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“The Village Headmaster” Actor Jimmy Johnson Is Dead

Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson

Veteran Nollywood actor Jimmy Johnson is dead at the age of 80.

He died on July 8 after complications from surgery in an Abuja hospital.

The screen star is famed for his role as “Okoro” of the NTA TV 80s series, “The Village Headmaster.”

In 1984, alongside many politicians and senior civil servants, the late Johnson  was locked up in Ikoyi Prison
and tried, but acquitted by the Buhari/Idiagbon military regime after the overthrow of President
Shagari’s government.

In a twist of fate, in 2017, President Buhari said of him decades later on a recent birthday that

“As one of the pioneers of TV drama in Nigeria and a respected thespian” his “contribution to the movie
industry, which ranks second in the world, remains indelible.”

President Buhari commended his “sacrifice, patriotism and loyalty to his country and his calling, starting out early on stage and the screen when rewards were very minimal, but pursuing his career with relentless passion and vigour.

 

Johnson’s acting career started on stage in Ibadan in the early 60s.

He worked with Professor Wole Soyinka in the Orisun Theatre Company and the Mbari Artistes and Writers Club a diverse group of University lecturers, writers, visual artists, musicians and actors.

Mbari was described as a magnet for artistes and writers of African descent from all over Africa, America’s and the Caribbean

It included Soyinka, Ulli Beier, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, Mabel Segun, J.P Clark, Christopher Kolade, Lindsay Barrett, Demas Nwoko, Tunji Oyelana, Jimi Solanke and Bruce Onobrakpeya amongst others.

Until his death this week, Jimmy Johnson or Jimi J as he was known by his peers spent his time in semi-retirement in Abuja contributing occasionally to various artistic productions.

He is survived by his spouse, children, and grand-children.

Asides The Village Headmaster, the late Johnson also acted in `The Citizens’ and other soap operas.

According to the family’s statement, burial arrangements will be announced soon in line with COVID19 Protocols.

Back in April, the entertainment industry lost another actor from The Village Headmaster series following the death of Ukwak Asuquo.

Asuquo played the role of Boniface in the series and his death was announced by the Public Relations Officer of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Monalisa Coker.

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