Dejo Tunfulu: ‘I Thought It Was April Fool Prank’
•Taiwo Ibikunle, Ibrahim Chatta, Don Richard, others speak on actor’s death
By Femi Oguntayo
The Yoruba sector of Nollywood has again been thrown into mourning since the passing of popular comic actor, Kunle Adetokunbo, popularly known as Dejo Tunfulu was announced in the early hours of Friday.
Sources, who spoke to Saturday Tribune, said late actor was not ill until he complained of a serious headache on Thursday evening and was rushed to the hospital, where he died in the early hours of Friday.
Reacting to Dejo’s shocking death, some selected Nollywood actors have shared their thoughts with Saturday Tribune, as they described him as “a good man, father and exemplary leader.”
Dejo was a very good man. It was just shocking that he died that way. The last time I saw him was at Mr Latin’s set in Abeokuta, about a month ago and I have known him for a while. I watched him as a star and as an actor. Later we got close and just like the Yoruba saying ‘Ogun omode o le sere fun ogun odun’ (20 friends can’t be together for 20 years), there was this time we used to roll together, myself, Dejo, Omo Banke, Kunle Afod, but you see, when we start having families, it was not like we kept to ourselves, but we don’t sit as we used to, unless we meet on set. But all I can tell you is that the man ‘Dejo’ was a very good man, I just pray Allah forgives him his sins. He was not sick at all, the story I heard this morning was that he got home last night, he died of malaria, and he was rushed to the hospital last night and gave up the ghost in the early hours of today. When it is time for man to die, there is nothing that can stop it. We don’t our lives, we just have it temporarily. While we are alive we should just live our lives malice-free, manage it well, don’t chest too many things, and free our minds. Even after still doing all these, it doesn’t stop us from still dying.
From the little I know about him I can say he is a very easy going person and fun to be with because we have met a couple of times on set. His death came to me as a rude shock because just a few days ago, I was still checking his status where he posted about him being at the Bola Tinubu Colloquium. I almost commented saying ‘bring me my own share o’ you know, but I was on set and I just felt I would talk to him later and that was all. In the early hours of this today, I just saw a colleague post the news about his demise on his status and I was thinking being April 1st, it might probably be his own ‘April Fool’ gimmick and calling him he confirmed to me that Dejo’s second child told him their father complained of headache and he is dead, I asked if he was still joking but he said he wasn’t, I was shocked. I pray God grants all he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss, it is really sad.
Yomi Fash Lanso
I will simply say it was a painful loss.
He was a very humble person, very free to even those of us who were his juniors, you would not even know he was older. I was shocked when I heard of his death. At first, when I saw his pictures on people’s status, I was thinking it was his birthday, I was still even joking about one of the pictures I saw in which he appeared old, and I was saying ‘Egbon is old now o’ not until I read the caption on the pictures, my phone almost fell from my hand, I was shocked!
It is so painful to hear about his death. He was a very nice and very humble and good person. For me, he was all-in-all, we have really lost a very unique person. He was very friendly, accommodating, and had good leadership qualities, it is just so painful because this is not the right time for him to leave, but glory is to God, only He knows why it was like that. He was a very good father too, honestly, he laid down a very good example for us his friends, but I know God has a purpose for this, just that I feel this isn’t the right time for him to die. He has laboured so much and it was just time for him to start enjoying things he laboured for.
Kunle Adetokunbo, popularly known as Dejo Tunfulu was born May 31st, 1972 in Idumota, Lagos but was originally from Abeokuta in Ogun State. He had both his primary and secondary school in Lagos and later obtained a certificate in printing from Modern Way Nigeria School of Printing.
His acting career started was back as 1987 when he first appeared in ‘Apere Ijongbon’, a Television drama series by the Kolawole International Theatre Group. He got his nickname ‘Dejo Tunfulu’ through the comic roles he took in movies where he used to act as a stammerer. He was buried in Lagos on Friday in the Islamic way.