The Village Headmaster Returns To Screen

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After a thirty-four years hiatus, “The Village Headmaster,” Nigeria and NTA’s longest-running soap opera is returning to the screen this Sunday.

NTA hosted an official launch of the series in its headquarters premises in Abuja, yesterday.

A continuation of the ideals of its creator, the TV series picks off post the death of the former village headmaster of Oja Village. Concerned about the deplorable conditions of the community’s school, elders of Oja Village, meet with the Kabiyesi, Oba Ajelende II, the Oloja of Oja played by Dejumo Lewis, and a decision is reached to recruit and install a new village headmaster, during the community’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Oba’s reign. As the news spread, several parties are dissatisfied; some of their non-representation in the decision-making process, one felt entitled to the position of the ‘Village Headmaster’, and yet another felt too fancy to be relegated to a ruling setting.

On the dawn of the celebration, as festivities are ongoing, the newly appointed village headmaster receives a call that shocks him into a faint. And viewers are left with a very ‘Wale Adenuga-like proverb “Just because the lizard nods its head, does not mean it is in agreement’.

Speaking at the event, Mr Wale Adenuga said the realisation of the series is a result of a Public Private Partnership project of the NTA, which allowed the TV station to sign an MoU with the Wale Adenuga Productions WAP TV in 2020. With a year-long episodes already shot and scheduled for airing, Adenuga said the “Village Headmaster is ongoing. It is forever”.

An observation of the series indicate that while the certain aspects of Nigeria’s cultural aesthetics and values are maintained, the settings, costumes, dialogues, cast and popular culture were contemporized to suit the times but without losing the cultural values, moral principles and unity message of the original series, it aims to pass on to younger generation.

“For the thirty-something years it ran from 1968 to 1988, It had so much impact. It comes with a lot of moral, didactic moments, culture and above all unity of Nigerians. You can see Igbos, Hausas, Fulanis, Yorubas, working together amicably. It will reawaken that consciousness in us to learn to live together peacefully. It is a timely at this point,” said Mr Adenuga.

Detailing the significance of the launch of the new The Village Headmaster, the Director General of the NTA, Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed said it was a great way of reflecting on Nigeria’s past as means of progress in the future.

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“Nigerians will agree with me that our yesterday was better than today. So, we are trying to re-engineer our values, remind ourselves that we have things that make us great, and it we want to go forward, we have to go back to those things. The core values of our people are still alive when we return to our villages, not in the townships. By going back to the village, and recreating these values, our hope is that Nigerians will learn from the series.”

NTA is currently working with other partners on the resuscitation of its previous popular soaps like Ichoku, Cock Crow At Dawn and Samanja.

Reaffirming the objective of re-engineering lost cultural values and integration of ethnicities as one of its major goals beyond gaining leverage and mileage, Globacom Marketing Communication staff, Mr Wale Adedeji said supporting the series is a means of inspiring ‘the things that make us Nigeria; the things core to who we are.’

Written by ex-Ambassador and Western Nigeria Television WNTV staff, Segun Olusola and aired on television from 1964 to 1988, The Village Headmaster features veteran actors as Dejumo Lewis as the Kabiyesi, Jide Kosoko, Omo Ibadan, Okhere, Fathia Balogun, Richard Agbor, Binta Ayo Magaji, Jide Aladimi, Uche Anyamele, the late Rachael Oniga among others.

The series will air weekly starting April 24, Sundays at 8-9pm on NTA; Wednesdays 9-10pm on AIT, and Fridays 8-9pm on WAP TV.

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