Veteran actress Zainab Bukky Ajayi who died at 82 on Wednesday, July 6, had breast cancer, hypertension and diabetes, her sons revealed in exclusive chats with Vanguard newspaper.
On Wednesday, July 6, Ma Bukky Ajayi passed on. As a Muslim, she was buried the same day she died. The actress converted to Islam in 1965 and adopted the name ‘Zainab’.
“There aren’t enough words to quantify Mama. She was an independent woman who shouldered the responsibility of raising three lions (sons) without raising her brows. I see her as a lioness. She was also able to combine and manage her situation (single motherhood) and her career. She was a good planner. To that effect, my elder brother is nine years older than me, and I am 11 years older than my younger brother. A good planner she was. Despite being in the public glare, she ensured her private life remained private. Many of my friends didn’t know I was the daughter of the popular actress. This is not because she wasn’t proud of her children, but because she was able to draw the line between her career and her family. People relate with me as Raz CPT and not the daughter of a celebrity, so to say. Mummy has been struggling with her health, she had cancer of the breast, diabetic and was also hypertensive.”
“I and mama were in the living room with some of my friends when I noticed that her heart wasn’t moving, I mean like she stopped breathing. Immediately, I checked her pulse and called my elder brothers. We felt her pulse and heartbeat, did everything possible. But alas, she has passed on. And that was at about 11:23 am on Wednesday. She was a bit ill before this happened. She had been ill for a number of years now. She had stroke some couple of years back. There was a time she also had cerebral malaria. She became diabetic, hypertensive and also suffered breast cancer before now”, he explained mournfully.
“At 60, my mother still gives me money each time I visit her and I will say, `Mum I’m suppose to give you money’ and she will say I should use it for transportation” he said, speaking as if she were still alive.