1970, in Mount Vernon, New York, and eventually moved to the city of Yonkers. He often spoke of growing up in an abusive household and turning to music as an outlet. In his 2003 autobiography, he wrote about his family’s struggles, calling his childhood “rough.” He said he was hit by a car at a young age and abused by his family, which led him to act out at home and at school.

After gaining a reputation for being “crazy,” DMX taught himself how to beatbox and created a new name and identity for himself while struggling with addiction. But before he could perform as a DJ, he needed a name. Help came in the form of one of the greatest drum audio machines at the time.

“DMX was the name of one of the best early drum machines a lot of the kids were using and since I felt I was nice with the beats, I took that. It was strong, powerful,” he wrote. “I liked the three letters and thought that it would be cool to make them stand for different things. So when I went back to Children’s Village after my home visit, I was no longer Earl Simmons or even Crazy Earl. I was DMX. DMX The Beat Box Enforcer.”

X’s music was often an honest reflection of his personal struggles, containing themes of religion, violence and redemption. In 1998, he released his debut album, “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot,” which debuted at No. 1 on the music charts. He’s often credited with reinvigorating the New York rap scene, and over the course of his career, he released a total of seven albums and was nominated for three Grammy Awards.

In a 2019 interview, he spoke about his love of performing on stage in front of his fans. “Performing in front of people is beyond a high. It’s beyond a high that any drug could duplicate,” he told GQ at the time. “Just being onstage, period, and knowing that there’s so much love out there.”

Queen Elizabeth’s Husband Prince Philip, Dies At 99

Prince Philip

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of reigning British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, has died at the age of 99. Buckingham Palace confirmed his death on April 9.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the statement read. The Duke was married to the Queen for over 70 years, and was the longest-serving consort in British history.

Prince Philip was admitted to hospital on February 16, after feeling unwell, but was released a month later, having undergone a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition.

The son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice, Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921, but primarily raised in Britain.

He renounced his right to the Greek and Danish thrones in 1947 and took his mother’s surname, Mountbatten. Philip married Elizabeth Windsor, a distant cousin, later that year – five years before her ascension to the British throne in 1952.

He became father to Prince Charles and grandfather to Prince Harry and Prince William. He was also father to Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward.

The young Philip had a turbulent early life. His parents separated while the Duke was still a boy, and Princess Alice was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to an asylum in the late 1920s. As a child, Philip moved from Greece to France, to Britain, and then to Germany for his education, returning to the UK in the mid-1930s amid the rise of Nazism in Germany.

His biographers describe his time in Britain as calm, though tragedy struck the young royal in 1937 when his sister, Cecile, and her German husband, along with their family, were killed in a plane crash at Ostend.

A colorful character, Prince Philip’s forthright manner, political incorrectness, conservative political views and frequent public gaffes came to be a source of considerable embarrassment for the monarchy.

Among his many blunders, Philip once asked British expats in Dubai if they were “running away from something” and told the President of Nigeria, who was wearing national traditional dress, that he looked like he was “ready for bed.” In 1998, he told a cash-strapped student to consider living in a hostel to “save cash.”

“If you stay here much longer, you’ll go home with slitty eyes,” he told a British student studying in China in 1986. He also referred to places as near and far as Stoke-on-Trent and Beijing as “ghastly.”

He was also known for some self-deprecating humor, remarking on his marriage in 1999 that the Queen “has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”

Philip retired from public engagements in 2017 after seven decades of service. Before Queen Elizabeth’s coronation the Duke served with the Royal Navy from January 1940 to the end of World War II.

In addition to his royal duties, he also served in the role of president of the World Wildlife Fund between 1981 and 1996, as well as engaging in other philanthropic endeavors.

The Duke was involved in a road accident in early 2019 when he collided with another car and his Land Rover flipped over. He had been suffering ill health in recent years and was admitted to hospital multiple times, including for a hip operation in 2018 and an infection in 2017, and most recently for treatment of a “pre-existing condition” in 2019.

