Sudani from Nigeria

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Sudani from Nigeria
Sudani from Nigeria poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byZakariya Mohammed
Produced bySameer Thahir
Shyju Khalid
Screenplay byZakariya Mohammed
Muhsin Parari
Music bySongs:
Rex Vijayan
Shahabaz Aman
Rex Vijayan
Yakzan Gary Pereria & Neha Nair
Kishan Mohan
CinematographyShyju Khalid
Edited byNaufal Abdullah
Happy Hours Entertainments
Distributed byE4 Entertainment
Release date
  • 23 March 2018 (2018-03-23)
Running time
124 minutes[1]
Budget2 crore[2]

Sudani from Nigeria is a 2018 Indian Malayalam-language comedy-drama film written and directed by Zakariya Mohammed, with dialogues co-written by Muhsin Parari. Shyju Khalid was the cinematographer, who also produced the film with Sameer Thahir. It stars Soubin Shahir and Samuel Abiola Robinson.[3] The story follows a Nigerian football player who joins a club in Malappuram, Kerala for the sevens football match.[4]

Sudani from Nigeria was released in India on 23 March 2018. It met with widely positive critical response and was a commercial success at the box office. The film won five awards at the 49th Kerala State Film Awards, including Best Screenplay, Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value, Best Debut Director, Best Actor (Shahir), and Best Character Actress (Savithri and Sarasa).


The movie is set in a rural town in Malappuram, Kerala. Majeed is an unmarried young man who is rejected due to of his lack of a well paying and constant job. Majeed, like many people in his town, has an enormous passion for football and is even a manager of a local team, named 'MYC Accode', which participates in Sevens matches. He manages to recruit three Nigerian talented players to his team, who catapults the team's talent and fame. Although successful in matches, Majeed, his friends and players are financially set-back.

Due to an unfortunate accident, the team's star player Samuel "sudu" Robinson is hospitalised and is forced to rest for a month while he recovers. Afraid he'll not be able to afford the hospital charges, Majeed decides to let Samuel rest at the former's house, where he and his mother are the only inhabitants with occasional visits from his step-father who works as a security guard. Samuel becomes a spectacle for the townsfolk and many people visit the recovering "Sudani from Nigeria". Majeed and Samuel bond over time and share their personal life stories with each other.

Majeed hates and does not talk to his step-father due to emotional attachment with his late father. He also resents his mother for marrying a second time following the death of her husband (she only agreed due to pressure from family and relatives), and refuses to talk to her unless if only necessary. Samuel on the other hand lost both his parents in the civil war and lived in a refugee camp with his grandmother and two sisters. Samuel only left in hopes of being able to financially support his family. Trouble comes looking for them when an article in the newspaper, showing a recovering Samuel, Majeed, his friends and neighbours, attracts the attention of Police officials who come asking for Samuel and his passport.

Samuel learns that his grandmother has passed away, and wants to immediately leave in order to be with his sisters who were left alone. Chaos ensues when they discover the passport to be missing, and Majeed and his friends looks for it everywhere they could've kept it, but in vain. Majeed decides to apply for a duplicate passport, prompting Samuel to reveal that his passport is a fake. He was not able to legally acquire a passport due to him being a refugee and so had to forge a fake one in order to leave for India. The passport is eventually recovered and Majeed manages to buy a ticket for Samuel to Nigeria.

Samuel bids the town and Majeed an emotional farewell and leaves. Returning from the airport, Majeed decides to mend his relationship with his family. He meets his step-father and brings him back home to his mother's surprise and happiness.


