October 1

October 1 Information

October 1 is a 2014 Nigerian dark psychological thriller film written by Tunde Babalola, produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan. It stars Sadiq Daba, Kayode Olaiya, David Bailie, Kehinde Bankole, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Nick Rhys, Kunle Afolayan, Femi Adebayo, Bimbo Manuel, Ibrahim Chatta and introducing Demola Adedoyin and Deola Sagoe. The film which is set in Colonial Nigeria, narrates the story of Danladi Waziri (Sadiq Daba), a police officer from Northern Nigeria who is posted to a remote town of Akote in Western Nigeria to investigate the frequent female murder cases in the community, and have the mystery solved before the Nigerian flag is raised on October 1, Nigeria's Independence Day.

The script for the film was initially submitted with the title Dust, due to the dusty town the story is set. The lead character, Dan Waziri, particularly posed a challenge during casting, as the director had a particular look he wants for the character; Daba was eventually selected for the role after a series of research, and thereby marked the his return to the big screen after over ten years absence from the industry. The film received sponsorships from Lagos State Government, Toyota Nigeria, Elizade Motors, Guinness and Sovereign Trust Insurance, and was shot in Lagos and Ondo State for a period of over forty days using RED cameras, after four months of preproduction. Production design of the film was done by Pat Nebo, who has also worked with Afolayan in his two previous film projects; he and his team made almost half of the props used in the film, while the other props such as television sets from the '50s, shotguns and antique vehicles, were acquired and refurbished for the film. Golden Effects also partnered with Haute Couture to provide primordial costumes used in the film.

After several release postponements, the film had a number of private screenings and eventually premiered on 28 September 2014; its premiere which was tagged "'60s", required guests to be dressed in native costumes and hairstyles from the 1960s. The premiere also provided tours of sets, and also displayed the props and costumes used in the film. The film was met with positive critical reception, mostly praised for its production design, cinematography and its exploration of powerful themes; which include tribalism, western imperialism, paedophilia, homosexuality, Nigeria's unification, and also establishing a strong connection between western culture and the cause of present day Boko Haram insurgency.


The film starts with images of a young lady being raped by a seemingly unknown man.

Inspector Danladi Waziri (Sadiq Daba) is summoned to present a draft on his findings of the virgin killings in Akute. He began narrating his story to the British military on the events that transpired from his arrival in Akute town. He flashes back and explained how he was warmly received by Inspector Afonja (Kayode Aderupoko). On arriving the village square, Danladi notices the villagers celebrating a horse-rider, who was later noted by Afonja to be Prince Aderopo (Demola Adedoyin), having returned from the city, as the first university graduate in the community. Afonja leads Danladi to the remains of the virgins, who observed a similar trait in them and deduces it must be serial killing. Inspector Danladi and Officer Afonja continued their investigation by visiting the spot where the last lady was killed, Afonja later revealed to him that Agbekoya (Kunle Afolayan) was the owner of the farm. Agbekoya denied any knowledge of the events that lead to the killings and was subsequently freed by the inspector due to his perceived language barrier between them.

Prince Aderopo is told by the Oba () to be careful as he moves around the community at night, he was also instructed to take guards along everywhere. Aderopo visits the village bar, where he meets his childhood friends, Banji (Femi Adebayo) and Tawa (Kehinde Bankole). The trio discuss the coming independence and their past. One of the guards evades his post to spend some time with his lover close to the stream. Afonja and Danaladi questions Baba Ifa (Ifayemi Elebuibon) on their way out of the bar, he replied their questions proverbially and concluding that the killer will continue to kill virgins until he is satisfied. The next day, the village is in awe on the discovery of another body. The deceased is the lover of the fleeing guard of the prince. Danladi is astonished and orders Afonja to arrest Baba Ifa, a request he promptly refused. The insubordination of Afonja cost him his job. He is replaced by his deputy in the search for the killer. Danladi and his new assistant visits the Ifa and questions him on his prediction coming to reality. An igbo farmer, Okafor (Kanayo O. Kanayo) along with his tribesmen capture a travelling Northerner claiming he was responsible for the death of his daughter. Danladi's assistant is killed by the serial killer after he was trailed along the bush-path. The northern-man is taken into custody, by the police but maintained he was innocent. Danladi informs his British superiors that he was will be closing the case since he found the killer. As he was about taking the northern-man away from Akute, Okafor throws a machete at him and pierced his heart. The last words of the dying prisoner to Dandali was "I did not kill the girl". Dandali gazed at him in disbelief as he takes Okafor into custody, who has been repeatedly shouting "I am a Man" as the reasons for his actions.

At night, the villagers gathered to celebrate her victory over the presumed dead killer. Dandali is invited and was persuaded into drinking against his wishes. On his way out he heard someone whistling a tune he was earlier told to be that of the killer, by the northerner. The killer approached him but he was too drunk to identify the face. Afterwards, he was assaulted by the killer. He found his way to Afonja's residence, where he reinstated him as an officer. Afonja and his wife gave him herbs to cure his catarrh. During his process of relief from the aliment, he recollected the face of the killer and stated "I think I know who the killers are". The next morning, he went to the market square to observe the body language of Prince Aderopo, who suspiciously stared at him in confidence that there are no evidence to prove he indeed killed the girls. Danladi visits Tawa in her school, to question her about her relationship with the Prince. He discovered that Aderopo and Agbekoya were recipients of a scholarship from the priest of the town. He visited the farm of Agbekoya, revealing the revelations he found out earlier concerning his life. Abgbekoya gave an account on how they were molested by the Reverend Father in Lagos.

On the eve of Independence, all the villagers are out celebrating the end of imperialism. Prince Aderopo invites Tawa to their childhood hideout, a place he recently renovated. He also told her love-interest to meet her there and that she is now interested in him. Danladi and Afonja tried trailing them but were lost in the process. Agbekoya came to their aid with the location of the hideout. On getting to the tent, Aderopo attempts to make Tawa his seventh dead virgin representing the seven years he spent violated by the priest. Danladi, Agbekoya and the other officers came to her rescue. On the present day, Danladi concluded his long ordeal to the British officers who were against his desire to speak the truth on the identity of the real killer. They instructed him not to tell anyone that the prince was responsible for the deaths. He was reluctantly succumbed to the pressure for the sake of a peaceful independence.


  • Sadiq Daba as Inspector Danladi Waziri
  • Kehinde Bankole as Miss Tawa
  • Demola Adedoyin as Aderopo
  • Kayode Aderupoko as Inspector Afonja
  • Kanayo O. Kanayo as Okafor
  • Bimbo Manuel as Canon Kuforiji
  • Ibrahim Chatta as Sumonu
  • Femi Adebayo as Banji
  • Kunle Afolayan as Agbekoya
  • Deola Sagoe as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti
  • Fabian Adeoye Lojede as Corporal Omolodun
  • David Bailie as Ackerman
  • Nick Rhys as Winterbottom
  • Colin David Reese as Father Dowling
  • Lawrence Stubbings as Tomkins
  • Ifayemi Elebuibon as Baba Ifa
  • Abiodun Aleja as Olaitan


Inspiration, writing and development

Kunle Afolayan wanted a story set in a small community; he had writers submit scripts before he got to meet Tunde Babalola who eventually wrote the script for the film. The script was initially submitted with the title Dust, mainly because the story is set in a very dusty town. Even though Afolayan didn't want to do big budget projects at the time, he knew he had no choice, as he wanted to interpret the writer's vision adequately because it is a "national film with a universal appeal". He expressed that he liked the story of October 1 because it is a period piece, which he had never done before and "it is also significant to the present state of Nigeria". As a result, he decided to explore the film by adding his own ideas to the subsequent drafts of the script. In an interview, Afolayan pointed out that October 1 is not just an entertainment film, but also informative: "For the older generation, especially those who were part of independence, they will be able to see themselves in this film. For the younger generation it's a platform for many of them who don't know the story of Nigeria". He also stated that: "We want the younger generation to know where we are coming from and the older generation to see if we are moving in the right direction".