As the Duke aged, the British tabloid press often speculated about his deteriorating health. They reported in 2011 that he had given up his hobby of shooting after receiving a stent in his heart, and as the coronavirus pandemic spread in 2020, they reported on his isolation in Windsor Castle, watchful for any signs of ill health.

However, both Philip and the Queen received their vaccinations against the virus in January.

Immortalise  Eze Aro with quality road, Arochukwu indigenes appeal to FG

By Steve Oko

The people of Arochukwu ancient kingdom in Abia State have passionately appealed to the Federal Government to expedite action towards the completion of the Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal highway to immortalise their deceased monarch, Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro (Eze Aro).

Chairman Aro National Rites of Passage Committee, Prof. Okoro Ijeoma, who made the appeal during an event marking the royal rites of passage of the late monarch, decried the deplorable condition of the colonial road.

Following the sorry-state of the road, a trip from Umuahia the state capital which ordinarily should take one hour now takes about three hours.

Arochukwu has produced many emminent personalities including the Ikokwus, the Ohuabunwas, and many others but the only federal road linking the ancient town with other communities in Igbo land has been delapidated for decades.

Professor Ijeoma begged the federal government to give the town which he described as the cradle of Igbo civilisation, a sense of belonging by rebuilding their only access road.

He described the late monarch

as “a highly talented, educated, very respectful king who sacrificed a lot for the peace of his community.”

His words: “We have had a road which is in despair and it was one of those agonies that faced him when he was alive and we want as a lasting legacy for the road to be fixed to honour him, because that is how we can grow economically and socially.”

In his tribute, convener of the New Nigeria Group, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, described the late Eze Aro as a patriotic monarch who emptied himself for his subjects.

“Late Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, preached peace and collective responsibility towards the development of his community while on the throne.

Speaking also, former Speaker ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, described the late Eze Aro as man of great wisdom who left indelible imprint on the sands of time.

Similarly, a security expert, Chief Chikwe Udensi, described the late monarch as “an epitome of Arochukwu culture and tradition.”

He said his demise was a big blow to his subjects, adding that his people had only taken solace in the fact that he lived a life of service to his people.

Born in 1932, the late monarch trained in the United Kingdom as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.

He returned to Nigeria and worked at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he was involved in the production of Nigeria’s first cholera vaccine in 1971 together with the renowned Professor of Virology and former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Augustine Njoku-Obi.

He was the pioneer head of the Department of Laboratory Technology at the University of Nigeria Teaching hospital, Enugu.

“He retired as the Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist at the UNN in 1988 to ascend the throne.

Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro ascended the famous Eze Aro throne in 1995 and reigned for 25 years before his demise last year.

He was a first-class traditional ruler and occupied one of the ancient traditional stools in Nigeria and was the custodian of the Aro heritage worldwide.

Rights activist, Patrick Eholor, condoles with Edo NUJ over demise of member

Human rights activist and President of One Love Foundation(a non-profit making organisation), Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor, has joined the bandwagon of top personalities consoling members and officials of the Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) over the shocking departure of one of its members, Mr. Ezekiel Isesele of Champion Newspaper.

Drenched in tears Chief Eholor said: “The sad news of the demise of Mr. Ezekiel Isesele came to me like a thunderbolt. Isesele was one of the journalists I have very close contact with.

“To say that he was a hardworking journalist is to belittle him. He was way more than that as he devoted his time to crafting very interesting reports that can hardly be faulted. Over time he was noted for his insistence of following the tenets of the journalism profession to the letter by ensuring that his reports are well balanced.

“Also, Isesele would be remembered for the bubbly lifestyle he adopted in his endeavours. For him there was never a dull moment as he carried out his assignments.”

Going further, Chief Eholor called on the NUJ to endeavour to start a process of catering for the welfare of journalists if possible through some kind of collaboration with some reputable organisations and individuals.