  • Soubin Shahir as Majeed
  • Samuel Abiola Robinson as Samuel Abiola Robinson
  • Aneesh G. Menon as Nizar
  • K. T. C. Abdullah as Father
  • Savithri Sreedharan as Jameela (Mother)
  • Sarasa Balussery as Beeyumma
  • Lukman Lukku as Rajesh
  • Abhiram Pothuval as Kunjippa
  • Navas Vallikkunnu as Latheef
  • Sidheek Kodiyathur as Naserkka
  • Ashraf Thangal as Bavakka
  • Mashar Hamsa as Puthiyapla
  • Ashraf Hamsa as Doctor
  • Najeeb Kuttippuram as Activist
  • Hikmathulla as Journalist
  • Unni Nair as Unni Nair
  • Nasar Karutheni as Muthu Kaku


The film was produced by cinematographers Sameer Thahir and Shyju Khalid and directed by debutant Zakariya. Soubin Shahir co-star along with Nigerian actor Samuel Abiola Robinson. With an idea to make an independent film, Zakariya initially approached cinematographer-director Rajeev Ravi to find out if he could produce the film under his company Collective Phase One. Ravi suggested to make the film in a bigger scale and that Shahir would be apt for the role of Majeed. Ravi himself contacted Shahir for the film. Later, Muhsin Parari, who co-wrote the dialogues insisted Zakariya to approach Thahir, who agreed to produce the film with Khalid. Zakariya found Robinson through internet.[5]

The film is set in that backdrop of Sevens football matches held during November in the Malabar region of Kerala, but according to Zakariya, it is not a sports film, rather a "comic family drama". The film marks Robinson's debut foreign film. He plays Samuel, a Nigerian footballer brought to Kerala to play the sevens football match in Malappuram. Shahir plays his manager, Majeed. Despite Nigeria being popular for football, Robinson was not interested in the game, he said: "I belong to the 0.001 per cent population of my country that is not interested in football". He underwent training in Kerala. The film had a 35-day long shoot in Malappuram, few scenes were shot in Nigeria and Ghana.[6][7]


The film features songs composed by Rex Vijayan and Shahabaz Aman. Aman wrote and composed the song "Kurrah" many years ago for a documentary. Rex re-arranged the song for the film.[5]

Sudani from Nigeria
1."Kurrah"Shahabaz AmanShahabaz AmanShahabaz Aman2:31
2."Cherukadhapole"B. HarinarayananRex VijayanRex Vijayan, Imam Majboor3:54
3."Kinavu Kondu"Anwar AliRex VijayanImam Majboor, Neha Nair4:18


Sudani from Nigeria was released in India on 23 March 2018.

Critical response[edit]

The New Indian Express rated the film 4 out of 5 stars and wrote: "Very few stories cleanse your heart like Sudani from Nigeria. It is hard not to be swayed by the humanity here. Very few can leave the theatres without their eyes welled up. Sudani from Nigeria is one of the best movies made this year".[8] Sify gave the verdict "heart-warming and honest" and added that "Sudani from Nigeria has been competently packaged and is a gripping tale. It's one of the finest movies that has come in Malayalam during recent times that steals your heart in a big way".[9] Malayala Manorama awarded 3.5 in a scale of 5 and commented: "The 2-hour show is a delightful watch and viewers will have enough reasons to be awestruck as well as to laugh their hearts out".[10] Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars, The Times of India wrote that "Sudani from Nigeria might not have big names to boast of but it’s got everything in its right place, be it comedy, sentiments, thrills or tears".[11] Movie Critic Veeyen rated the film 'Excellent' and stated that "Heartbreaking, hilarious and hopeful by turns, ‘Sudani from Nigeria’ is a glorious triumph whichever way you look at it, be it the exemplary performances, the proficient scripting or the competent direction". He added that "..Words would probably do little justice to this gem of a film, that should not, at any cost be missed in the theatres."[12]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed 13.46 crore in less than a month from Kerala box office, with a distributor's share of 5.42 crore.[13] It performed well at Indian domestic multiplexes (particularly in home state Kerala) and in gulf countries. Made at a budget of 2 crore, the film collected nearly 18 crore from Kerala alone with an estimated distributor's share of 6 – 6.5 crore. Sudani from Nigeria was the highest-grossing Malayalam film among the summer (March – May 2018) releases.[2] It grossed $758,462 from the United Arab Emirates in three weekends.[14]


