• Saturday, December 02, 2023
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Obituary: Samanja, ‘retired soldier’ Nollywood pioneer


Samanja, real name: Usman Baba Pategi, a veteran Hausa comedy actor is dead. He was 84 years old. He died on Sunday after a prolonged illness.

He is survived by two wives and 12 children.

Mohammad Usman, one of his sons said Samanja’s funeral prayer will be held at 10 am at a mosque in Kabala Costain, Kaduna.

The Abuja-based actor who was also a retired soldier was best known for his role as Sergeant-Major in the popular Eponymous Hausa-language comedy-drama series “Samanja,” which aired on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in the 1980s and 1990s. The show was a huge success and made Samanja a household name in Nigeria.

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Samanja was credited with helping to popularize Hausa-language comedy films in Nigeria. He is also considered to be one of the pioneers of the Kannywood film industry, the Hausa sub class of the Nollywood industry which is now one of the largest film industries in Africa.

Samanja was inducted into the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Hall of Fame in 2020. He is also the recipient of several other awards and honors, including the Chief of Army Staff Award for Excellence in Acting.

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Samanja was an inspiration to many young actors and filmmakers, and his legacy continues to live on.