Golden jubilee return for the Village Headmaster
You probably would have seen the promo running on some major radio and television stations. Some members of the cast and crew of the long rested television series ‘The Village Headmaster’ are planning a big come back for the series, which was roundly regarded as a must watch series in the over two and half decades that it ran on national television.
Arrowhead of the organising committee, Dele Osawe said the organisers were working in collaboration with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and other stakeholders to have a grand 50th anniversary commemoration of the series, this October.
The organisers also say that they plan to hold a three-day event- drama, colloquium and gala nite to commemorate 50 years of the quality drama programme that started as a Radio program in Ibadan in 1958, with the late sage Chief Segun Olusola as creator and producer.
However in 1968, it made its debut on television under the direction of Sanya Dosumu, now an Oba (Olowu of Owo Kingdom). With Oba Sanya Dosumu and the effort of scriptwriters like Ted Mukoro, Demola James, Fela Davies, Nelson Olawaye, Alex Akinyele and Alan Aroyeun, the first 13 episodes of the series was ready for public viewing. Fifty years after and the bulk of the prominent members of the cast and crew have passed on. Chief Elsie Olusola (Sisi Clara) passed on over three decades ago, so for Chief Ibidun Allison (Amebo). Others who have transited include Chief Wole Amele (Councilor Balogun), Sam Agbebi (Lawyer Iyanda), Chief Funso Adeolu (Chief Eleyemi), Joe Layode (Teacher Garuba), Jab Adu (Bassey Okon) and Chief Femi Robbinson, Ted Mukoro and Chief Justus Esiri all of whom featured as village headmasters at different times.
However, there are a few members of cast including Chief Dejumo Lewis, Dele Osawe, Lara Akinsola, Yinka Ogundaisi who starred as Baba Muina and Kate Adepegba who are still around and in active practice. Celebrity salutes some the stars of the series that are regrouping to commemorate 50 years of that legendary television drama.
A STAGE and screen actress and a Fellow of the theatre profession, Lara Akinsola featured as Doyin in the rested Village Headmaster. A committed thespian, thorough bred professional and star of some of NTA classics including ‘Play of the Week’ and ‘Mirror in The Sun’. Lara has so many radio plays to her credit and has worked extensively on stage and on television. The former banker cut her teeth as an actress at the PEC theatre Onikan, where she was a resident artiste and she has not looked back since she ventured into the thespian vocation a little near four decades ago
AN eminent person within the industry with some tremendous accomplishments, Ogundaisi played Baba Muina, the butcher in the long rested television series Village Headmaster.
A writer, producer, director and lead actor in a number of television production among them ‘Give and Take’ and ‘Second Thought’, the management consultant and trainer hit the limelight theatrically as a member of the ensemble that was recruited by the Ministry of Information to engage visitors to Festival of African Culture tagged FESTAC 77 which Nigeria hosted, to some side shows.
A devoted disciple of the movie and theatre vocation, Ogundaisi, shortly after FESTAC led the National Museum kitchen based OYA which is the acronym for Organisation of Young Artist for about 11 years and they were reputed for staging a number of well rated stage productions. Author and publisher, Ogundaisi who is member of numerous professional associations, is the brain behind a number of industry schemes and programmes including the longest running Yoruba drama series Feyikogbon.
BORN Adejumoke Lewis, but popular as Dejumo Lewis, the Erijiyan Ekiti born actor is a veteran film and television actor who is famous for living delightfully the role of the Oloja of Oja in the Village Headmaster. A cultural activist and one who is passionate about cultural communication, Dejumo, star of critically acclaimed screen productions like ‘A Place in the Stars’, ‘Otelemuye’ and ‘Agogo Eewo’, joined the Village Headmaster crew after watching the first episode.
Satisfied that the programme was designed to propagate the true African culture, Dejumo attended the auditioning exercise and got a role that of the Oloja of Oja. He played the role until the programme was rested in the early 80’s. When it was recalled in 1984, Dejumo was given the opportunity to bring the programme back to life as producer.
AN actress of long standing, who is totally committed to the arts. Kate’s journey as an actress started on stage during the good old days of television. Many still recall how she spiced up all the episodes of ‘New Village Headmaster’ she featured in. Kate it was, who lived delightfully the role of Folake, one of dutiful girls who served as apprentice in Sisi Clara’s shop in the New Village Headmaster.
Even Kate agreed that it was her role in that NTA drama that brought her fame and opened doors for other acting opportunities. Described by close friends as humble and friendly, Kate had her early education in Lagos and worked briefly with the Nigerian Tobacco Company before she joined the cast of Village Headmaster in 1983. Prior to that, Kate did some acting on the NTA Channel 10 drama programme ‘The Arm Chair Theatre.’
A THESPIAN to the core, Dele Osawe is one of the surviving members of the cast of Village Headmaster. The graduate of Administrative Management from the University of Ilorin, who was raised in Uyin in Ekiti, Ile-Ife in Osun, and Lagos State respectively, is easily remembered for playing the exuberant and boisterous Teacher Fadele in the Village Headmaster series. An actor of the stage and screen, the Edo born veteran actor was inspired to venture into theatre practice by theatre greats like Chief Hubert Ogunde and the late Duro Ladipo, had his big break on screen playing Teacher Fadele on Village Headmaster. When the series was rested, Osawe who is a trained screenwriter returned to his beat at the NTA until he retired. Now retired but not tired, Dele has traversed the various media of the performing arts.
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