In the good old days, when satellite TV had not invaded Nigeria, we still had every reason to stay glued to our television sets. There were well-written, properly articulated and expertly directed soap operas that dominated primetime back then.
However, with the advent of Digital TV, and other reasons like continuity, these programmes have been confined to our memories. Here are some of them:
Candlelight – The sub-plot we always looked forward to in this Zeb Ejiro-produced soap, was between a maid (played by Kate Henshaw) and a Dogood (Basorge Tariah Jnr.). But the other sub-plots were just as interesting and it was also a useful springboard for some of the big name actors we’ve had in Nollywood to launch their careers.
Saints & Sinners – Tajudeen Adepetu has been the brain behind many successful soap operas. And ‘Saints & Sinners’ was of them. The series explored daily joys, pains, worries, misunderstandings, failures and successes but has gone off air for a while.
Shallow Waters – The plot of ‘Shallow Waters’ was built around a Nigerian campus and the lifestyle of the students. It wasn’t a big hit amongst TV viewers and didn’t last a while before it disappeared just like it appeared.
Heaven’s Gate – ‘Heaven’s Gate’ was a soap opera that was sponsored by the City of David Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. It was produced by Zik Zulu Okafor and was aired every Sunday evening. It was a big favourite for the period it was on air, as a lot of TV viewers were impressed by the consistent good quality of acting. It featured stars like Monalisa Chinda and Fred Amata.
Twilight Zone – ‘Twilight Zone’ achieved what ‘Shallow Waters’ tried to replicate and failed woefully. The Kayode Peters-produced soap opera starred Denrele Edun, Princess, Koffi, etc and was a firm favourite among the young people back in the days before it was rested.
Palace – Tunji Bamishigbin was one of the producers who made good series back in time. And Palace, which used to air on African Independent Television (AIT), was one of such. It was said at that time that he usually wrote some of the scripts on set. The soap featured actors like Jide Kosoko, Femi Brainard and Foluke Daramola.
Treasures – This was Chico Ejiro’s attempt to produce a soap opera and he didn’t do too badly. Forgive the clichéd story line and the almost fake acting, but it still had its fair share of followers before it went off air.
Paradise Park – This soap was set in a typical motor park in Lagos and featured Kunle Bamtefa and Julius Agwu. The comical series was a brainchild of Femi Lasode, who was responsible for the screen adaptation of Sango, and reflected the some of the things that happen between transporters.