As with Golden Effects' previous productions, the film got sponsorship from a number of brands: Lagos State Government is the first to be associated with the project and was announced as one of the major sponsors of the film, other major sponsors include Toyota Nigeria, Elizade Motors, Guinness and Sovereign Trust Insurance.


According to Afolayan, care had to be taken during casting as it is one of the key areas that could make or break a film like October 1. The audition for the film which took place on 6 June 2013 at Golden Effects Studios in Ikeja recorded over 1000 people in attendance.

The lead character of Dan Waziri posed a challenge; a Northerner is needed to play the role, and Afolayan stated that there is a particular "look" that has been associated with people of the sixties. He also pointed out that he needed an actor who could not only speak Hausa, but would represent the ethnic group as well. No one seemed to tick these essential boxes, until Sadiq Daba came to mind. However, his whereabouts were not known at the time as the last time he had been seen was in the 1998 Mahmood Ali-Balogun's short film A Place Called Home, produced by MNet Eventually, Afolayan was able to find a recent interview he granted, thereby getting connected to Daba through the interviewer. Sadiq Daba was prepared for Waziri's character for a period of 8 months before filming commenced. On a day of shoot, a serious disagreement occurred between Daba and Afolayan that Daba walked out on set; the dispute however was eventually settled and shooting was resumed. Daba in an interview expressed enthusiastically that Kunle Afolayan is a filmmaker he was glad to be associated with.

The character of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was another challenging aspect of casting; Afolayan had to research on the Kutis for some time in order to learn about some dominant physical features that might be common with the family. He also announced it on Twitter that he was looking for an actress with close resemblance to the late Funmilayo Kuti, but to no avail. When the director met designer, Deola Sagoe for the costume design of the film, he would always "see this round face like the Kutis" and he eventually asked her out on the role. She agreed to the role after three weeks of Afolayan's persistence and convincing.

Kunle Afolayan like in his previous films featured in October 1 as a farmer with the name Agbekoya. For his role, he had to leave his hair for sometime in order to let it just grow. He also stated in an interview with Toni Kan and Peju Akande on Africa Magic that some other actors were also asked to leave their hair and beard for about a year for the film.


Filming which was initially scheduled for July commenced in August 2013, with the actors' first reading taking place on 5 August, after four months of preproduction. Shooting began at the old Railway Quarters in Lagos from where they proceeded to Ilara-Mokin, a small village in Ondo State; The director with some other crew members had previously been to Ilara-Mokin to scout for filming locations in May 2013. Scenes were also filmed at Federal College of Agriculture, Akure and few neighbouring villages around Akure. Toyota Nigeria provided transportation for the cast, crew and filming equipment throughout the course of filming. It also provided accommodation for the cast and crew while shooting in Ilara-Mokin, which is the hometown of the company's Chairman. The film was shot using RED cameras. Modern inventions captured during principal photography were all digitally removed during post-production.

Principal photography ended in September 2013 after 42 days of shoot. Kunle Afolayan in an interview with Weekend Magazine expressed that it was very stressful shooting October 1 and his previous films were incomparable to it. He stated that it was more challenging, more demanding and it has a budget of over four times that of his previous film. He also said there were times when he and the crew had just three hours of sleep in four days, but however pointed out that he had best hands on deck for the project and he is grateful for that. The film production team was made up of about 100 people.


Almost half of the props used in October 1 were made by Pat Nebo, the art director and his team. Props were also brought from United States and the United Kingdom, including television sets and shotguns from the fifties as they were not available in Nigeria. It was realized that Nigerians rarely archive artefacts, so most historical items have been destroyed. Golden Effects partnered with fashion designer, Deola Sagoe of Haute Couture who also featured as the late Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti in the film to design the primordial costumes used in the film.

