Sadiq Daba is a veteran television broadcaster, presenter, actor, director and producer, who wowed Nigerians from the late 70s through the 80s in arguably one of Nigeria’s most successful TV series, Cock Crow at Dawn. He talks about his career, displeasure with the Kannywood and why he now preaches against smoking and drinking.
Sadiq Daba, was a mainstay of the entertainment industry in the jolly old 80’s and 90’s, where his performances were instrumental in the birth of contemporary Nollywood. He’s starred in myriads of films, soap operas and drama like, ‘rooster Crow at Dawn’, ‘Behind the Clouds’ and ‘A Place like Home’, ‘Soweto’, and ‘Moment of Truth’.
Widely travelled and educated, he studied at the St. Edwards College, Sierra Leone, NTA/TV College, ABU: Mass Communication and later went on training tours to Germany, U.K. et al. He was a news reader, reporter, editor at RKTV (Radio Television Kaduna), NTV/NTA Sokoto, NTPC Lagos, NTA Lagos. Well, he’s been below the radar for a while, but here he is popping up once more as the hero of arguably the most anticipated movie of the year; October 1st. He plays a character called ‘Waziri’ a Police Detective who’s charged with apprehending a serial feminist murderer in precolonial Nigeria. And we can’t wait to see him kicking ass. Bad killer’s asses.
Sadiq Abubakar Daba, many remember him for his well interpreted role of Bitrus — in the now rested television drama, “Cockcrow at Dawn” on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) that was popular in the 1970s. Above all, he was an affable broadcaster of repute whose career in the media started in the 70s and spanned all through the 80s and 90s.
Watch Sadiq Daba Interview On Jara TV show:
Sadiq, as he is fondly called is of course a veteran television broadcaster, presenter, actor, director and producer. He warmed himself into the hearts of Nigerians through his role in the TV series that is considered one of Nigeria’s most successful.
Widely travelled and educated, he studied at the St. Edwards College, Sierra Leone; NTA, Sokoto; before berthing at the network channel of the station, NTA/TV College, Jos. He bagged a Mass Communication degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and later went on training tours of Germany and United Kingdom. He was a news caster, reporter, and editor at Radio Television Kaduna (RKTV), NTV/NTA Sokoto, NTPC Lagos, and NTA Lagos.
Talking about his days on the silver screen he said: “Everything in life is challenging, challenges come, you accost them, overcome them and life continues. I enjoyed my television days, but one thing people misunderstood is that I am not the regular actor they see on TV screens regularly. I am a broadcaster through and through.
“The acting I did was part of my TV career. Somebody somewhere saw the potentials of acting in me and decided to exploit it and that’s it. I am a whole lot of things, I am a broadcaster first and foremost, I am a presenter, producer, director and maybe you can say an actor.”
Well, he’s been below the radar for a while, but here he is popping up once more as the hero of arguably the most anticipated movie of the year – “October 1st.” He plays a character called ‘Waziri’ a Police detective who’s charged with apprehending a serial feminist murderer in pre-colonial Nigeria.
His advent into television broadcasting which he described as a very long story is inspiring. “Way back in school, I have always loved poems, films. I loved going to the cinemas back then. When I was young, I used to imagine myself talking on radio or television and millions of people would listen to me.
“I grew up with that conception in mind. I used to admire William Roberts anytime I heard him on radio or television and I decided that I would grow up to be like him. He was my role model. I remember my dad back then. May his soul rest in peace, bought me a recorder to use to practice. So I would pretend to be reading the news to people and record myself and then play it back to myself to see how good or well I sounded.
“I gradually worked towards my dream every day of my life, hoping that one day it will come through. And I am glad it did. As far as acting is concerned, it started way back in Sokoto. It all started with Peter Igho. It started from the newsroom; I was a news reporter, presenter and then a news producer.
“Peter who was then the head of drama decided to drag me into it and we did so many drama productions in Sokoto. Somewhere along the line, Cockcrow at Dawn was born and we decided to run it as a series and surprisingly it turned out to be a big hit,” he informed.
That in a nutshell captured how he veered into acting and has so remained true to the profession even after retirement from active service and well advanced in age. Many still remember warmly, his hey days at NTA and wish he could make a comeback somehow.
“Everything in life is challenging, challenges come, you accost them, overcome them and life continues. I enjoyed my television days, but one thing people misunderstood is that I am not the regular actor they see on TV screens regularly.
“I am a broadcaster through and through. The acting I did was part of my TV career. Somebody somewhere saw the potentials of acting in me and decided to exploit it and that’s it. I am a whole lot of things, I am a broadcaster first and foremost, I am a presenter, producer, director and maybe you can say an actor.”
Daba is truly a quintessential broadcaster, because he brought so much panache to his presentation even to the extent that many considered him an authority in English language due to his mastery and command of English, masking completely his Northern Nigerian background. But he was quick to ascribe his success to his penchant to uphold his own in spite of odds.
“What I can say is that if you set out to do something which within you is right and you are sincere about it, God will always be on your side. Second, I have never looked at myself as an ethnic-biased person, so I never gave anyone the chance to look at me that way; I am a Nigerian and am entitled to my rights as a Nigerian. I am a Nigerian and what I do is for Nigeria. I will continue to give my all to my country Nigeria, so why should I allow someone relegate me to the background because I represent an ethnic group. If I allow that, tomorrow someone would stop and ask me what I did to help the situation when such things were thriving,” he said.
Daba has played many roles in his determination to raise the bar in entertainment especially in different interpretative roles. But Daba with gratitude narrated his life changing bouts with Leukemia, blood cancer and how he survived out of sheer providence.
That experience left him with an indelible mark — a copious reason for his changed life style, notably characterised by his quitting cigarette smoking and alcohol.
As he rightly put it: “I am an advocate of the slogan — ‘Stop drinking and smoking.’ I preach it to people everywhere I go and will never stop doing it. As long as God spared my life to tell the story, I will continue to preach it.”
As part of his consultancy services since his retirement, Daba has produced a programme called Soul of Highlife — which took him to different countries such as Sierria Leone and Ghana — where he spoke to highlife music legends.
Another plus from him lately is his involvement in ‘October 1’ which won him an award. A movie written by Tunde Babalola and produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan.
VIDEO:Sadiq Daba Reveals AMAA Win Ovation Moved Him To Tears
VIDEO CREDIT: CHANNEL TV, AFRICA MAGIC