It’s no longer news that telecommunications giant, Globacom, in collaboration with Wale Adenuga Productions, is bringing the iconic TV series village manager on TV screens across Nigeria.
The revamped show with old and new characters returned to TV screens on Sunday, April 24, 2022, to rave reviews. It’s been greeted with nostalgia by older people who watched the show in the 70s and 80s, while younger viewers are introduced to a show that was a staple long before they were born.
In this article, we bring you 8 amazing facts about the Village Manager that will blow your mind.
- The show was created by Ambassador Segun Olusola, a diplomat, television producer, director, broadcaster and patron of the arts, who died in 2012. The series originated in 1958 as a radio show. It migrated to television in 1968 and quickly became Nigeria’s most beloved television series with its constellation of different characters speaking a mix of Yoruba, Pidgin and Queen’s English in a bucolic setting that reflected many localities provincial.
- Village Headmaster holds the unblemished record for Nigeria’s longest running television series and was described in a statement by Globacom, the show’s sponsors as unrivaled and unequaled in the annals of Nigerian television.” It ran for 30 years from 1968 to 1988 on NTA.
- The actor who played Kabiyesi, the Oloja of Oja is Dejumo Lewis and 54 years after the show’s television debut, the septuagenarian returns to reprise his role in what is arguably a first for Nigerian television . Other original cast members returning alongside Dejumo Lewis are Ibidun Allison as Amebo, Dele Osawe as Professor Fadele, Lara Akinsola as Doyin, Dan Imoudu as Dagbolu, Kate Adepega as Folake, and Melville Obriango as Professor Oghene.
- While the return of Village Headmaster will spark nostalgia in older viewers, many younger viewers may not realize it but are actually fans of the show without having watched it. Whenever they call someone Amebo, they refer to the village headmaster because until the show was created, there was no word like Amebo. The term which was the name of the character played by Ibidun Allison became a gossip nickname. The village headmaster created the term Amebo and he is also said to have created the term Gorimapa which refers to someone with a clean shaven head.
- The role of the headmaster of the eponymous village will be played by Nollywood favorite Chris Iheuwa, but do you know that the role of the strict headmaster trying to strike a balance between modern and traditional has been played by four different actors. First to fill the role was advertising icon Ted Mukoro, then came radio man Femi Robinson. Next up in the role was Justus Esiri, best remembered as the actor and father of rapper and record artist Mavin, Dr. Sid.
- A versatile actor and performer, Yemi Sodimu stars as Dr. Lekan in the new Village Headmaster, but this isn’t his first time on the show. Sodimu was a child actor in the original series and is therefore technically making a comeback.
- The Globacom-sponsored program is produced by Wale Adenuga productions and airs weekly on NTA (Sun. 8-9pm); AIT (Wednesday 9-10pm) and WapTV (Friday 8-9pm) weekly.
- The Village Manager was a TV series that revolved around the Kabiyesi Palace, the Oloja of Oja where the royal courtiers, especially Counselor Balogun played by Wole Amele and Chief Eleyinmi by Funsho Adeolu fought to attract the attention of the monarch. In a case of life imitating the art, Wole Amele and Funsho Adeolu would end up as actual traditional rulers like the Alara of Aramoko in Ekiti State and the Alaye of Ode Remo in the State of Ogun respectively.