Nollywood Star Murphy Afolabi Died at 49 Years Old — Fans Mourn His Loss


May 15 2023, Published 9:59 a.m. ET

Nollywood, which is a term widely used for the Nigerian film industry, is in mourning following a string of recent deaths that have occurred in a relatively brief window of time. One of these tragedies involved Nigerian actor and director Murphy Afolabi, who died in his home on May 14, 2023, at the age of 49.

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Following reports that Murphy had died, many Nollywood fans wanted to know exactly what happened to him, and how he had died at such a relatively young age.

What happened to Murphy Afolabi?

The news of Murphy's death was first confirmed by Nigerian director Tunde Old-Yusuf, who posted a tribute to Murphy on his Facebook page.

"REST IN PEACE...May God give the family and close associates the fortitude to bear the loss. Good night Murphy Afolabi," Tunde wrote under a photo of the actor.

Although Tunde's post confirmed Murphy's death, it offered very little insight into exactly how the actor had died.

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According to reports, Murphy died after falling in his bathroom at his home in Lagos. Murphy is just the latest person associated with the Nigerian film industry to die recently. Adedigba Mukaila (Alafin Oro) and Obinna Nwafor (Saint Obi), two other Nigerian actors, also died recently, along with a sound technician known as Techno Sound. The deaths don't appear to be related, but they have left Nollywood in a state of grief.

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What was Murphy Afolabi's cause of death?

Given the nature of Murphy's fall, he apparently took a nasty blow to the head and ultimately succumbed to his injuries. The exact cause of his death hasn't been released yet, but it seems like it will be related to the injuries he sustained during his accident. So far, there hasn't been any indication in the reporting to suggest that there was any foul play related to Murphy's death.

Who was Murphy Afolabi?

If you weren't familiar with Murphy's film career until hearing the news of his death, he was a prolific actor and appeared in more than 60 films over the course of his career. Among the most notable films in his career were Jimi Bendel, Wasila Coded, and The Ghost and the Tout. Following the news of his death, tributes from others in Nollywood have begun to pour in for him and the legacy he left behind.

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Source: Facebook/@TundeOlaYusef

“Mr. Afolabi was a passionate and ingenious Nollywood actor who stood firm in promoting the culture and tradition of the Yoruba through his God-given talent," Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State wrote in tribute to Murphy.

“We can only be proud that he lived a life of grace and glory by successfully putting Osun in the frontline within the Nollywood film industry," the statement added.

Murphy's legacy in Nollywood will clearly carry on for generations. He was such a major figure in the landscape of Nigeria that even political figures felt the need to weigh in on his death, which surely came decades before many fans expected it to.

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