|The Village Headmaster|
|Written by||Olusegun Olusola|
|Directed by||Dejumo Lewis|
|Starring||Ted Mukoro (Headmaster #1) |
Femi Robinson (Headmaster #2)
Justus Esiri (Headmaster #3)
Chris Iheuwa (Headmaster #4)
|Country of origin||Nigeria|
|Executive producer||Olusegu Olusola|
|Producers||Sanya Dosunmu, Dejumo Lewis|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|First shown in||1958 (Audio format) , 1968 (TV)|
The Village Headmaster (later renamed The New 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.
In 2021, a new revival of the show was announced, with Chris Iheuwa in the lead role of the headmaster. Actors from the original series are also returning.
The Village Headmaster was set in the fictitious Yoruba village of Oja, with plot lines dealing 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.
- Ted Mukoro as Headmaster #1, an old-fashioned school headmaster
- Femi Robinson as Headmaster #2 (replaced Mukoro)
- Justus Esiri as Headmaster #3 (replaced Robinson)
- Dejumo Lewis as Kabiyesi, Oja's traditional ruler
- Clara Olushola as headmaster's wife (Clara Fagade)
- Albert Egbe as Lawyer
- Ibidun Allison as Amebo, village gossip
- Jab Adu as Bassey Okon, supplies store owner
- Funso Adeolu as Senior Chief
- Joe Layode - Teacher Garuba
- Charles Awurum
- Albert Kosemasi as Gorimapa
The drama was produced in 1958 and aired on radio for six years before its format transitioned into a television series on NBC TV Lagos (later NTA). A full series began in 1968 with an initial order of 13 episodes and ran until 1988. The original recordings are not known to have survived. The 1964 master-script by Segun Olusola was published by Ariya Productions in 1977 with a cover drawing by cartoonist Josy Ajiboye.
In a 2013 interview with the Nigerian Tribune, Tunde Oloyede, who produced 364 episodes of the series stated: "Before the Ambassador (Olusola) died, we had been working on bringing back The Village Headmaster in three possible formats. On film, on stage, and back to television."
In 2021, three decades after the short-lived 1991 revival, a new series of The Village Headmaster was announced. Filming had commenced in 2020, and trailers were released on the NTA and YouTube. The revamped series is a collaboration with the NTA and Wale Adenuga Productions, and is expected to air in April 2021. As majority of the previous cast are either deceased or retired, most roles have been recast, notably with Chris Iheuwa who is the fourth actor in the lead role. Demujo Lewis reprises his role as the village's chief, as do Ibidun Allison (Amebo), Dele Osawe (Teacher Fadele), Dan Imoudu (Dagbolu), and Melville Obriango (Teacher Oghene). New actors include veterans Rachel Oniga (Iyalode) and Jide Kosoko (Eleyinmi), and Monica Friday (Tega Abaga).
The Village Headmaster is responsible for coining several terms now part of Nigerian culture. "Amebo" is used to refer to rumourmongers, and in 2019, actress Ibidun Allison appeared as her Village Headmaster character Amebo in an advertising campaign for telecommunications company Globacom. The term "Gorimapa," named after Kabiyesi's bald servant, is a common nickname for follicly-challenged men.
- Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike (1994). Black African Cinema. University of California Press. pp. 116–. ISBN 978-0-520-91236-6.
- "Drama as Ambassador Segun Olusola is buried - Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Anne Cooper-Chen (21 April 2006). Global Entertainment Media: Content, Audiences, Issues. Routledge. pp. 107–. ISBN 978-1-135-60783-8.
- "Village headmaster, Femi Robinson dies at 75". Punch News. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
- Victor Akande. "'Village Headmaster' Esiri dies at 70". thenationonlineng.net. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Timothy-Asobele, S. J. (2003). Nigerian top TV comedians and soap opera. Lagos: Upper Standard Publications. pp. 41–42. ISBN 9783694626. OCLC 55644917.
- Jide Kosoko Joins Leiws Allison in The Village Headmaster
- Oduko 1985, p. 317-324. sfn error: no target: CITEREFOduko1985 (help)
- Music and Models Society (2015-05-13). "THE VILLAGE HEADMASTER". MUSIC and MODELS Society. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- "Why I keep my wife away from the public –Charles Awurum". The Nation Newspaper. 2014-05-10. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
- "I could be on set for 3 months without touching my wife – Dagbolu of Village Headmaster fame". The Punch - Nigeria's Most Widely Read Newspaper. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Akintayo Abodunrin. "The Village Headmaster returns". tribune.com.ng. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- "Village Headmaster is Back, Articles - THISDAY LIVE". thisdaylive.com. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
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