The life and times of top Yoruba actress Funmi Martins
When it comes to listing top Yoruba movie actor late Funmi Martins will not be forgotten in a hurry. The movie star who was born in September 1963, died in 2002. She was a shining star in the movie industry in her time.
Giving accounts of her life before her demise, the deceased carved a niche for herself in the make-believe industry. Martins, early departure from earth and the movie industry though painful was easily gotten over soon as she left her replica, her look-alike daughter, Mide to continue from where she stopped.
NAIJ.com took a look at the life and times of the movie legend and gives you some information you might not know about late Funmi Martins.
She was born in September 1963 in Ilesa, Osun state as Funmi Oguntomi and spent her early life in Lagos and Ibadan. For her primary and secondary school education, the deceased attended Oke-Ona Primary and Grammar School, Abeokuta. From there, she was off to the Beepo Secretarial Institute where she bagged a diploma in secretarial studies. Thereafter, she did some modeling jobs before veering into acting.
In 1993, she starred in her first movie called Nemesis directed by Fidelis Duker. During her rather short-lived career, Funmi Martins managed to star in dozens of movies. Some of her most notable works include Eto Mi, Pelumi, Ija Omode, Eru Eleru and many others. Funmi Martins first Yoruba movie was done under the tutelage of veteran actor, Alhaji Adebayo Salami popularly known as Oga Bello.
However, two weeks before her death, she was on location in Ikorodu, Lagos, working on Antar Laniyan’s movie, Aduro Ti Oluwa. She was described as one of the few actresses at that time who could act in both Yoruba and English movies flawlessly with so much professionalism.
It was reported that two months before her death, she had given birth to her third and last child for Afro juju singer Sir Shina Peters. The music icon was said to be present at the naming ceremony while his band entertained the guests. She was said to have changed her name to Funmi Peters at the event, her three children were also reportedly named after Peters. Her last child was named Akanbi Ayomipo Peters. The love she shared with Sir Shina Peters was so strong that she reportedly left her former residence at 308, Agege Motor Road, Challenge Bus-Stop in Mushin for Iju-Ishaga where she could be closer to her lover. The deceased is also the mother of talented actress Mide Funmi Martins-Abiodun.
CAUSE OF DEATH:
It was said that on May 5, 2002, the actress started feeling unwell. While she was at her Iju-Ishaga residence, Funmi complained that she was feeling dizzy all of a sudden. Without delay, she was taken to Osuntuyi Medical Hospital in Iju. After some time, her condition became stable and the actress was even able to breastfeed her youngest child.
The next morning, May 6, 2002, Funmi Martins was reported dead. Medical reports proved that her sudden death was caused by cardiac arrest, which happened because of her rheumatic heart disease. Some of her closest friends claimed that there was blood around Funmi’s mouth when she died. They thought that she might not have received the best quality healthcare, so they wanted to have a full-on investigation. However, nothing substantial has come from those claims, so the cause of her death remained the same. Her newborn baby was handed over to her eldest daughter now actress, Mide Martins-Abiodun.
Many Nigerians, especially the movie industry, went into mourning after Funmi’s death. Even though her career lasted for less than a decade, she left a lasting impression on the viewers and people who worked with her. The deceased was finally laid to rest at Atan cemetery. The burial of Funmi Martins was handled by her fellow actress and friend Lola Afolayan. The body of the late Martins was displayed in a blue skirt and blouse in a cream-colored casket on the premises of the Lagos state owned radio station, Eko FM.
Her daughter, Mide recently received a posthumous Episcopal Award for her late mother from the Cathedral Church of St. Mathew Ijebu-Ijesha. The award was given to Funmi for her active participation in the life of the cathedral. Apart from her daughter Mide, Funmi also left behind two sons. At the time of her death, one of them, namely Ayo, was 16 years old, while his younger brother Akanbi Ayomipo was only 40 days old. She was a true mother, an epitome of beauty, a legend and will forever remain in the hearts of her loved ones.