Nollywood Affairs | 1 February 2012 17:58 CET

Top Nigerian TV Programmes Of The Past, Where Did We Get It Wrong?

Source: Osaremen Ehi James/
Femi Robinson of Village Headmaster

Femi Robinson of Village Headmaster

There is no doubt that in the time past, especially for those who had the opportunity to own or see a TV in the 70's to early 90's when TV was for the elites, there was always this joy to catch up with some of the programmes on air back then.

To the young chaps back then who got to know much of TV during the mid to late 80's and most of the early 90's, the TV experience then is of a nostalgic feeling now.

There is no doubt that the then generations and before confirm that these present generations are getting mixed and watered TV content and programming like a saccharined palm-wine.

In those days, especially in the early 70's, 80's and by extension, 90's, TV programming were full of entertainment and educating value fillings.

Though there were no 24hr TV broadcast at that time, but for the period of six hours of TV operations, TV was truly fun for its various viewers. One could remember like yesterday when by 4pm, viewers were first greeted with music for an hour with the coloured strips adorning the TV.

By 5pm, the national anthem is played, and then cartoons follows. This was almost the tradition during weekdays until the 9pm network news on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), which many parents don't miss for anything.

By that time, children were expected to have gone to bed or just compulsorily listen to NTA network news, then the close of TV broadcast by 10pm.

Taking a drive through the past, there is no doubt that generations then always weep for the present generations for what they have missed; good and educating TV programming.

How would one quickly forget The Village Headmaster, one of Nigerian's longest TV drama series back then? The good acting prowess of Oloja of Oja land played by Dejumo Lewis, Gorimapa, Sisi Clara, Teacher Oghenem Councillor Balogun and others that made this TV drama one of the best from Nigeria.

How would one also forget Things Fall Apart of the Pete Edochie (Okonkwo) fame? Also was The New Masquerade which had the likes of Chief Zebrudaya alias 4:30, Ovloria, Gringori, Clarus, the one and only Prince Jegede Sokoya and his troublesome Apena (late Christy Essien) wife.

Another TV programme back then was Hotel De Jordan, which had Idemudia, Kokori, late Sam Loco Efe. This programme was back then the toast of the Benin people on NTA Benin.

Other great programmes back then were Cock crow at dawn, Mirror in the sun, Ripples, Behind the cloud, Adio Family, Basi & Company, Second Chance, Samanja, Sura the tailor, Koko close, Awada Kerikeri.

Also were Third Eye, Mind Bending, Pot of life, Magana Jarice, Mind your language, Hammer House of Horror, Soul Train, CI5 (The professionals), which was a British detective TV drama series that featured our own veteran actor, Olu Jacobs, and many others.

While the adults were busy enjoying the above TV programmes, the kids at that time also had the cause to be excited staying glued to TV when finally allowed to, as parents then always lock their TV's with padlocks.

Programmes like Tales by Moon light, which was a reason why most kids would always want to be at home by 6pm on Sundays. Also was Sesame Street, Voltron, which was much introduced by a test run pay TV in the early 90's (Clapperboard).

Also was Rintinti (the police dog), how can one forget Dr Who, this was also one the best TV programmes for the kids back then before the Supermans, Tom and Jerrys of this world took over.

The list of these good and great programmes is many. Mentioning them only makes one sit and cry for the present generation of kids who have now become something else due to the adulterated TV contents they are now being exposed to.

The new TV content and trend is music and dance based, which is filled with lots of degrading moral value fillings. What mostly sell a TV content nowadays is X-rated contents. This is eminent in our present music videos, Reality programmes, and so on.

Though many have asked and wondered where we all got it wrong from, but that still remains a puzzle yet to be unraveled.

The new generational kids have argued that those TV programmes that wowed viewers in the past did so because there was not much competition as we now have. Their point is that back then; it was mainly the NTA and maybe, LTV that were providing TV contents to Nigerians.

They have also argued that TV viewers back then were not exposed to lots of distractions and technologies we now have. Example is the internet that makes it possible to view programmes from other lands, see X-rated materials online, etc.

Also is the fact that, as some put, they are now highly exposed. This some say that if those old programmes were done in this present world, it would not pull much effect as they did back then.

They believe that those TV programmes pulled those attractions because those then were left with no choice of other TV content to watch.

But how true is the fact that if Things Fall Apart, The New Masquerade, Village headmaster and others were to be originally be on TV now, they would not wow viewers of this generation of TV viewers?

Where did we get it wrong? Was 24hrs TV programming and the decentralization of TV in Nigeria a blessing or a curse?

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Zebrudaya of The Masquerade

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