Wahengbam Somoraj entered the Manipur film world after his music videos ”Mayara Mayara” and “Nungshi Maithong do Yengjage” became super-duper hits. He also starred in the award winning film “Cheina”.
Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS) has deeply mourned the demise of Wahengbam Somoraj, a dedicated film actor who shot into fame for his role in the 35mm celluloid film,”Cheina” (2003). A resident of Tera Sapam Leirak, Somoraj passed away at his residence on the night of December 20 after suffering a long spell of depression. He was 48 years and is survived by his wife.
In the sad demise of Somoraj, Manipuri Cinema has loss a talented and extremely dedicated film actor. MSFDS shares the grief of the bereaved family. Although he is gone, his memory will be cherished by the film community, said a statement issued by MSFDS secretary Sunzu Bachaspatimayum.
National Film awardee filmmaker, Oken Amakcham, who directed, “Cheina” recalled Somoraj as a soft-spoken, dedicated aspiring actor when he casted him for him film after seeing his performance in the hit music video,”Mayara Mayara”. “Somoroj came to me when I was scouting out for a main protagonist for “Cheina”. He bowed and touch my feet and requested me to mould him into a good film actor. I assured him to do the same if he dedicates and willing to discipline himself as a professional. In fact, “Cheina was his training ground as an actor and I must say he transformed into a fine actor, playing his role very well,” said Oken Amakcham who the best director awards for “Cheina” and the film itself was adjudged the best feature film at the 6th Manipur State Film Awards 2006.
Somoraj played ‘Thambou’, a sincere Pradhan who dreamt of development and progress for him village. However, he developed mental health issues and succumbed to it. After his sterling role as psychiatric Pradhan, many film projects flooded him. However, he chose only to act in projects which interested him. Beside his roles in digital film, his was a popular face in Manipuri music video, notable ones being, “Mitta Karigi Kajal No Yekliba” and “Nungshi Maithong do Yengjage”
As a mark of respect and homage to the departed actor, a candlelight memorial was observed at the Manipuri Cinema Memorial at MSFDS complex at Palace gate at the film community.