Nollywood actor Ernest Asuzu has died after battling with stroke for six years.
The Imo-born actor reportedly slumped and died around 9pm on Tuesday, January 26.
His wife was said to have called fellow actor Desmond Elliot to announce the death to him.
The death comes one month after Ernest said in a Premium Times interview that he was ready to return to acting.
“Yes, I am back, better, and stronger. I miss going to movie locations, my colleagues, and the financial benefits of my job,” he said.
A video of the actor begging for help on the street went viral on social media in January 2020.
It was recorded in the Oke-Afa area of Lagos by some friends who came visiting from Germany.
According to the actor, “my friends decided to shoot a short video clip to let the world know that I am still going through a lot. That was when I removed my shirt and cried out.”
In February, president of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Emeka Rollas said the association was making plans to help Ernest get back on his feet.
“Ernest Asuzu is one of us. I have always identified with him since he developed stroke until there was a break in communication, but thank God that we have reconnected.
“We are following up on our promises and have swung into action by setting up a special fundraising committee for him through which our members can assist him, Rollas told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The AGN leader also said the body was planning to move Asuzu to a hospital in Abuja for better treatment.
Ernest himself told NAN in April that he had recovered from the stroke.
“Although I am still on medication, I feel much better and I really thank God for my life because it’s been years of a big challenge for me,” he said.
He also thanked the wife of the Anambra State governor Ebere Obiano for settling his medical bills.
Ernest was active on the acting scene in the 90s up till 2015 when he suffered a stroke.
He rose to prominence with the 1997 film Rituals directed by Andy Amenechi.
Ernest, who believed his illness was spiritual, announced in 2015 that Pastor Jeremiah Funfeyin of Mercyland Deliverance Ministry had healed him.
The cleric reportedly gave him a new SUV valued at about N3.5m and N1.5m as startup capital to help revive his career.