A Farewell to Zainab Bukky Ajayi – Celebrated Actor

Zainab Bukky Ajayi

        Zainab Bukky Ajayi

Zainab Bukky Ajayi was born on 2 February 1934. She left for London in 1959 on a federal government scholarship.She returned to Nigeria in 1965 and joined the Nigerian Television Authority as a presentation assistant. She subsequently became a presenter and then a news reader and fronted some children’s programmes,  along with Nigerian Sketches, which attempted to explore Nigeria’s mind-numbingly diverse cultures. She was later transferred to Port Harcourt before returning to Lagos, where she kicked off her acting career. Her first role was in the legendary TV series, Village Headmaster, in the 1970s. Two decades later, she found a role in Amaka Igwe’s equally legendary Checkmate. Meanwhile, she acted in many home movies, as well as an ‘international’ one, Critical Assignment, which was shot in South Africa, the experience of which she reckoned one of the highlights of her life.
Her last public appearance was on 5 March this year at the fourth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, where she was given an Industry Merit Award for a lifetime achievement and was deservedly greeted with a standing ovation. She died peacefully in her Surulere home on 6 July. She was 82 years old. Some of her more memorable movie appearances 2005: Bridge-Stone, Destiny’s Challenge, Women’s Cot, Indecent Girl, Little Angel 2004: Obirin Sowanu, Temi Ni, Ti E Ko, Worst Marriage 2003: The Kingmaker, My Best Friend 2001: Saving Alero, Thunderbolt2000: Final Whistle, Oduduwa 1998: Diamond Ring, Witches 1997: Hostages