“Gone are the days when media practitioners would be left to fend for themselves in any way they deem fit. The new deal should be such that even when the reporters are gone to the world beyond their family members should be catered for within the limit of available resources via insurance claims and other welfare programmes,” Chief Eholor concluded.

Anguish as Edo NUJ loses fourth journalist in less than three months

Late Ezekiel Isesele

Early morning hours of Saturday, March 27th, 2021, reporters in Edo State rose from their beds to hear the sad news of the passage of one of our colleagues, Ezekiel Isessele, the correspondent of Champion Newspaper in Edo State.

The sad news which crept into the rumour mills in a mixture of confusion and disbelief was subsequently confirmed with a visit to Itua Medical Center situated in Agho Street, off Ekenwan Road, Benin City, where the hardworking and amiable penpusher’s body laid prostrate as he took a final bow to the great beyond.

The graduate of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, hailed from Ewu, a community in Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State.

He has worked in several media houses, and is survived by a wife, Francisca, and three children.

Isessele was aged 48 years.

His demise is making him the fourth journalist, including veterans, to die in quick succession in Edo State this year – namely Sunny Ojeiduma(City People), Tony Momoh(Veteran), Alhaji Abuda(Veteran) and Ezekiel Isesele (Champion Newspaper).

May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Arochukwu kingdom announces eternal passage of Eze Aro, burial date

Immediate past Traditional Ruler of Aro Kingdom and custodian of its heritage, His Majesty, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, also known as Eze Aro of Arochukwu, will be buried on Monday, April 5, 2021.

An official burial announcement by Prof Okoro Ijoma and Mazi Anicho Okoro, chairman and secretary of Aro National Rites of Passage Committee respectively, said that the burial will climax a week-long passage of rites for the late first class Monarch which kicks off on Friday, April 2.

The official funeral announcement made available to journalists on Friday read, “The Aro Kingdom, Abia State of Nigeria hereby announces the passage of the custodian of the Aro heritage and Eze Aro of Arochukwu, His Majesty, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, CFR.

“Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro joined our ancestors and the Aro saints after a brief ‘ovia uwasi’.

“Before ascending the throne, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, who trained in the United Kingdom as a Medical Laboratory Scientist, was pioneer head of Department of Laboratory Technology at the University of Nigeria Teaching hospital, Enugu.

“He retired as the Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist at the UNN in 1988 to ascend the throne.

“The Igbo week-long rites of passage of His Majesty, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, CFR, will take place from Friday, 2nd to Monday, 5th April, 2021.
The climax of the funeral rites will hold on Monday, 5th April at the Arochukwu Civic and Cultural Center, Oror, Arochukwu by 10 am.

“Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro ascended the famous Eze Aro throne in 1995 and his reign witnessed tremendous transformation of the Kingdom and growth in inter-communal relations.

Among other positions, Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro was a first-class traditional ruler and occupied one of the ancient traditional stools in Nigeria and was the custodian of the Aro heritage worldwide.

Family announces burial date for Mrs Juliana Okeke of Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State

Mrs Juliana Okeke (Ononuju)

The family of Late Simon Okeke of Umuezu in Awovu village Enugwu-Ukwu, Njikoka Local Government Area has announced the burial date for Mrs Juliana Okeke (Ononuju).

According to a Statement signed by the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, the date fixed for the ceremony is April 9th, 2021.

Mrs Okeke is the mother of Lolo Victoria Kalu, who is the wife of Chief Dr Emeka C Kalu, a national leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Director General of Atikulated Agenda Movement Worldwide.

She is also the mother of Mrs Grace Ijeoma Onejeme née Okeke, a US based pharmacist.

