Sadiq Daba, the method actor who played Inspector Waziri in Kunle Afolayan’s ‘October 1’ has passed away. He died on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
Joe Odumakin, a close friend of the late actor broke the news to Punch.
“His wife just called me now and we spoke,” Odumakin told PUNCH. “She said that she was at the morgue. I asked what happened and she told me that about a week ago, he had been ill but he had been home and that he went to the hospital late afternoon today.
“She explained that he had not been eating much and that as soon as they got to the hospital, they started conducting different tests on him including COVID-19. They put him on oxygen but he died around 8:30 pm,” he added.
In 2017, Sadiq disclosed to the public his battle with Leukemia and Prostate Cancer. His reveal ignited a fundraising campaign to aid his treatment. Several stakeholders in Nigeria and Nollywood contributed to the cause including Women’s Right Activist Josephine Obiajulu Odumakin, television presenter Mabel Oboh and business mogul Femi Otedola. The latter took charge of the medical expenses of Daba in 2019 upon hearing the news of his illness.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
Best known for his striking film roles in recent years, Daba started as a news anchor, reporter and editor at RKTV, NTPC Lagos and finally at Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), formerly known as NTV.
“Lucky to have worked with this Legend at Independent Television. He will insist the words are pronounced “RIGHT” even if it took the whole day…. A Legend, oh Sadiq Daba. When you see him, you’re reminded of Yinka Craig. An era on Television,” Journalist, Abang Mercy wrote.
During his NTA days, his acting career launched when he was offered drama roles on radio by Peter Igho, head of NTVs drama department. Although he generated some popularity with the minor roles, his fame reached mainstream height when he starred in the hit drama series ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’ as Bitrus.
“Sad that the cock will no longer crow at dawn. Sadiq Daba, thank you for the joy you brought into our homes. May your sins be forgiven, and your memories be a blessing,” Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of Nigeria, penned on Twitter.
In his over five decades stay in Nollywood, Daba won a prestigious Africa Movie Academy Award for best actor in a lead role in 2015 for his commanding Inspector Waziri character in ‘October 1’. He again bagged best actor in a lead role at the 2015 Best of Nollywood Awards with the same Afolayan film.
Prior to his casting in ‘October 1’, Daba had last been seen in the 1998 Mahmood Ali-Balagun short film ‘A Place Called Home’ produced by MNET. Bearing the character description of Inspector Waziri; an actor, who had the look associated with people of the 60s, one who could speak Hausa and represent the ethnic group as well, Afolayan expressed no interest in casting any other Nollywood figure except Daba. The long search for him came to an end when Afolayan came across a recent interview he had granted and used that medium to get connected to him. ‘October 1’ is by far his best performance ever on the big screen.
Aside ‘October 1’, Daba also appeared in Afolayan’s Netflix film ‘Citation’. He played Prof. Yahaya, one of the University Professors, who presided over the sexual assault case between Moremi (Temi Otedola) and lecturer Lucien N’Dyare (Jimmy Jean-Louis).
”His enthusiasm at playing Inspector Danladi Waziri in October 1 and Prof. Yahaya in Citation is a true definition of his optimistic and passionate self, which we’ll never forget. No one could have played these roles better than Mr. Sadiq Daba”, Afolayan shared on Instagram.
Raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the best and good works of Daba were celebrated across major platforms. In 2018 he was named by Nollywood Stakeholders as the Garkuwan Nollywood, which translates in Hausa as the shield of Nollywood.
Despite all the recognitions he received with his authoritative roles, Daba was a loud advocate for the Nigeria health sector. He admonished the Nigerian government to pay extra attention to Doctors, as he rated their services to be fantastic above all other things.
”We should do more for ourselves. It’s not just to pay lip service. Our health service is in shambles. Our doctors are fantastic but our government should give them that enabling environment, empower them to do the best. Our doctors are magicians, to be honest,” he said.
He took part in the ‘Walk Against Cancer’ in raising awareness about cancer and how one can stay cancer free.
His many film and soap opera credits include ‘Behind the Clouds’, ‘Soweto’, ‘A Place like Home’ and Moment of Truth’.
”A Titan has gone to rest. Rest in Peace Sir Sadiq Daba. You made some of our childhood memorable with cock crow at dawn and other great works of art! Your legacy lives on. Adieu Icon,” said AMVCA and AMAA winning actress Rita Dominic.