Nollywood Star Junior Pope Was in a Boating Accident With Three Crew Members

"Two notable hospitals tried their best to revive him but to no avail. God knows the best. We finally lost him."


Apr. 11 2024, Published 10:21 a.m. ET

The Nigerian film industry is one of the biggest in the world, and in recent years, Junior Pope Odonwodo has become one of its biggest stars. The Nollywood actor made headlines on April 10, 2024, following rumors that something terrible had happened to him.

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Although Junior wasn't well known to American audiences, he was one of the biggest stars in the world of Nigerian film. Here's what we know about what happened to him, and whether the rumors about his death are true.

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What happened to Junior Pope?

The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) announced on April 10 that Junior had died. Emeka Rollas, National President of AGN, said that Junior was in an accident involving a boat while filming a new movie called The Other Side of Life. Initially, Emeka suggested that Junior might have survived the accident because his fingers appeared to be twitching following the accident. Eventually, though, he clarified that Junior had in fact died.

“It is so so sad that our joy was shortlived," he wrote on April 10. “My first post was out of excitement when we noticed his tingling fingers. Two notable hospitals tried their best to revive him but to no avail. God knows the best. We finally lost him, Mr. Friday’s corpse has been identified but three other corpses are yet to be found."

Following the news of his passing, Emeka also announced that the entire Nigerian film industry would pause production to mourn Junior's passing.

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“No Shoot on all locations nationwide on Thursday, April 11, 2024, and the film titled The Other Side of Life is suspended indefinitely," Emeka wrote. "Also, no actor is allowed to work with Adamma Luke as a producer till further notice, while we keep searching for the bodies of the remaining persons."

Junior acted in more than 150 Nollywood films during his career after starting as a minor supporting actor.

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Junior is best known for his performances in films like Secret Adventures, Bitter Generation, Wrong Initiation, Mad Sex, and Vengeance of Bullet. He was also an award-winning performer and had played a variety of criminals and villains during his long career. While Junior may not have been one of the biggest stars in Nollywood, he was someone that many in that industry recognized and knew.

Who was Junior Pope's wife?

Junior was married to Jennifer Awele Okpuno, and the couple reportedly had three young children. Jennifer runs a decor and events company in Nigeria and is undoubtedly devastated by the news that she has lost her partner and the father of her children.

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Jennifer hasn't released any sort of statement about her husband's death yet, but Junior posted about his wife and family frequently on his social media. Junior's family was incredibly important to him. Now, fans will have to wait to see if they can learn more about the exact circumstances surrounding his death.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Junior's family and friends during this tragic time.

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