The burial arrangements are as follows:

FRIDAY 9TH APRIL, 2021
8:30-9:30 am: Body lying in State at Chief R. N. Okeke’s compound Awovu village Enugwu-Ukwu

10 AM: Funeral service at St. Monica’s Anglican Church Enugwu-Ukwu.

By 1 PM Interment, Followed by Condolence visits at Chief R. N. Okeke’s Compound Enugwu-Ukwu

SUNDAY 11TH APRIL, 2021
Thanksgiving Service at St. Monica’s Anglican Church Enugwu-Ukwu.

The invitation also stipulated that due to COVID-19, there will be restriction from crowding, and strict observance of Covid 19 protocols.

BREAKING: Gregory Ibe’s father, Eze Cyril Ibe joins his ancestors

His Royal Highness Eze Cyril Elesim Ibe, the Okwelube 1 of Amaokwe Achara Autonomous Community

The Cyril Ibe royal family of Amaokwe Achara Uturu has announced the death of His Royal Highness Eze Cyril Elesim Ibe, the Okwelube 1 of Amaokwe Achara Autonomous Community.

The announcement which is contained in a press release issued by the first son of the deceased Prof Gregory Ibe, Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu, and signed by Sleek Ogbonnaya Ogwo, the university’s Deputy Registrar, Media & Public Relations stated that the monarch died at the age of 99 years after a brief illness.

The statement reads in part “On behalf of the Cyril Ibe Royal family, the Okwelube dynasty, the traditional cabinet and entire people of Amaokwe Achara, I regret to announce the death of our patriach, His Royal Highness Eze Cyril Elesim Ibe, Okwelube 1 of Amaokwe Achara Uturu, at the ripe age of 99 years, after a brief illness. Burial arrangements will be communicated in due course after the completion of appropriate religious and traditional rites”.

According to the statement, condolence registers have been opened at strategic places in Uturu, including the palace of the deceased, country home of Prof Gregory Ibe and at the Senate building of Gregory University Uturu,while messages could be sent online to goodbye.ezecyrilibe@gmail.com.

The release concluded by soliciting the prayers and intercessions of the public for peaceful repose of the late monarch.

MOURNERS LINE TANZANIA STREETS AT EX-PRESIDENT MAGUFULI FUNERAL(Photos)

Mourners have lined the streets of Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam to pay their last respects to ex-President John Magufuli.

His successor Samia Suluhu Hassan led the procession, with the coffin draped in the national flag taken to the Uhuru Stadium to lie in state.

Opposition politicians say that Magufuli, 61, had contracted Covid-19, but this has not been confirmed.

He was a Covid sceptic who at times denied the virus affected Tanzania.

Magufuli was the son of a peasant farmer and went on to became Tanzania’s president in 2015.

Some residents wept and threw flowers on the coffin which was pulled by a military vehicle on Saturday.

President Samia, who was sworn into office on Friday, led the government procession in which many wore black or green and yellow to represent the colours of the ruling party.

She is Africa’s only current female national leader – the Ethiopian presidency is a largely ceremonial role – and joins a short list of women on the continent to have run their countries.

The government announced on Wednesday that Magufuli had died from a heart condition after he had been missing from public for several weeks.

His position on coronavirus ranged from stating it did not exist in Tanzania to saying the country had beaten the pandemic through prayer.

But in February, after a number of senior politicians died from the virus, he conceded it was circulating in Tanzania.

Known as the “bulldozer”, before the pandemic Magufuli was praised for his no-nonsense approach and hailed for his anti-corruption stance and his distinct dislike for wasting money.

On Friday President Samia spoke of the “heavy load” on her shoulders and urged for the “burying of differences” and unity during the mourning period.

BREAKING: Frontline IPOB leader, Barrister Emma Nmezu is dead

One of the frontline pioneers of the outlawed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) in London, Barrister Emma Nmezu is dead.

The news of his death was announced by one of his comrades, Uchenna Asiegbu through his verified Facebook page.

According to Elombahnews, the London based legal expert was battling with an undisclosed illness before his death.

Late Barrister Emma Nmezu will be remembered for his selfless contribution towards the restoration of the defunct nation of Biafra.