Adieu Sisi Quadri & John Okafor By Tunde Asaju

When I was moving to Canada years ago, my late cousin Pius Adesanmi advised me to bring in Nollywood movies. YouTube and online streaming had not overtaken the world and there was no TikTok or Stories. It was perhaps the only advice I never even considered. Knowing my love for the theatre and music, he told me I would miss them.


I don’t think I do. Having been tutored and mentored by one of the nation’s best theatre tutors in Prof Akanji Nasiru and having studied literature, I did not approve of most of the skits I see on video. Pius would spend a whole day with my wife watching and analyzing Naija movies while I tried to find any distraction I could get in his house at Shoreline.


Those were the days. But I confess that comedy always gets me. Reels get me more because I can’t remember when last I sat in a theatre watching a movie in the last ten years. But I love the reels, stories and TikTok because of its wit, its conceit and the fact that it packs a lot of talent and delivery into short, pungent and poignant skits.


It was in these bite-sized acts that I got to know Oyebamiji Tọlani Quadri aka Ṣíṣí Quadri and Mr. John Ikechukwu Okafor alias Mr. Ibu. The duo, like most of their counterparts in the business were frontliners whose acts would make you forget your sorrow while at the same time take pride in a nation with talents as diverse as stars in the firmament.


It was therefore with deep sense professional loss that I learnt of the death in succession first of Sisi Quadri, the man who yabs for money and his colleague, Mr. Ibu. While Mr Ibu’s health challenges were well known Ṣíṣí Quadri’s short illness and demise has left us all in a state of national shock and disbelief. It is sad that both men died within 24 hours of each other leaving us with a sense of national tragedy.


Their exit reminds of the transience of life encouraging us at every moment to act well our part. Both artists played their parts well and have now left us truly when the ovation ought to reach a crescendo. The shoes they have left behind would be too constricting for anyone to fit into.


Their painful exit has reduced the decibel of our laughter at a time when the expertise of their artistry is needed to help us weather the storms of national despondency.


I pray for their sweet souls to find rest and for fortitude for their families to find closure. Nigeria has truly lost two artistic giants. May their humorous souls find peaceful rest.


My personal condolences to their families and their numerous fans. They are already sorely missed but their works would continue to gladden the heart of the living. That is a legacy most of us waiting our days live for. Adieu Ṣíṣí Quadri and Mr. Ibu.


All pictures sourced from Google.

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