Bob Manuel Udokwu Mourns Dawodu, Director Of Checkmate, Remembers Other Cast Of Hit Soap Who Are No More
Star actor, Bob Manuel Udokwu, recently paid a glowing tribute to Bolaji Dawodu, the easygoing and bespectacled director of Checkmate, the hit soap created by Amaka Igwe and which exploded his acting career alongside those of others like Richard Mofe Damijo, Ego Boyo, Uche Osotule and Francis Agu.
Years back, Checkmate, we can confidently confirm, ranked as one the best things that happened to television in Nigeria. Hundreds, on a weekly basis, used to rush home to watch it.
Commenting on Mr. Dawodu’s demise, Udokwu, currently one of the advisers to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, first went down memory lane before praying for the repose of his soul: “Amaka Igwe, nee Isaac Ene, the creator of Checkmate died a couple of years ago. Francis Agu, the first son of the Haatrope family in Checkmate passed on long before Amaka Igwe. Many more in the star-studded cast of Checkmate (the biggest and the best television soap opera in Nigeria the 90s) have also passed on in the course of time…and now, our director, Bolaji Dawodu!
Man’s journey on the face of the earth is like a shadow, a mirage that creates optical illusion – here now and vanishes like a puff of smoke the next minute!
“Bolaji, the son of Dawodu! You helped to mould some of us in Checkmate into television super stars and celebrities even before the advent of Nollywood. I remain grateful for working with you in the early days of my journey into professional television entertainment. Fare thee well. 😕”
Details of how the director, believed to be in his 60s, actually died are still sketchy. Unconfirmed reports, however, have it that he had been in prior to going to be with the Lord.
An ex student of the popular Igbobi College, Lagos, he went on to study Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan, in Oyo State. He directed a couple of movies, but the most popular ones include Nneka The Pretty Serpent (produced by Okechukwu Ogunjiofor) and Battle of Musanga (produced by Gab Okoye, aka Gabosky).
His burial arrangements were yet to be announced at the time of writing this. But as would be expected, condolence messages have been pouring in for him, both from colleagues and outsiders.
– YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine