Veteran actor and comedian, Chika Okpala popularly known as Chief Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo alias 4:30, of “New Masquerade’ fame and his screen wife, Lizzy Evoeme a.k.a Ovuleria, have joined other Nigerians to express grief following the death of one of their own, Romanus Amuta, who was best known for his role as ‘Natty’ in the now rested sitcom.
Amuta died on Wednesday, after battling a protracted ailment for many years. He was 79 years old.
His first son, Chukwuma Amuta, who confirmed his demise described the film star as a caring father who did his best to raise his children.
“Yes! My father died this morning in Lagos after a protracted illness,” he said. Chief Okpala also confirmed the sad news to Vanguard yesterday.
According to him, Amuta tried his best in the past 25 years, as they were producing programmes every week to entertain the fans of New Masquerade.
Paying tribute to the deceased, Okpala who also became famous for using incorrect English in his role as Chief Zebrudaya in the NTA produced sitcom, said while ‘New Masquerade’ lasted, the late Amuta was never found wanting in the interpretation of his role as Natty.
“Romanus Amuta played his role as ‘Natty’ in the New Masquerade TV series perfectly. Of all the sitcom that they are producing these days, I have never seen anybody that has ‘longathroat’ like Natty.”
He, however, urged Nigerians to endeavour to send condolence messages to the family and also, pray for the repose of Amuta’s soul.
“Nobody is happy that death is snatching our colleagues away so early. Our prayer is that we stay longer and healthier here on earth so that we can keep contributing our own quotas to the well-being of the society. But when it comes to death, there’s absolutely nothing we can do than to pay tributes to the deceased.”
“Romanus Amuta tried his best in the past 25 years to produce a programme every week. He never missed his own role until such a time when we didn’t have sponsorship again to sustain the programme on air. What we can do now is for us to send condolence messages to his family and pray for the repose of his soul in heaven.”
Also, reacting in the same manner, Lizzy Evoeme a.k.a Ovuleria, who was once rumoured to have kicked the bucket described the late Amuta “as a good actor who played his role in the sitcom very well.”
“I feel sad that people are going home just like that, especially when it involves people you know very well; people who lived, worked and played with you. It’s sad but what can we do, it’s the way of life, you live today and die tomorrow,” Ovuleria said.
‘The New Masquerade’ was a Nigerian sitcom that aired on the Nigerian Television Network from the 1980s until the mid-1990s. It was created and written by James Iroha, who also acted in the sitcom as Giringori Akabogu
Amuta died exactly 10 years after the exit of Gringory Akabogu in 2012.