Jimmy Johnson, popularly known as ‘The Village Headmaster has passed away.
The development has thrown the Nollywood industry into another round of mourning.
The veteran actor, Jimmy Johnson aka ‘The Village Headmaster , died at the age of 80 at the Garki Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness.
Only recently, the death of another Nollywood veteran actor, Gbolagade Akinpelu popularly known as Ogun Majek threw the Nigerian movie industry into mourning.
The death of the actor was confirmed on Thursday, June 25 by the President of Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Bolaji Amusan, aka Mr Latin.
Few months ago, Veteran Nollywood actor, Ukwak Asuquo who played the role of ‘Boniface’ in the popular ‘Village Headmaster’ was reportedly dead.
Asuquo’s death was announced in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Monalisa Coker, which was shared on Instagram in April.
“With deep sorrow and gratitude to God for a life well spent, we announce the demise of Mr Uwak Auquo, popularly known as Boniface in the rested television drama series, The Village Headmaster…”
The Village Headmaster
The Village Headmaster is a Nigerian television drama series created by Olusegun Olusola, produced by Chief Dejumo Lewis. The drama series was Nigeria’s longest running television soap opera showed on Nigerian oldest television channel, NTA from 1968 to 1988. The drama stars 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 the 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 as Oloja, the traditional ruler of Oja, level headed chief, sometimes relies on the headmaster for advice on burning village issues.
- Ted Mukoro as Headmaster (the first headmaster) an old fashioned school headmaster, intelligent, and always wearing khaki shorts and carrying books while trekking 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 talk 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
- Charles Awurum
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.