Veteran Nollywood actor Samanja dies at 81

Veteran Nollywood actor Usman Pategi, popularly known as Samanja, has died at 81.

This was revealed by a theatre consultant, Husseini Shaibu, on Sunday via his Facebook page.

The cause of his death is yet unknown.

Shaibu said, “I have been reliably informed that light has dimmed on the veteran actor, Usman Baba Pategi, popularly known as Samanja Mazan Fama.

“The actor, who rode to national prominence in the 80s playing Samanja in the defunct NTA drama series (about the life of soldiers in the barracks), titled ‘Samanja’, reportedly passed on around midnight on Sunday.

“The last time I saw Samanja was in Lagos in 2019 when he was awarded the Fellowship of Theatre Arts (fta) by the Israel Eboh-led National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners.”

Some actors also took to the post’s comment section to pay tribute to the deceased.

Okey Ogunjiofor said, “The Legends who made our early days sweet are departing gradually. May his soul rest in peace”.

Pategi was born on May 20, 1942, into the royal house of Pategi Emirate in Pategi, Northern Nigeria.

He is the son of Etsu Usman Patako, the late King of Pategi.

The popular actor, writer, and director starred in the popular Hausa films known as Samanja, Yusuf’s Ladan’s Zaman, Duniya Iyawa Ne and all.

Mr Pategi gained popularity in the movie Samanja by mixing Hausa, English and pidgin English.