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ISSAKABA: The evil we fought against 25yrs ago still lives with us – Sam Dede


Says ‘I am emotionally affected playing the lead character’


Filming of the highly anticipated Issakaba remake ended last week, after the cast and crew of the action-packed thriller spent over a month on location in Asaba.

While the filming lasted, the Issakaba boys were the talk of the town, as residents and passers-by besieged the streets of Asaba to catch a glimpse of the movie.

One character who resonates with the people, and whose return  on set is greeted with excitement  is Samuel Dedetoku, popularly known as Sam Dede. He played the lead character as Ebube when the movie was first released in 1999.

Twenty five years later, the veteran actor is playing the same character again. In his encounter, he shares his excitement playing the lead role again. He regretted that the evil Issakaba boys fought against 25 years ago is still with us till date, even as he challenges Nigerian filmmakers to make more films that will address the country’s social woes, rather than churning out what he calls “senseless love stories.” He also talks about his love for grooming talents and why he’s always  playing tough roles in movies among other things.

25 years ago, you played  the lead character in the action-packed thriller, Issakaba and you are playing the role  again. What is new about this role?

It’s telling us that those bandits that Issakaba  boys fought against 25 years ago have not changed. They are still here with us. Before now, we were dealing with armed robbers, but  the dimension of kidnapping, ritual killings have become stronger than those things we fought against 25 years ago. It’s a call to serve our community and ‘Issakaba’  overtime has become a metaphor for justice and fighting against crimes in society. So, we are back to fight against those crimes again. And  we hope that the viewers will get to understand what we are back to fight against now.

When you were invited to play the role again, how did you feel?

It’s an opportunity for us to remind ourselves that nothing has changed in society. Rather, those who sacrificed their lives for our society had  been forgotten. Look at the Issakaba boys who sacrificed their lives to bring sanity to society . There’s a scene in the movie, where some of the boys died due to lack of medical facilities. It’s quite a touching role to play. This time, we are coming  back with so much anger and vexation. The Issakaba boys seem to have given their blood and sweat for society and gained nothing in return. It’s not like they asked for anything. They are even treated like outcasts, they are forgotten heroes. Nothing has changed and more than anything else, we are  trying to restore sanity to our homeland. It”s a duty call to everybody to realize this fact. We have to take our destinies in our hands.

The remake of Issakaba also reminds one of the role you played in the ‘Last Burial.’ Why are you always playing tough roles in movies?



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