By George Onmonya Daniel
The first time I met Steve Gukas was the day the movie 93 Days was premiered at Silver Bird galleria, Abuja. I was invited by Dimbo Atiya to watch the movie. I went with two of my friends who were planning to go into movie production and Dimbo bought tickets for all of us. Steve Gukas was wearing a short knicker and a causal T-shirt with his beautiful but rather quiet and amiable wife. Before then I have never fully watched any Nigerian film. I have no patience them. I must confess I only went to Silver Bird that day because I thought it would be nice to meet Dimbo Atiya. I went into the movie hall without even looking twice at Steve Gukas after shaking his hand when I was introduced to him by Dimbo.
The movie 93 Days kept the whole audience spellbound. It was personal because it is our story, the story of how Ebola got into Nigeria and the women and men who did everything to save nation from an Ebola epidemic. The whole audience empathized with the characters. Steve Gukas told the story fantastically and slowly but surely carries the viewers all along to the end of the road with tears in the eyes. 93 Days gives any Hollywood film a run for its money. Steve Gukas 93 Days will be the first Nollywood film I watched completely. You wouldn’t understand until you have watched 93 Days.
Recently I called Dimbo Atiya and I told him of how proud I am to see him coming up in the movie industry in Nigeria, especially being from the North, working in Abuja and the North, and giving Lagos a run for their money. I have just had an argument with a friend who assumed all Nollywood movies were produced and directed in Southern Nigeria and I asked if he knows Dimbo Atiya. He hasn’t heard of Dimbo Atiya by has watched Sons of Caliphate. It makes it easy. I proudly told him Dimbo Atiya is the producer, director and writer of that series. I
am sure most of you have seen Sons of the Caliphate. What about Halita? Dimbo has a hand in all of this.
One thing again about Dimbo Atiya is his humility. He always promotes his mentor Steve Gukas and promotes his works, shares Steve Gukas interviews and works on his Facebook page and he is responsible for bringing many new stars into limelight from this axis. We have a lot of talented people here too. Anytime I meet people who I think are talented, I give Dimbo a call. I have done that a couple of times and asked that he calls them for an audition.
With Dimbo Atiya and Steve Gukas we are hoping to see stories from and about the North more often on television and an opportunity to many of our talented young men and women from the North. These guys are from Jos and went to the film school in Jos.