May 25, 2024
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Peace, my brother and friend, Zulu Adigwe!

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  • April 27, 2024
  • 2 min read
Peace, my brother and friend, Zulu Adigwe!

By Zik Zulu Okafor

ZULU Adigwe was a great friend. I invited him for his first movie in Nollywood. It was for the production of Blood of the Orphan, a script I wrote and produced in collaboration with Kenneth Nnebue, the producer of Living in Bondage, a movie that heralded Nollywood.

Inviting Zulu was inspired by his role as Joe Hill in the play, The Man Who Never Died at the University of Ibadan Theatre, directed by Prof Joel Adedeji, then Head of Department of Theatre Arts. I was so emotionally moved by his awe-inspiring performance, that of Sola Fosudo who played Tom Sharp and Nobert Young as Ed Rowan. From then on, Zulu remained a permanent feature in my creative memory bank.

When we finally met on my set in Lagos, the first question he asked was how I remembered him and why I took the pain to search for him, because getting him without GSM then was like a long walk through the Golgotha. I told him it was his role in the play I mentioned earlier. He laughed with his contra-bass voice resonating. Then he became sober, thanked me and told me a bit of his own story. In my view, his life was a solemn trust. Very simple. Money, for him, was not an achievement but an outcome of achievement. He negotiated his pay with ease. And lived with a silent code of courage and contentment. He bore his challenges with uncommon, if not unusual, stoic. His joy was his trade, his creative calling.

On set, he was always, always in fervent spirit. He featured in three of my movies, and I wanted him to play roles closer to his very noble personality, but Nollywood had a different plan. They turned him into a village villain, always a wicked, diabolic fellow and he so excelled in this horrible character role that it became his brand.

For Zulu Adigwe, life happens; yes, but he treated grave issues of life with a measured note of levity. So death, the ever undefeated conqueror, may have played its opaque role, yet Zulu conquered life. He was happy in his corner. He didn’t need much. And therefore couldn’t ask for more. Must have passed satisfied with his odyssey in this wilderness called life.

Peace, my brother!

Rest!

Safe trip!

Candles aglow!

* Okafor, journalist and moviemaker, wrote in from Lagos

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