The popular television series ‘The Village Headmaster’ has been relaunched and would go on air by Sunday April 24, on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, during the re-launch of the TV series at the NTA headquarters in Abuja, said ‘The Village Headmaster’ was at one time Nigeria’s first-longest-running television drama series which was produced by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and ran consecutively every week for decades.
He explained that the series was set in Oja, a fictitious Yoruba village, while it was woven around the lives of the villagers from royalty to education and so on.
The Minister said the TV series would air from 8 pm to 9 pm every Sunday on NTA, then 9 pm to 10 pm every Wednesday on AIT and 8 pm to 9 pm every Friday on WAP TV.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director-General of NTA Mallam Yakubu Mohammed, said the programme captivated viewers and it was difficult to look away from the TV set while the drama series was showing.
“The Village Headmaster was an addiction for many television viewers across Nigeria. Lovers of the sitcom rushed home by 8 PM every Sunday to watch it. Each of the stories of the series was gripping and every episode was memorable.
“The programme was the first major show since the country gained independence and was also the longest soap opera in production for many years until 1984.
“Several efforts were made to revive the programme. The one that readily comes to mind was in 2001 when NTA made a concerted effort to reintroduce The Village Headmaster. The viewing public was seriously excited.
“That excitement was dashed. Little did we know that those hiccups were the ingredients that would eventually give a lasting hope for the series.
“And so on Friday, September 4, 2020, history was made when the NTA led by my humble self and Chief Wale Adenuga, CEO of Wales Adenuga Productions signed an MoU that officially marked the beginning of a partnership to bring “The Village” back on Television. Immediately after, the two organisations started work in earnest leading to the commencement of production.
“As of today many episodes of the programme are in the can and ready for the pleasure of the viewing public”, he said.
Mohammed further said that sadly, some of the members of the original cast have passed on and therefore are not here with us to witness the rebirth of this iconic series.
He said the programme features some of the founding members of the series notably Kabiyesi, Dejumo Lewis, Ibidun Allison (Amebo), Dan Imodi (Dagbolu), Dele Osawe (Teacher Fadile), to mention but a few.
Other prominent members of the new cast include Chris Iheuwa, Mr Latin, Funky Mallam, Jide Kosoko, Omo Ibadan, Okele and Fathia Balogun. Others are Rycardo Agbor and Yemi Shodimu. There are also Binta Ayo Mogaji, Jide Alabi, and many others.
The Village Headmaster
The Village Headmaster is a Nigerian television drama series created by Olusegun Olusola and produced by Dejumo Lewis. Originally a radio drama series, the programme was Nigeria’s longest-running television soap opera showed on the NTA from 1968 to 1988, and starred Ted Muroko as the original headmaster.
The television series was developed by Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, and is considered one of the early successes of television drama in the country.
The Village Headmaster‘s plot lines deals with social problems and effect of government policies in Oja. The television series was produced after Nigeria gained independence, and was the first major television drama with an ensemble cast from different ethnic groups.
Nigerian Pidgin was mixed with standard English and Yoruba as the Oja residents’ language of choice, with most scenes occurring in the Oloja of Oja’s palace, the headmaster’s school, and Amebo’s palm wine shack.
The Village Headmaster is responsible for coining several terms now part of Nigerian culture. “Amebo” is used to refer to rumour mongers; in 2019, actress Ibidun Allison appeared as her Village Headmaster character Amebo in an advertising campaign for telecommunications company Globacom. The term “Gorimapa”, after Kabiyesi’s servant, is a common nickname for follicly-challenged men, and “Okoro” is used to describe Igbo stereotypes