It’s thanksgiving season for Nollywood veteran Zack Orji as he shares more details of his health scare and close shave with death.

The movie star was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital in Abuja on New Year’s Eve after he collapsed in his house.

The actor, currently in the United Kingdom (UK) for a post-surgery assessment, said he had regained memory and was feeling better.

In an interview with Channels TV on Friday, the actor narrated more details of his health condition.

He said: “I slumped in the bathroom, and I can only tell that it’s by God’s grace I’m alive today because I passed out for like five and half hours before help came. People in the house who were knocking on my door, and had no response, called My friend, Bala Ahmed, who was in the United Kingdom (UK) then.

“So, he (Ahmed) called my colleague, Benedict Johnson, who rushed to the house. I was there on the floor. I couldn’t stand because when he raised me, I slumped again, and he had to call another colleague; both of them lifted me on their shoulders from the second floor to the ground floor and took me to the National Hospital in Abuja, and they notified Ahmed, my friend after I was admitted at the hospital.”


The 63-year-old actor stated that Neurosurgeon Biodun Ogungbo carried out the first brain surgery on him on 1 January.

Following the surgery, he said he underwent various scans, and a month later, blood clots were discovered in his brain.

The father-of-three noted that the same doctor, Mr Ogungbo, performed another brain surgery to remove the blood clots.

“Before the surgery, my wife flew from Lagos State to Abuja on 29 November 2023, after the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, called her. After the surgeries, I took some time to recover, and it was recommended that I come to the UK for post-surgery assessment, which is why I’m here,” he added.

The alums of the University of Nigeria (NSUKKA) disclosed that he had undergone four different blood tests in the UK and had received feedback on the tests from the doctor, identified as John.

Mr Orji said, “When I return to Nigeria, I’m still going to see Doctor Ogungbo for him to review the feedback provided by the doctors here and determine what further actions are necessary.”


The actor expressed gratitude towards God and numerous individuals who supported him during his health challenge.

He thanked President Bola Tinubu, his wife, Remi Tinubu; his son, Seyi Tinubu; the Vice President’s wife, Nana Shettima; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, and others.

“I appreciate the Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, and many others. I received calls from South Africa, the UK, and others asking how they could assist.

“The response from people was overwhelming. I owe my life today to God’s grace and mercy, as well as to the individuals He used to assist me.”


The Enugu-born actor said that he had not been getting enough rest before the incident, emphasising that the situation afforded him time to rest and recuperate.

He said his period of rest would soon come to an end as producers have approached him for work opportunities.

Furthermore, the actor noted that actors often neglect their health due to the demands of their profession.

The actor said, “My work has taken me to different countries, and as an actor, I have met people. I’m Pan-African. I believe the industry in Africa is one.

“Some movie producers have reached out to me, saying they can’t wait for me to be back, and I’m happy I’m still being sought after, after thirty years plus in the industry.”


Mr Orji expressed his gratitude for the proactive support of the Actor Guild of Nigeria (AGN) during his health challenges.

He praised the AGN President, Emeka Rollas, for his visits both at home and in the hospital.

Moreover, he mentioned that the AGN, as an association, lacks the financial resources to cover the medical expenses of ailing actors fully.

He observed that while the guild strives to prioritise the well-being of its members, in cases where support is insufficient, the guild must seek assistance from society for the affected actor.

“Who will look after who? The AGN President is an actor, and the association lacks funds. Members don’t pay their annual dues. Where will the AGN get the money to care for members going through various challenges? The only option is to appeal to members of society, and that is what is happening now,” he said.

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