Advice mum gave me before her death –Zeb Ejiro, filmmaker

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By Tony Ogaga

Veteran producer, Zeb Ejiro, has opened up on his mum fondly called ‘Mama Nollywood’ who passed away a couple of months back.

According to the brain behind super flicks like Domitila and Yellow Cassava, he will always miss his mother. Hear him: “I think it would be wonderful to listen to people when they talk about her. For me as a son, I have always said that my brother and I, whatever we are in the industry today, was because of her; it started with her. When we were in Equatorial Guinea growing up, during holidays and weekends, she always took us to the movies. She was so addicted to the cinemas. That was where the idea that my brother and I would go into the industry originated.”

Mama Nollywood passed on at the ripe age of 83, is Ejiro still crying? “Yes, I am still crying,” he said with a tinge of regret. “This is a woman I have been with all my life. At her old age, she lived with me all through. So, each time I think of certain times we spent together, I cry. The day it happened I was with friends and I broke down in tears like a baby and everybody was surprise.”

Sweet mother

Ejiro continued: “My friends were like ‘she was 83, why are you crying?’ I cried because there are mothers and there are mothers. She was not just a mother, she was a special mother and I can’t imagine that she is not here. We had been together for such a long I time I took it for granted that she would always be here with me.”

What will Ejiro miss most about her mum? His response: “I will miss her advice and love. When things were tough she was always the one who came to my side and said ‘let us pray’ and gave me words of advice. I am going to miss that a lot. She was such a sweet and loving mother.

“I am going to miss the motherly touch. Each time I was by her side I became that baby again. You never grow up in front of your mum; you are always a baby and I am happy to be that baby. I always took sanctuary under her wings.

“Mum was strong in the Lord and she prayed hard for us. Everywhere she went and every church she attended she touched lives and today, they are all calling and asking for that great woman and how much they are determined to give her a befitting burial.

“Even in the industry they call her ‘Mama Nollywood’. A lot of the stars you see today passed through her and benefitted from her one way or the other.”

One rainy Sunday morning…

Recounting the last days of her life, Zeb said: “My mother is very prayerful and she never joked with church. That Sunday it was raining heavily so she dressed very well and said she was going to church, but my wife said ‘mummy don’t go to church because it is raining. Why not wait until after the rain?’ But later, she went to church and when she came back, she ate and slept off.”

Last moments

Teary-eyed Ejiro narrated her mother’s last moments: “Later, she complained to me that she was not feeling fine, her tummy was paining her and all that and we gave her some medicine to take and we thought it was all okay but later at 12 midnight, she came to wake me in my bedroom that she wasn’t feeling okay but we were able to manage the situation until the next morning after which I took her to the hospital.

“I left her there with my son and when I came back from the office, I went to see her and she was okay; Chico and I were with her. The doctor reassured us that all was well.

“The next morning my wife and I and the entire household went to the hospital again. I did not like the way I saw her and I complained to the doctor and then they said they were going to do a scan. Before the scan, she started gasping for breath and the doctor said they had to stabilize her and she was taken back to the hospital, and before we knew it, she gave up. She died on a Wednesday.”

Advice

For the moviemaker, his mum is the secret of his success. He says that to this day he has not forgotten the invaluable advise she gave him while growing up. “She did not just give advice,” Zeb says with emphasis, “she lived the advice. She loved God and she said I should love and serve God unconditionally. Those are the two things I will never forget.”

Zeb Ejiro finally plans to delve into politics

Front-line movie producer in Nigeria, Zeb Ejiro, OON, is currently warming up to delve into politics, ahead of 2019 general elections.

Sources close to the creator of the popular Sitcom, “Ripples” which ran for five years uninterrupted on NTA before it was rested in 1993, said Zeb as a card carrying member of PDP is planning to contest for the House of Representatives, Isoko Federal Constituency, in Delta State. The seat is presently occupied by Hon. Leo Ogor who, according to our source, is considering vying for the seat for the fifth time in a row.

Zeb, who our source said, he’s going into politics because he wants to make a positive impact on the lives of the Isoko nation has already started  making underground moves prior to flagging off  his political campaigns soon. “ Zeb is going into politics in 2019. He will be contesting for the House of Representatives, Isoko Federal Constituency under the platform of PDP.  His campaign team will be launched very soon in his home town of Ozoro, in Isoko Local Government Area, ahead of 2019 general election,” the source disclosed.

Disclosing further, the source said, “ Zeb is going into politics because he wants to make positive change that the people of Isoko nation can see and believe. Isoko nation contributes heavily to the economic development of the country as oil producing community, yet there is nothing to show for it. His slogan is putting the people first before any other thing.” Meanwhile, when contacted, the Presido, as he’s fondly called by his colleagues in the industry only nods  his head in confirmation of the cheery news.

Zeb, whose life resolves around film making, training and discovering young artists, according to many, is long overdue to delve into politics.

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