Sadiq Daba, a veteran actor and broadcaster who breathed life to many characters on TV, died on Wednesday evening after a long battle with leukaemia and prostate cancer.

Daba, whose last role on the big screen was on ‘Citation’, a Kunle Afolayan movie about sex for grades practice in tertiary institutions, was rumoured dead on more than one occasion. But each time, he emerged with an indefatigable spirit to live life to the fullest.

During the press conference of ‘Citation’ last year, Daba thumped his chest and boldly told journalists gathered that he refused to give up even when it seemed there was no hope.

For many Nigerians who grew up in the 70s and 80s, Daba defining role on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) soap opera ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’ inspired them. He was fondly known by his character ‘Bitrus’. He brought his stellar art to another production of NTA, ‘Behind the Clouds’.

When Nollywood was at its teething stage, Daba was one of the iconic stars who graced the screen. He starred in ‘Nightmare’, a 1995 film by Zik Zulu which starred Sandra Achums, Pete Edochie, Onyeka Onwenu among others.

At the rise of ‘New Nollywood’, Daba was picked to play the detective Danladi Waziri in Kunle Afolayan’s 2014 movie ‘October 1′. His peerless performance fetched him an Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) in 2015. In 2016, Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) bestowed the Industry Merit Award on him.

‘October 1’ proved not the be the last time Daba would work with Afolayan. Last year, when he embarked on ‘Citation’, he tapped Daba for a role.

Sharing a picture of both of them on Instagram, the filmmaker wrote “You will be missed Uncle S. You made your mark.”

“We have lost a gem,” said prominent filmmaker Femi Odugbemi. “Sadiq is one of Nigeria’s cross-generational artistes whose work spanned decades and sustained its excellence and impact. Many of my generation first met him on NTA’s ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’ in the 80s and to watch him deliver starring performances in contemporary cinema blockbusters like ‘October 1’ and ‘Citation’ tells you the quality of talent he carried.”

Veteran actress Ajoke Silva in her tribute to the deceased on Instagram wrote that he had a good run.

“I thanked God that you worked till the end.”

Commenting on that post was the Chairman of First Bank Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika who acknowledged that Daba indeed had a good run.