•To Celebrate Its 50 Years Of The TV Series
The Village Headmaster is a television drama series created by the late Chief Olusegun Olusola and produced by Chief Dejumo Lewis. Let’s tell you more. The drama series was Nigeria’s longest-running television soap opera showed on Nigerian oldest television channel, Western Nigerian Television (WNTV) that later became Nigerian Television Station (NTA) from 1968 to 1988.The drama starred Justus Esiri and Femi Robinson. The television series was developed by Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation and came to be considered among the early successes of Television drama series.
Village headmaster was set in a fictitious Yoruba village of Oja, plot lines dealt with social problems and effect of government policies in Oja. The television series was produced after Nigeria gained independence, it was the first major television drama with an ensemble cast from different ethnic groups. Pidgin English was mixed with standard English as language of choice by residents of Oja. Major scenes took place in the palace of Oloja of Oja and in the headmaster’s school.
Cast and characters
Dejumo Lewis played the role of Oloja, the traditional ruler of Oja village. He is a level-headed king, sometimes relies on the headmaster for advice on burning village issues.
Ted Mukoro was Headmaster (the first headmaster) He was an old- fashioned school headmaster, intelligent, and always wearing khaki shorts and carrying books, while walking to school.
Femi Robinson as headmaster (replaced Mukoro)
Justus Esiri as headmaster (replaced Robinson)
Clara Olushola as headmaster’s wife (Clara Fagade)
Albert Egbe – Lawyer
Ibidun Allison as Palm wine seller, likes idle talks and owns the village main gossip and drinking spot.
Jab Adu as Bassey Okon, the village chemist
Funso Adeolu as Senior Chief
Joe Layode – Teacher Garuba
The drama was produced in 1958 and aired on radio station for six years before its format was transformed into a Television series on NBC-Lagos now part of 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 Josy Ajiboye. On February 2013, According to the Nigerian Tribune, Tunde Oloyede, who produced 364 episodes of the series said: “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.
The Idea of Village headmaster started as a Radio programme in Ibadan with people like Chief A. Y. Eke, Professor Saburi Biobaku in 1958, While Segun Olusola was a Radio producer .before the advent of television in Western Region of Nigeria. In 1968 Sanya Dosumu, a BBC-trained TV Producer /Director was invited from England by Christopher Kolade to come and start entertainment programme on Nigerian TV.
On assumption of duty, Oba Sanya Dosumu, the current Olowu of Owu in Abeokuta, found in a file a quoto size paper where Segun Olusola jotted the idea of Village Headmaster. After going through the paper, as a trained Producer /Director Sanya Dosumu saw the material as a TV soap that could last till eternity. He then called his friends (Ted Mukoro, Demola James, Fela Davies, Nelson Olawaye, Alex Akinyele Alan Aroyeun etc) and trained them on how to write TV drama script and behold under stress and sweat, the first 13 episodes of the Legendary TV soap was produced and directed by Sanya Dosumu, who now dedicated it to his apparent boss, Segun Olusola the first Nigerian TV producer, who jotted the idea on the quoto paper.
1958 was 50 years ago that the Legendary Soap Opera first appeared on the Nigerian TV and for POSTERITY sake the living members of the CAST AND CREW of the drama series have formed the VILLAGE HEADMASTER FAMILY and are planning a 50 YEARS Village Headmaster COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS.