Plotting return of TV serial, Hotel De Jordan
THE above title belongs to an extremely popular television slot started precisely in 1973 at the then Midwest Television (MTV) which later became Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) following the takeover of all television stations nation-wide by the then federal government.
It is needless to re-call here the journey in detail what popular concepts suffer at the fall of governmental hammer at any given time, but this particular programme’s ill-luck need to be visited, either to establish the absolute ineptitude of governmental failures that can also be further established through bias or simple political ineffectiveness or “bad belly” towards the place of origin of such a popular slot like Hotel De Jordan.
Creative disciple Joe Ihonde was the creator/producer of the slot with a theme unveiling the class struggle of the rich, the poor, the opportunist click of cabal that is still sucking the nation: above all, the creativity in the production through Joe’s concept, built in a soothing level of humour painlessly characterized by the leading cast members of the slot in the likes of Chief Ajas (Sam Osamede); Lord Mayor (Musa Yusufu); Idemudia (Agbonifo Enaruna) and Bob Allan (Richard Idubor who is now Professor of Law at the University of Benin).
These people are still alive while other members of cast such as Kokori (David Ariyo); Okhue (Joseph Edobor); Casino Manager (O’Ray slater) and Chief Ukatabribri (Sam Loco Efe) had passed on.
There is this painful factuality that if at the end, this popular slot is left to fade out in the archives of NTA, the impression carried and still being recalled by members of the public about Hotel De Jordan will continue to be an endless river that seizes to dry or buried even bull dozers excavate the soil to level it up, it will continue to be recalled as long as TV slots that are of immense value to soothe the nerves of the citizenry, whose majority is presently being squeezed by the unfocused governance. The slot could indeed be a relief for the people’s nerves at this trying moment.
On Tuesday, December 13, 2011, the NTA Ultra Modern Hall in Benin City was filled up with hundreds of fans of the slot who came to witness the much publicized celebration of the slot’s 40 years, this writer was there and felt high that the authorities of NTA and Joe Ihonde have seen it proper to answer the cry of its fans to bring back the slot.
The colour Brochure of this celebration of creativity and Excellence didn’t miss out a full page for the photographs and names of the
Organizing Committee and beholds apart from the live sketchy production of the slot that featured the principle characters, nothing has been heard about the slot. The unfortunate turn of event has given rise to questions such as: who owns the copyright of the opera? If it is the NTA, why the celebration of 2011 towards bringing it back on the programme schedule? If it’s Joe Ihonde, what is the problem between him and the NTA?
I have openly put these questions because all my contacts with the two sides to really let the public know who and why is stalling or killing the popular slot of the people of all classes.
“The New Masquerade” is still on, the late veteran broadcaster/playwright, Chief Segun Olusola, in our chats during his visits through my base in Benin City, had with much passion, told me his efforts and desires to see the Village Headmaster back on the screen.
Indeed, my library has a copy of Village Headmaster autographed by him which I see every moment I embellish myself in the thought of getting things done if only to let the creative disciples have their widow’s share of the nation’s cake.
The effect of an enticing creative product like the Hotel De Jordan has on the majority of citizenry being denied the basic essentials cannot be taken as a simple; even the rich who are mostly the plunderers, feel the guilt of their atrocities as they chuckle and unfold a deceitful smile of guilt and thus dismissing the realistic delivery lines of the artistes in these true-life productions that unfold their shameless onslaught on the citizenry. Creative productions like Hotel De Jordan must not be killed.
•Abudah, a journalist and founder of Afenmai Heritage and Cultural Studies wrote in from Benin.
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