There were no Toyota vehicles in Nigeria in the sixties; this made it impossible for Toyota Nigeria to provide props for the film. Some of the antique vehicles used in the film were sourced in Nigeria; most were however refurbished for the owners so that they can be used in the film. The props used in the film are currently kept in Golden Effects Studios and can be rented out to other filmmakers that may need them in future. There was also an exhibition at the premiere of the film displaying the antique items used in October 1.


Title Artist Notes Ref
"Sunny Sunny Day" Yvonne Denobis written by Yvonne Denobis
and produced by Kulanen Ikyo
Courtesy of GraceFM Reloaded VOL 1
"Mama E" Victor Abimbola Olaiya
"Ba Ko Daya" Victor Abimbola Olaiya



During the filming of October 1, Onset pictures were constantly released to the public via the film's social media pages. A first poster for the film was released on 9 June 2013, which depicts a juxtaposition of the Nigerian and British flag backdropped by an ancient town. On 11 September 2013, Golden Effects unveiled a set of character posters for the film at the Toyota office in Lagos; Stakeholders present at the event include Executive Director of Toyota Nigeria and Lagos State Permanent Secretary of special duties. The first trailer of the film was released on 1 October 2013, Nigeria's 53rd Independence day, a date initially slated for the film release itself; the trailer won the "Best Fiction Film Trailer" award at the 2013 International Movie Trailers Festival Awards. A movie teaser and a theatrical promotional trailer was also released on YouTube on the 27 August 2014.


The film was initially slated to be released on 1 October 2013 to coincide with Nigeria's 53rd Independence anniversary, but it got postponed to February 2014 due to unfinished post production. The film was however not released on the specified date and several other release dates were subsequently posted on the internet including 25 April, May and June 2014. Golden Effects eventually announced that a release date for the film couldn't be specified, and that the several postponements were due to the other highly anticipated films that had been scheduled for release in 2014 including: Render to Caesar released in March, Half of a Yellow Sun in April (later shifted to August) and others like '76 and Dazzling Mirage without release dates yet; Afolayan pointed out that the films needed to be spaced in order to maximize box office returns. It was revealed that there will be more than one cut for the film; a cut for the local [Nigerian] audience, a cut for African audience, a cut for film festivals and probably another cut for international release.

A private screening of October 1 organized by Terra Kulture was held at the InterContinental Lagos on 21 May 2014 with many stakeholders in attendance, the film reportedly received positive reactions at the event. The film also had up to five other private and exclusive screenings before its release, all organized by Terra Kulture. "The Making of...." documentary on October 1 started airing on Dstv's Africa Magic channels on 7 September 2014.

Premiere and release

October 1 premiered at the EXPO Centre, Eko Hotel and Suites on 28 September 2014; the theme of the event was "'60s", as a result had most celebrities dressed in primordial native attires and hair styles. There was an exhibition at the premiere, which provided tour of the sets, and also displayed the costumes and props used for the film. The red carpet event was also broadcast live on DStv's Africa Magic channels. The film was first released in selected cinemas on 1 October 2014, and had the cinemas inflate their ticket prices. It went on general release on 3 October 2014. October 1 was screened at the 2014 Cultural Confidence, New York on 11 October 2014; it has also been officially selected for the 2014 Africa International Film Festival. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on 3 November 2014 at the 2014 Film Africa Festival in London.

