By William Ikhianosimhe Orbih.
Sadiq Daba is dead. Two movies remind me of him; so, I want to talk about them very quickly. The first is October 1, where Sadiq was the star actor. The movie won him an African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor. We all agree that he overwhelmingly deserved this award.
One takeaway from the movie as it concerns Nigeria. As of September 30, 1960, that is the eve of “Independence,” the signs that we were not yet ready for self-rule as a nation were quite glaring. Even the blind could see them. We went ahead with the “independence” thing anyway.
Obafemi Awolowo famously described Nigeria as a geographical expression and not a nation! It was a “geographical expression” that gained “Independence” (Oh! How much I hate to use the term Independence. I will talk about the reason for my disgust another day).
In ‘October 1’, Sadiq is a police inspector investigating murder cases by an unknown serial killer. A Yoruba prince who has just returned from studies in the UK kills an Igbo virgin. He is the serial killer.
A Northerner who had the misfortune to be passing by the village in the night of the murder is apprehended by the Igbo community and accused of the murder. The sad point is the fact that he was accused and killed, more because he was “different” than because of any other reason. As far as the Igbo community led by Kanayo O Kanayo (again!!!) was concerned, he was from a different nation—an enemy nation.
Sadiq masterfully solves the mystery of the serial killer but was forced to suppress the truth. I am sure that in real life, he wouldn’t have succumbed to the pressure of suppressing the truth. He looks like a man of integrity, and many of the eulogies I have seen highlight that aspect of him in addition to his great humility and simplicity.
Before leaving October 1, I must quickly add that seeing Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, portrayed by Deola Sagoe, in that movie was the most pretty sight. History remembers her simply as the first woman to drive a car. How is that her most important achievement?
What about remembering her as the greatest Nigerian activist ever? What about remembering her as a leader over men and women, a thorn in the flesh of corrupt and oppressive leaders, whether colonial or indigenous?
What about remembering her as the woman who inspired Fela and his kid brother Beko Ransome-Kuti? What about remembering her as the woman who was too hot for the military junta to handle? They had to kill her. They had to kill Fela’s mama. Thankfully, she has reincarnated in the likes of Aisha Yesufu, D.J Switch.
The second movie which stars Sadiq, which I want to talk about, is Citation. It was released late last year. Citation is a movie to watch! Go and watch it! The lead actress, Teni Otedola, Moremi in the movie, gave a good account of herself. She proved that she has got much more than simply having a billionaire dad that can buy you fancy cars (Not that I am jealous ooo!).
Hopefully, with time she will prove that she has got more acting skills than the oil magnate has naira. Jimmy Jean-Louis, who is Professor Lucien N’Dyare, the villain in the movie, was simply excellent! His hairdo gave me so much vibe and inspiration.
In contrast to October 1, Sadiq played a very menial role in Citation, Professor Yahaya. I am sure that as at the time of the shooting of the movie, he was already very ill, having been diagnosed with Leukemia and Prostrate Cancer in 2017.
It reminds one of Chadwick Boseman. I am sure he agreed to star in the movie at all because of the strong message the movie was conveying. The social disease Citation tackles head-on is the phenomenon of “sex for grades” in Nigerian higher institutions.
However, the movie is not just about creating awareness of this menace. It is also about telling young female students that they are not as powerless as the Nigerian education system often makes them seem.
This is one of Sadiq’s last testaments to us as a nation. We are more powerful than we can imagine, if only we learn to come together and work together. As Professor Yahaya, working with others in the panel, he ensured justice for Moremi.
As we pour encomium on him, let us hurry back to work. There is so much work to get back to as a nation. Sadiq is not resting in peace; he is smiling down on us and urging us all to keep working fearlessly and tirelessly. Thank you, Sadiq, and goodbye.
For comments can I get names of other Sadiq movies? Please…