By Hamida Sulliman

I heard of your passing Chico and I felt a part of my life had fallen apart. Flashes of the past came rushing back and I searched frantically for the news that it must be fake news… But then reality kicked in.. It wasn’t a dream, my beloved friend and brother of my beloved Naija Chico was now with the Angels.

I sat down and looked at your pictures, made a video and tried to pen a tribute but words seemed so frail to explain the depth of loss I felt. It was a special day, it was Christmas, and the tears flowed unstoppable for I could not even begin to imagine how your loved ones and friends must be feeling.

*Chico & Hamida

So today almost two months since I thought I will try again…. To honour your legacy and I pray that as you read this Chico you will read the unspoken words my bro..

You may recall Chico our first meeting during the film shoot of the movie Dangerous Desire I think it was with Fred Amata and Stella Damascus and the subsequent meeting in September 2003 …

When the first plans were unveiled by M-Net to create and launch an African general entertainment channel in December 2003, few could have predicted the widespread popularity the channel would achieve on the African continent and beyond.

The overwhelming positive response to the channel and the demand for more of its home-grown content, has resulted in another evolution for AfricaMagic – the brand has evolved beyond expectation and today it has a multitude of channels across Africa catering for various languages and entertainment for our people. .

When we first began the channel the idea was to provide a home for home grown content and I can confidently say that our audiences have forged into a community that shares and appreciated our own stars, stories and identity. At the onset may I say and I am still so grateful to all our content contributors in whatever role you played, to my entire Africa Magic Team, and may I also say a big thank you especially Chuma Oduche, Busi Dube, Victor Idiong and Segun Osinuga who shared my joys and fears in those early days, each one of you are the reason for the Africa Magic Brand’s enormous success during those earlier years .

And today I pay a special tribute to our beloved Chico Ejiro who believed in the Magic of a channel to showcase our own stories in our own unique way, when others hesitated . Chico was like that, ha beautiful Soul that was passionate about his works and wanted to showcase it to Africa and beyond on another platform apart from home video distribution.

Chico and Uncle Zeb his elder brother an icon in the Film Industry and a special shout out to many other respected Producers of Content from the Continent of Africa who shared this vision,  and amidst the earliest challenges we were able to successfully launch and package a Africa Magic Channel with unique homegrown offering which has let our audiences consume programming that focuses on our Africa culture. GRANDTOUCH PICTURES movies featured strongly during the launch months their content was a massive attraction on the schedule with Tunde Kelani’s Hits amongst other…

And coupled with the Ejiro Brothers and subsequently the content suppliers that supported us for the launch month and post the launch we say a massive thank you, and to the Africa Film Industry as a whole across the Africa Continent, to our audiences who consume our content on multi platforms , and to all those who have helped with the Launch of this exciting Brand Africa Magic , I like to express my most heartfelt gratitude for your support and encouragement . It was in that trust that we shared which allowed us and became the foundation we build on and embarked on an unforgettable journey in December 2003 and beyond.

Even though I have since left the company in 2015, I trust that the foundation that has been laid in 2003 by the gesture of TRUST will continue  to enjoy a place in your affections into the future.

And that is the Legacy of Chico Ejiro A Legacy of Trust that I honour on his passing and the bond of friendship in its purest form another gesture of respect.

With the passing of Chico Ejiro our Prince of Nollywood a chapter in Africa film  has come to a heartbreaking pause, and leaves us with a vacuum that is so vast as our Brother Chico was a Giant in the Legendary world of Africa Film Icons…

But we also know that as always we grow our youth and there will be someone who will step up and take CHICO unfulfilled dreams to its next level for this is the Legacy of Africa Cinema.. We pass on our stories  from generation to generation, its our tradition and we humbly honour that.

But it will never be the same as each of our Legends leave their footprint and it takes another lifetime to step and walk in those steps…

As we walk down memory lane I salute the Nollywood Industry as a whole, thank you for honoring one of our own in a befitting way that history will forever be grateful that a Son of the Soil has left us but remain in our hearts for eternity.

To Chico’s wife Joy and  the children, to Uncle Zeb and the entire Chico family and friends, thank you for sharing Chico with us, we sending you our love and Light and prayers during this difficult time. May Chico’s memory always be a Blessing for Generations to Honour and to Chico I say… I” love you always will for you were more than a friend, you were my Mr Prolific with a smile that softens even the most hardened hearts, and a passion that never ceased even when the World paused, you never did. And for that I am so heartbroken for it brings home the reality that sometimes we should just Pause….”

Sleeping with the Angels now our beloved Prince, You are so deeply missed, for look around Chico you are so loved. Rest in Eternal Peace Prince of Nollywood may the Almighty’s Grace always be upon you…Aameen

GOODNIGHT Prince others may forget the massive imprinting of your memories but this Ghetto Girl in Jozi never will.

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