By ADA DIKE
The sudden demise of a young upcoming model, singer and actress has left a devastating blow to her parents, family, friends and well wishers.
The death of this young Amazon, Miss Anita Nnennaya Chekwas, who departed the earth on December 18, 2015 at the age of 18, has caused sours and scars in the hearts of her parents who loved her so much and toiled night and day to make sure that she lived a comfortable life.
Born into the family of Mr. Victor and Victoria Chekwas (Onwuchekwa) on June 5, 1997, her father, a native of Arochukwu, Abia State is a renowned automobiles dealer in Lagos while her mother, popularly known as Ugo Vee from Anambra State is an international business woman who imports and sells bags and boxes also in Lagos.
Late Anita was a 300-level student of North American University, Benin Republic, where she was studying International Relations before her demise. According to her mother, Anita was hale and hearty when she returned home to join them in Lagos to celebrate Christmas festivity. While they were relaxing in their living room, she was busy sending her birthday invitation messages to her friends which she planned to celebrate in a grand style on December 25, 2015. Preparations were made; her parents bought three new exotic shoes and some dresses for her since she chose that day to celebrate her birthday because she didn’t celebrate it the way she wanted on her birthday while she was in school. Out of joy for her return, her mother always stayed with her. On that sad day, Ugo Vee woke around 2 am, looked at her and noticed she was lifeless then alerted her husband and they immediately took her to a nearby hospital where she was confirmed dead. Not yet satisfied, they rushed her to a general hospital where she was also confirmed dead. Shocking! From that morning, their home at Ajalli Street, Ajao Estate, Lagos, became a Mecca of sorts as people –young and old didn’t believe the story and went there to know the truth. Anita is dead! She went to bed but couldn’t wake up the following day. Some people rolled on the floor; some hit themselves on the ground and wept profusely. In fact, if cry could wake someone up, Late Anita would be alive today. She was loved by whoever came across her. At her age, she touched many lives as a star that was gradually coming to rule the entertainment industry.
Reggae-dancehall singer and songwriter, Burna Boy, wrote an emotional tribute for her on Instagram and described her as “His Biggest Fan”.
Anita started making money at the age of eight. She was a model and has been used for adverts by some companies and banks including MTN, UBA, Vono foam, Hallmark Bank and many others. She acted in many movies including ‘Daughters of Ages’.
Recounting what happened that night her mother said one of the ladies living with them urged Anita to go to bed but, she said she didn’t feel like sleeping. When she eventually retired to her room, she (Ugo Vee) followed her to her room and collected her phone from her and said: “Anita sleep, you can continue in the morning” and she answered, “Yes mummy” which was her last statement on earth.
Ugo Vee continued: “I slept off in her room while waiting for her to sleep so that I would turn off the air conditioner in her room because the weather was cold due to harmattan. I did not know that my daughter has been struggling and fighting with death to the extent that the lower part of her bed gave way. My only child was full of life when she went to bed. This girl has released her music. Her producer came from Benin Republic on Christmas day to commiserate with us. People from all walks of life, within Nigeria and abroad had a procession and candle light for her on the day she supposed to celebrate her birthday. Where do I start from? I did not know that death is like this. My grouse is that that death should have taken me and leave my only child. Anita was my only friend, my confidant and mummy’s girl. She did not lack anything because we provided her all she wanted in life. Anita was faster than her age, very brilliant and often corrected her teacher in the classroom,” her mother sobbed while explaining how Anita died.
Lying on the floor, Late Anita’s father said she was slightly sick sometime ago and survived. “I am surprised she slept on Friday night, December 18, 2015 and did not wake up.”
He added that: “When she delved into hip hop music, she sought for my support and advice which I gave her wholeheartedly. I encouraged her to be successful as a father.”
Chekwas described her death as a shocking sudden death. “She was not sick to die. I played with her till 11 pm that night. It is shocking to me as her father because we were very close. We thank God for everything,” he added.
She has been buried in their hometown in Abia State.