Drama has trailed the news of the death and sudden ‘resurrection’ of veteran Yoruba actress, Sidikat Odukanwi, popularly known as Iyabo Oko.
The actress, who started her acting career in 1973 on the platform of Eda Onileola theatre troupe, was announced dead on Wednesday by her daughter.
She gained prominence in the movie ‘Oko,’ which was produced by Oga Bello. She earned the nickname Iyabo Oko from the movie.
However, contrary to news making the rounds on Wednesday that the veteran actress was dead, it is now confirmed that she is still alive.
Yoruba actress, Foluke Daramola-Salako, confirmed to Premium Times that her colleague is alive.
Although Ms Salako had posted via her Instagram page on Wednesday evening that ‘Iyabo Oko’s transition was early’, she has debunked the news about the veteran’s death.
She said, ”Iyabo Oko is very much alive, what happened was that her daughter had called me at about 11:00pm yesterday that her mother was pronounced dead, and she forwarded a WhatsApp message to me.”
“But at about 12:00am she (Iyabo Oko’s daughter) said that her brother confirmed that she was moving her hand, and they rushed her to the hospital where she is responding to treatment.”
Salako also confirmed that the actress had been suffering from a stroke, but through her charity foundation and the support of Nigerians, they have been catering for the medical needs of the veteran, not until the surprise news of her death.
The death news
News about the death of the veteran began to make the rounds after Bisi Aisha, the actress’ daughter, posted on Instagram on Wednesday that her mother had died. She wrote: “My mum is gone. Rest well mummy. May ur soul Rest In Peace mummy.”
Shortly after her post, Salako also posted via her Instagram page that Iyabo Oko’s death was quite early.
According to Ms Aisha, in a video she shared on her Instagram page, while she was still mourning her supposed dead mother, she received a call from her brother that her mother had regained consciousness.
The actress returned to life three hours after being announced dead.
“Wonderful being, she moved her hand after being confirmed dead three hours ago. God, we will forever praise your holy name,” Aisha stated on Thursday morning.
She said: “Yes she is already in the hospital as we speak. Thank you, everyone, we still need your prayers please.”
Salako later updated her earlier report, ” Just heard from her daughter again that she moved her hand and she is still alive. Hallelujah! She is alive.”
It was reported by one of the veteran’s daughters, Olamide, that the actress was diagnosed with ischaemic stroke about five years ago but chose to keep her health issues away from the public.
She said: “What affected my mum was the fact that she was not going for her medical check-ups. I want Nigerians to help provide a car for her. What happened (to her) could have been prevented but because of the unavailability of a car, things took a different turn. She lives very far from the hospital.
“When she had her last ‘attack’, I had to get a motorcycle to convey her to the junction before I could get a cab to pick her. She was diagnosed with a right ischemic stroke some years back. The first health scare happened about five years ago but she did not want anyone to know about it. My elder siblings even flew her to China for better medical treatment and she got better. Sadly, she had two other ‘attacks’.
According to her, the 61-year-old actress had instructed her children not to tell anyone about her health conditions, unfortunately, the veteran had another attack that affected her limbs.
”However, she is getting better. She can now talk and respond to people. The doctors have assured us that with the help of physiotherapy, she would be able to use her limbs again.”
“We spoke out because we now need financial help. Her children are doing their best but they can’t do everything. Actresses like Foluke Daramola, Iyabo Ojo, Mercy Aigbe, and Biodun Okeowo have assisted financially in the past.” She said.
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