Justus Esiri is a fallen hero and a legendary Nollywood actor, television personality, entrepreneur and a philanthropist. He was generally considered to be one of the pillars of Nollywood with an acting career that goes way back to the 1960s. He was born on 20th November 1942 in Oria-Abraka, Delta State in the south southern part of Nigeria and died on 19th February 2013 in a hospital in Lagos State in the western part of Nigeria from complications of diabetes at the age of 70 years old.
Justus Esiri is originally from Oria-Abraka, Delta State in the south southern part of Nigeria. He is very creative, skillful, gifted and talented in acting and interpretation of movie roles and can fit in any character given to him by movie directors and producers in Nigeria.
Justus Esiri completed his primary school education in Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. After completing his primary school education, Justus Esiri proceeded to Urhobo College in Effurun, Bendel State (present Edo State) in the south southern part of Nigeria and obtained his West African Senior School Certificate.
After completing his primary and secondary school education, Justus Esiri left Nigeria and went to Germany for his higher education. He attended Maximillan University, Prof. Weners Institute of Engineering and Ahrens School of Performing Arts all in Germany and obtained his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate Degree in Performing Arts.
While in Europe he began his acting career in the late 1960s. He also worked as a German translator for voice of Nigeria in Germany. After his education in Germany, Justus Esiri returned to Nigeria and joined the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood) and started featuring in Nollywood movies.
After that, he received an invitation from the Nigerian Government to star in the movie “The Village Headmaster” He has acted in more than 200 Nollywood movies before his death which include Wasted Years, Forever, The Prize, Six Demons, Last Night, Corridors of Power, The Tyrant, The Investigation, The Ghost, Assassin Practice, Twin Sword, Keep my Will, Invasion 1897, etc.
He has won several awards which include Best Actor in a Leading Role at the African Movie Academy Awards, Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and Most Prominent Actor in Nigeria at the Best of Nollywood Actors. Justus Esiri is one of the pioneers of the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood) and contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood in Nigeria and rest of the world.
He came into prominence for his role in popular Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) TV-series “The Village Headmaster” and also acted in the Chinue Achebe’s book Things Fall Apart in the Late 1960s. Justus Esiri has won the Best Actor award at the 9th Africa Movie Academy Awards for his role in Assassins Practice and was also honoured as the inaugural recipient of the “President Goodluck Jonathan” Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 2013 Nollywood Movie Awards.
The Nigerian government honoured him with several National honors with the highest being an Officer of the Order of the Niger for his contribution to the development of Film-Making in Nigeria. Justus Esiri is also the proud father of Nigeria popular artiste and Mavin Records Musician Dr Sid.
Sadly, Justus Esiri died on 19th February 2013 in a hospital in Lagos from complications of diabetes at the age of 70 years old. A tribute night, organized by the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) was held at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos State, Nigeria on 8th April 2013 to honour him.
Justus Esiri was one of the richest and most influential actor in Nigeria before his death with an estimated net worth of $1 million.
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