Chief Justus Esiri OON
|Died||19 February 2013(aged 70)|
Justus Esiri (20 November 1942 – 19 February 2013) was a veteran award-winning Nigerian actor, generally considered to be one of the pillars of Nollywood with an acting career that goes way back to the 1960s. He came into prominence for his role in popular Nigerian Television Authority TV-series The Village Headmaster and the film adaptation of Chinua Achebe's book Things Fall Apart. He won Best Actor award at the 9th Africa Movie Academy Awards post-humously for his role in Assassins Practice and was also honoured as the inaugural recipient of the "Goodluck Jonathan Lifetime Achievement award" at the 2013 Nollywood Movies Awards. The Nigerian government honoured him with several National honours with the highest being an Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON for his contribution to the development of Film-Making in Nigeria. He is the father of popular Mavin Records Musician Dr Sid.
Early life and career
Justus was born on 20 November 1942 in Oria-Abraka, Delta State. He then proceeded to Effurun and attended Urhobo College, Bendel State. He left Nigeria for Germany for his higher education. Institutions he attended in Germany included Maximillan University, Munich, German(1964), Prof. Weners Institute of Engineering, West Berlin (1967) and the Ahrens School of Performing Arts (1968). While in Europe he began his acting career. He was working as a German translator for voice of Nigeria in Germany when he received an invitation home from the Nigerian Government to star in "The Village Headmaster" which he accepted.
Death and legacy
Esiri died in hospital in Lagos on 19 February 2013 from complications of diabetes. A tribute night, organized by the Actors Guild of Nigeria, was held at the National Stadium on 8 April 2013. Mass was at St. Jude Catholic Church in Mafoluku, Lagos, on 9 April 2013, and a Service of Songs was conducted in Warri the following day. His body was then taken to its final resting place in his hometown of Abraka. Several government officials and entertainment personalities were present at his funeral.
He has appeared in several Nollywood and TV productions including
- Wasted Years
- The Prize
- Six Demons
- Corridors of Power
- Last Night, The Tyrant
- The Investigation
- The Ghost
- Assassin Practice
- Doctor Bello
- Twin Sword
- Keep my Will
- Invasion 1897
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- "Lancelot Imasuen's 'Invasion 1897' leads Nollywood Invasion of cinemas". Lindaikeji Blogspot. Linda Ikeji. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
- "Lancelot Imaseun's movie set for cinema release". Pulse Nigeria. Chidumga Izuzu. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Lancelot Imasuen's Invasion 1897 hits cinemas Dec 5". The Sun. Our Reporter. Retrieved 16 November 2014.