It is no longer news that telecommunications giant, Globacom working in conjunction with Wale Adenuga Productions is bringing the iconic television series Village Headmaster to tv screens across Nigeria.
The revamped show with old and new characters returned to the tv screens on Sunday, April 24, 2022, to rave reviews. It was received with nostalgia by older folks who watched the show back in the 70s and 80s while younger viewers are being introduced to a show that was a staple long before they were born.
In this piece, we bring you 8 amazing facts about The Village Headmaster that will make you go wow.
The show was created by diplomat, television producer, director, broadcaster, and art patron, Ambassador Segun Olusola who passed away in 2012. The series started life in 1958 as a radio program. It migrated to television in 1968 and quickly became Nigeria’s most loved television series with its constellation of different characters speaking a mix of Yoruba, pidgin, and Queen’s English in a bucolic setting that mirrored many provincial locales.
Village Headmaster holds the unblemished record as Nigeria’s longest-running television series and has been described in a statement by Globacom, the sponsors of the show as unmatched and unparalleled in the annals of Nigerian television.” It ran for 30 years from 1968 to 1988 on NTA.
The actor who played Kabiyesi, the Oloja of Oja is Dejumo Lewis and 54 years after the show debuted on television, the septuagenarian returns to reprise his role in what is no doubt a first for Nigerian television. Other original cast members returning alongside Dejumo Lewis are Ibidun Allison as Amebo, Dele Osawe as Teacher Fadele, Lara Akinsola as Doyin, Dan Imoudu as Dagbolu, Kate Adepega as Folake, and Melville Obriango as Teacher Oghene.
While the return of Village Headmaster will spark nostalgia in older viewers, many young viewers may not realize it but they are actually fans of the series without having watched it. Every time they call someone Amebo they are referencing Village Headmaster because until the creation of the show there was no word like Amebo. The term which was the name of the character played by Ibidun Allison has become a moniker for gossip. The Village headmaster created the term Amebo and it might have also created the term Gorimapa which refers to someone with a clean-shaven head.
The role of the eponymous Village Headmaster will be played by Nollywood favorite, Chris Iheuwa but do you know that the role of the strict headmaster trying to strike a balance between the modern and the traditional has been played by four different actors. First to inhabit the role was advertising icon, Ted Mukoro, then came radio man Femi Robinson. The next step into the role was Justus Esiri who will be better remembered as the actor and father of rapper and Mavin records artiste, Dr. Sid.
Actor and all-around entertainer, Yemi Sodimu is playing the role of Dr. Lekan in the new-look Village Headmaster but this is not his first time on the series. Sodimu was a child actor in the original series and is, therefore, technically speaking, making a comeback.
The program which is sponsored by Globacom is produced by Wale Adenuga productions and will run weekly on NTA (Sun. 8-9 pm); AIT (Wed. 9-10 pm) and WapTV (Fri. 8-9 pm) weekly.
The Village Headmaster was a tv series that revolved around the palace of Kabiyesi, the Oloja of Oja where royal courtiers, especially Counsellor Balogun played by Wole Amele and Chief Eleyinmi by Funsho Adeolu battled for the monarch’s attention. In a case of life imitating art, Wole Amele and Funsho Adeolu would end up as real-life traditional rulers as the Alara of Aramoko in Ekiti State and the Alaye of Ode Remo, in Ogun State, respectively.