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Reactions have continued to trail the death of film critic and former consulting director at the National Film Institute (NFI) Jos, Onyero Mgbejume.Mgbejume, who also taught Film at the University of Jos and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, died last week after an illness. Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) Afolabi Adesanya, said, “The motion picture industry, staff and students of the NFC and NFI greatly benefitted from Mgbejume’s wealth of experience.” Pioneer director of the NFI and former helmsman of the NFC, Hyginus Ekwuazi, expressed shock at the scholar’s death. He said Mgbejume was a very simple man, adding that, “the child in him often times needed an interpreter to stand between him and world.” Mgbejume, he added, always did his best in whatever he perceived to be his duties. President, National Film Institute Alumni Association (NAFIAA), Victor Peters described the deceased as, “a man driven by a passion to develop a crop of budding professional filmmakers.” Donald Umosen, a non-academic staff of the institution said Mgbejume was “a man, a dramatist, who lived as if he was acting a script and died as if rehearsing a role.” Mgbejume obtained a PhD in Mass Communication (Radio-TV-Film) from the University of Texas, USA and carved a niche for himself in film and TV studies. He was at the NFI between 2002 and 2004. The late academic was author of several works on film and television production. Some of the books he wrote and co-wrote include: ‘Film in Nigeria: Development, Problems and Promise’; ‘The Techniques of Video Tape Recording’; ‘Structuring Your Novels and Short Stories’; ‘Essential Elements in Filmmaking’ and ‘Making the Transition from Video to Celluloid’. Mgbejume will be buried on February 19 in Jos, Plateau State.
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