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OBITUARY: Ada Ameh, the comic actor who made Nigerians laugh while she battled grief

After years of battling the ugly shadows of depression and grief, Ada Ameh has finally passed on. The Nollywood actress was pronounced dead on Monday, at the age of 48. She died at a hospital in Delta state where she was rushed after slumping.

Grief is a wound to the soul that never heals. Its tentacles of sadness continuously shuffle one with a gallery of memories to reinforce loneliness. It’s a dark space that flirts with one’s mind by juggling images of what was and what is. And Ameh fought bravely against its cascade of bitterness as she lost six siblings and her father within the space of a few years. But, according to her, everything came crumbling down when her only child — a girl — died in 2020. The dam of black wings broke and it swept her mental health down south.

The ever-smiling, bubbly Ameh that warmed the hearts of millions as ‘Emu’ in ‘The Johnsons’, the Nigerian popular TV series, became weighed down by depression to the point when she had to exclaim: “it is taking my life.”


Her professional acting career kicked off in 1996 after Zeb Ejiro, the Nollywood producer, starred her in ‘Domitilla.’

She would go on to feature in numerous Nollywood movies like ‘V Boot’, ‘Aki na Ukwa,’ ‘Phone Swap’, and ’30 Days in Atlanta’ among others.

Her role in ‘The Johnson’ made her a household name across the country.


In 2021, the actress revealed that she became a mother at 14.

She said after giving birth, she was thrown into the streets, where she began indulging in alcoholism and her “newly found freedom.”

“It wasn’t my parents. My peers influenced me. They introduced me to early sex. One thing led to another, and I got pregnant,” Ameh had said.

“I got pregnant in March, and I had my baby in December the same year. That means I got pregnant when I was 13+.

“The most beautiful part is that, on my 15th birthday, my baby was barely five months old. I was marched out of the Barracks.”


In 2020, Ameh lost Aladi Godgift, her daughter, after an unsuccessful surgery in Abuja. The loss quickened the actress’ descent into depression.

The death of her daughter was sadly the eighth time the actress would be burying a relative within years.

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