Award Category Recipient Ref(s)
49th Kerala State Film Awards Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value Sameer Thahir, Shyju Khalid, Zakariya [15]
Best Screenplay Zakariya, Muhsin Parari
Best Actor Soubin Shahir
Best Character Actress Savithri Sreedharan, Sarasa Balussery
Best Debut Director Zakariya
Aravindan Puraskaram Best Debut Director Zakariya [16]
Mohan Ragavan Award Best Director Zakariya [17]
23rd International Film Festival of Kerala FIPRESCI Award: Best Malayalam Film Zakariya [18][19][20]
21st Asianet Film Awards Best Film Sameer Thahir and Shyju Khalid
Best Supporting Actress Savithri Sreedharan & Sarasa Balusserry

Payment dispute[edit]

After the release of the film, actor Samuel alleged the producers that he was underpaid because of racism.[21] He added that more money is promised if the movie become success, but no additional payment was given, despite the film being a success.[22][23][24] Producers responded that the film was a low budget one and they will give more money once box office collections are finalized. They also added that racial allegations were unfortunate.[25] Later Samuel informed that all issues were solved and racial discrimination allegations were all a misunderstanding.


  1. ^ "Sudani from Nigeria". Central Board of Film Certification. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Pillai, Sreedhar (23 May 2018). "Sudani From Nigeria to Aravindante Athidhikal, small films lead summer box office collections in Kerala- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  3. ^ VR, Ragesh (5 January 2018). "Nigerian actor googles for Malayalam words 'Pwoli' and 'Katta Waiting': Sudani From Nigeria is the answer!". International Business Times. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  4. ^ Soman, Deepa (11 February 2018). "'Sudani from Nigeria' trailer is all about a talented footballer who isn't from Kerala". Times Times of India. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b M., Athira (15 February 2018). "'Sudani from Nigeria' weaves a tale around sevens football". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  6. ^ Express News Service (4 November 2017). "Soubin Shahir to play the lead in Sudani from Nigeria". The New India Express. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  7. ^ Mohandas, Vandana (8 December 2017). "Soccer hero from Nigeria". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  8. ^ Suresh, Meera (24 March 2018). "'Sudani from Nigeria' review: Sudani... never leaves, you cannot help but get carried away". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Sudani from Nigeria review: Heart-warming and honest (2018)". Sify. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  10. ^ Krishnan, Arjun R. (24 March 2018). "'Sudani from Nigeria' review: a magical delight laced with football". Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  11. ^ Soman, Deepa (23 March 2018). "Sudani From Nigeria Review {3.5/5}: An amazingly refreshing tale, set in the electric environment of football frenzy in Malappuram". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  12. ^ Veeyen. "'Sudani from Nigeria Malayalam Movie Review - Veeyen'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  13. ^ Upadhyaya, Prakash (24 April 2018). "Kammara Sambhavam box office collection: Dileep's film fails to strike gold". International Business Times. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Sudani from Nigeria". Box Office Mojo. April 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards | Here's the complete winners list". OnManorama. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  16. ^ "'Sudani from Nigeria' director bags Aravindan Puraskaram - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  17. ^ "മോഹന്‍ രാഘവന്‍ അവാര്‍ഡ് സകരിയക്ക്". Madhyamam. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  18. ^ Reporter, Staff (13 December 2018). "The Dark Room bags Suvarna Chakoram". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  19. ^ "IFFK 2018: Lijo Jose wins best director; Dark Room best movie". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  20. ^ lukose, kathu. "FIPRESCI Award for Best Malayalam Film". 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  21. ^ Staff, TNM (31 March 2018). "Paid less because I'm African: 'Sudani from Nigeria' actor slams Malayalam producer". The News Minute. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  22. ^ Philip, Shaju (1 April 2018). "Nigerian actor in Kerala film cries racism, less pay; producers deny". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  23. ^ Staff, Scroll (31 March 2018). "Nigerian actor Samuel Abiola Robinson alleges racial discrimination by his Kerala producers". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  24. ^ Deccan, Chronicle (1 April 2018). "Nigeria actor claims he's racially abused". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  25. ^ Shrijith, Sajin (2 April 2018). "'All a misunderstanding': Industry on 'Sudani from Nigeria' actor Samuel Robinson's allegations". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 3 April 2018.

External links[edit]