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.