Obinna Nwafor, fondly known as Saint Obi, was a multifaceted Nigerian talent, making his mark as an actor, film director, and movie producer. Born on November 16, 1965, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, he emerged as a prominent figure in Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry.
Noteworthy Filmography: Saint Obi’s cinematic journey was adorned with stellar performances in iconic films, including but not limited to ‘Sakobi,’ ‘Heart of Gold,’ ‘Last Party,’ ‘Candle Light,’ and ‘Goodbye Tomorrow.’ His ability to breathe life into diverse characters and narratives contributed significantly to the success of these movies. Through his work, he not only entertained audiences but also played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Nollywood.
Early Life and Education:
Obinna Nwafor, born on November 16, 1965, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, hailed from Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State. His father, Chief Melvin Nwafor, held the title of an Igbo chief, and his mother, Millicent Nwafor, worked as a teacher. Being the only son among nine siblings, Saint Obi’s early life was marked by a blend of cultural richness and family values.
After completing his First School Leaving Certificate, Saint Obi continued his education at Zang Secondary Commercial School in Plateau, Jos, for his secondary studies. Eager to delve deeper into the world of arts, he pursued a degree in Theater Arts at the prestigious University of Jos.
Entertainment Journey: Saint Obi’s foray into the entertainment industry began in the late 1980s, and he swiftly gained recognition for his role in the TV series ‘Family Circle.’ This marked the inception of a prolific career that would see him become one of the trailblazers of Nollywood, Nigeria’s burgeoning film industry.
His acting prowess and dedication led to starring roles in numerous Nollywood films, including notable titles like ‘Checkmate,’ ‘Sakobi,’ ‘State of Emergency,’ ‘Executive Crime,’ and ‘Take Me to Maama.’ He contributed to over 90 films during his illustrious career, showcasing his versatility and leaving an indelible mark on the industry.
Philanthropy and Recognition: Beyond his contributions to the film world, Saint Obi was recognized for his philanthropic efforts, particularly in the areas of education and healthcare. His commitment to making a positive impact extended beyond the screen, earning him accolades and recognition from the industry and the wider community.
Personal Life: Saint Obi’s personal life intertwined with his professional journey. He was married to Lynda Amobi, a tech commercial expert at MTN Nigerian PLC, with whom he shared the joys and challenges of raising three children. Unfortunately, the marriage faced difficulties and eventually ended due to allegations of domestic violence.
Legacy and Contributions: As one of the pioneers of Nollywood, Saint Obi played a pivotal role in shaping the industry. His dedication to his craft and ability to portray diverse characters contributed to the growth and recognition of Nigerian cinema on both national and international platforms.
Passing Away: Tragically, Saint Obi’s vibrant journey came to an end on May 13, 2023, after a prolonged battle with an undisclosed illness. Despite facing health challenges, he continued to inspire through his work until his passing. The news of his death, initially kept private due to disagreements among his siblings, eventually became public, marking the end of an era in Nigerian cinema.