The Nige­rian Tele­vi­sion Au­thor­ity part­nered with the sur­viv­ing cast and crew of the Vil­lage Head­mas­ter and Wale Adenuga Productions to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary of the pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion se­ries which re­in­forced tra­di­tions, ethics and values be­fore it was rested.

‘The Vil­lage Head­mas­ter’ is a Nige­rian tele­vi­sion drama se­ries cre­ated by Oluse­gun Olu­sola, pro­duced by Chief De­jumo Lewis. It was Nige­ria’s long­est run­ning tele­vi­sion soap opera showed on NTA from 1968 to 1988.

Ac­cord­ing to the chair­per­son, Vil­lage Head­mas­ter Fam­ily, Mrs. Ibidun Al­li­son, they held a be­fit­ting se­ries of events to cel­e­brate the land­mark at­tain­ment of Nige­ria’s first and long­est-run­ning tele­vi­sion drama se­ries.

The cel­e­bra­tion com­menced on Oc­to­ber 8, 2019 and continues with a re­turn For The Vil­lage Head­mas­ter

In a 2013 interview with the Nigerian Tribune, Tunde Oloyede, who produced 364 episodes of the series stated: “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.”

In 2021, three decades after the short-lived 1991 revival, a new series of The Village Headmaster was announced. Filming had commenced in 2020, and trailers were released on the NTA and YouTube. The revamped series is a collaboration with the NTA and Wale Adenuga Productions and was expected to air in April 2021. As majority of the previous cast are either deceased or retired, most roles have been recast, notably with Chris Iheuwa who is the fourth actor in the lead role. Demujo Lewis reprises his role as the village’s chief, as do Ibidun Allison (Amebo), Dele Osawe (Teacher Fadele), Dan Imoudu (Dagbolu), and Melville Obriango (Teacher Oghene). New actors included late veteran actress Rachel Oniga (Iyalode) and another veteran Jide Kosoko (Eleyinmi), and Monica Friday (Tega Abaga).

The Village Headmaster is responsible for coining several terms that are now part of Nigerian culture. “Amebo” is used to refer to rumourmongers; in 2019, actress Ibidun Allison appeared as her Village Headmaster character Amebo in an advertising campaign for telecommunications company Globacom. The term “Gorimapa“, after Kabiyesi’s servant, is a common nickname for follicly-challenged men, and “Okoro” is used to describe Igbo stereotypes.

Unfortunately, the new series has been shot but is not out yet, there is a court order restraining WAP and others involved to stop the production of the series for copyright issues.

Mr Olujimi Olusola, the son of the late ambassador, who is the executor and beneficiary of the estate of Ambassador Olusegun Olusola had filed a suit delineated FHC/L/CS/117/2021 through his legal representatives; Professor Bankole Sodipo (Professor of Intellectual Property law) and Segun Suleiman against Wale Adenuga Production Limited and had joined Chief Wale Adenuga as the second defendant and the Nigeria Television Authority as the third defendant respectfully.

The son of the ambassador slammed a N101.5billion suit on the Nigerian Television Authority NTA, claiming his father was the rightful owner of the copyright and for alleged infringement of the copyright of his father’s works.

We also hear that both parties are trying to settle out of court, after the initial braggadocio of who owns the copyright to the body of work.

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