Critical reception

The film since its release, has been positively received by film critics. Toni Kan of ThisDay praised its cinematography, story and casting, concluding that: "October 1 provokes a lot of questions and provides few answers but what is unequivocal is that at the end of the movie when the picture of the Queen is taken down, Kunle Afolayan, son of Ade Love, is crowned King". Onyeka Nwelue of The Trent, praised the artistic nature of the film, its subtle messages, and concluded: "Mr. Afolayan incorporates facts into fiction to create an everlasting joy in this work. He is not one who is scared of exploring, and he does so beautifully. He takes his time to create. He takes his time to understand the people he is making films for. No matter how intellectually stimulating October 1 is, it can be enjoyed by anybody. At the end, one can easily say, Mr. Afolayan"?s October 1 is for everyone who loves great films". Sodas and Popcorn, praised its production design, the performances from the actors, use of costumes, and also described the cinematography as "the best work of art in Nigerian cinematic history". It commended the film for its attention to detail and concluded: "Afolayan obviously had clear vision of what he set out to achieve and pushed his cast to give the best possible performance you could expect from them. The glory of the film, however, is in the fact that the story is not afraid to go there: explore the timeless themes of religion, ethnic rifts, corruption, abuse, pain and privilege. The film plays for 2 hours but there is enough suspense and laugh-till-your-sides-hurt humour to keep you at the edge of your seat". Efeturi Doghudje of 360Nobs commended the character development, praised the performance of Demola Adedoyin, and the costume design. She rated the film 9 out of 10, and concluded: "Script writer Tunde Babalola, was incredible, as October 1, was much more than just an entertaining feature, it was deep, intense and had that suspense that got us in the hall talking. Asides attention to detail, Babalola paid as much attention to the script trying to relive the experience of the 1960s and tying it perfectly to the British way of governing us, our tribal issues and our eventual independence. It [October 1] was pieced together wonderfully and creatively executed. October 1 is a must see for all". Wilfred Okiche of YNaija praised its production design, and concluded: "In many ways, October 1 is a typical Kunle Afolayan film, what with the ensemble cast, big budget, period setting, ambitious story and dark psychological suspense. But where he does not leave an indelible mark on the film, one that will in future days be identified as the Afolayan touch. He proves once again and maybe for the first time in film this year, that ambition is good and no one can represent Nigeria better than Nigerians. Nollywood is rising indeed, and October 1 is a shining example". Amarachukwu Iwuala of Pulse NG praised the subtle themes in the film, while noting Kayode Olaiya as the highlight performance, and concluded that although "October 1 is not fast-paced, the action nonetheless unravels at a rate that keeps everyone in suspense. The film aptly integrates several interesting subplots; smartly employing subtext and irony. This 140-minute picture is another feat for Nollywood".

Isabella Akinseye of Nolly Silver Screen gave a mixed review; while praising the cinematography and generally the production, she talked down on the plot and scripting. She rated the film 3.4 out of 5 stars and commented: "As a film that attempts to teach Nigeria"?s history through entertainment, Kunle Afolayan"?s October 1 gets a pass. Brand Nigeria is depicted in the language, props and footage, but the problem with the film is that it tries to do too many things".


Sadiq Daba in an interview stated: "It [October 1] cuts across the whole of Nigeria and back to our colonial days. It talks about our ethnic intra-relationships and many more"?. The film explores issues on Paedophilia, depicting a young boy, Koya being raped by a western priest, Father Dowling; This makes Koya to hold the belief that "western education is evil", a slogan associated with the present day Boko Haram. Tunde Babalola, the scriptwriter commented: "As a writer, I want to delve into subjects that people don"?t want to talk about. I don"?t want to write things that people want to say. I would rather write about things that are controversial, and that which will get people talking for weeks". Victor Akande of The Nation comments: "October 1 captures the approach used by two young men who are vexed by a system (Western education) they expect will make them better humans, but which ends up corrupting their traditional upbringing; worse still, by men of same sex". The film has also been described as a metaphor of Nigeria and the discrimination it has experienced as a Nation; The killings in the film for instance depicts the massive stealing of the country"?s mineral resources by the West. It also touches metaphors on the unification of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria up to Independence. There are also conversations in the film which suggests that Nigeria got its independence a little too early.

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