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Saturday, 8 October 2016

OBITUARY: Chris Jeyibo, a believer in Nigerian entertainers, who gave and kept giving

When Christopher Jeyibo left his office in the early hours of Friday, October 7, no one; not even him, knew that it would be a journey to eternal solace.

Entertainers in the Nigerian entertainment industry will not forget the Koga entertainments boss in a hurry.

Jeyibo was undoubtedly relevant and respected — not only for his unflinching support of the arts but also for his business acumen.

According to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), his Range Rover sports car rammed into a stationary truck along Magodo road and he died at the scene of the accident.

He valued his privacy

Before his death, the 44-year-old businessman was a private person who successfully kept his family and private life off the radar of the public.

A quick search on the internet would give very little information about him as he was not a fan of the social media just as he also managed to keep his name away from scandals and rumours – despite being prominent in the entertainment terrain.

From all indications, the name of his business enterprise – Koga – is far more popular than the man behind the empire.

To him, “personal brand” was perhaps, insignificant.

A man of many interests

The Koga entertainment boss had a chain of businesses in addition to his extremely popular production studio, which is situated in Ikeja.

His other business interests include Koga Records, Kogaxtra TV, Koga Lounge, Koga event hall and KICL Clothing.

Jeyibo was also a movie producer; his company collaborated with EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, and Inkblot Productions, to bring ‘The Wedding Party’, to life.

‘The Visit’, another production of Koga Studios – albeit solo –  featured an all-star cast of Nse Ikpe-Etim, Femi Jacobs, Blossom Chukwujekwu and Bayray McNwizu.

The movie enjoyed relative success at the box office where it grossed not less than N14, 000, 000.

At the launch of Koga Holdings in 2011, Jeyibo said the company was a solution centre to all entertainment-related issues.

“KOGA is more than a business, it is a solution and we have a lot to offer to entertainers even those with considerably low budgets.”

“With statistics rating the Nigerian entertainment industry the 3rd largest by population and the fastest rising in Africa and the world, it is obvious that the entertainment industry in Nigeria is a gold mine if given the grounds to flourish.

“We cannot keep complaining that entertainment products are substandard if people do not have an option. With KOGA our aim is to provide entertainers with a one stop solution centre for all entertainment related services and the reason we invested heavily in all our gadgets is simply so that people can have excellence as an option”, the late Jeyibo had said.

A friend to stars

The University of Lagos graduate was a friend to various celebrities and some have already testified of his ready-to-help disposition and trait.

Stella Damasus, a Nollywood actress, said he gave her his studio for free when she had no money to run her foundation.

“He believed in me and my Stella Damasus Arts foundation when others laughed and thought my dreams were too big. The first exam my students had was done in a huge studio that really made them feel special,” she wrote on Facebook.

“Uncle Chris gave me his huge studio for free and didn’t charge me a dime. He contributed to the foundation when there was no money to keep running it.”

2face Idibia, an iconic Nigerian singer, was in disbelief as he shared a few words about the man whose influence was unquestionable in Nigeria’s entertainment landscape.

“I still can’t bring myself to believe it. Life is truly too short. RIP Chris. There are no answers”, said Idibia.

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