– by Tayo Faloye.
My eyes suddenly got transfixed on her image as the advert played out. It was yesterday during the half time break of an EPL match. The advert isn’t new. I had seen it a couple of times before without really giving it any close attention. Then it hit me. This is Amebo of “The Village Headmaster” soap of the 70’s & 80’s!!! How wrong was I to have assumed all the veteran actors of the drama series were late after Jab Adu (Bassey Okon) passed on in February, 2016. I remember even erroneously putting up a Facebook post after the demise of Chief Babatunde Oloyede in December 2017, whom I had interviewed in the past and published in our erstwhile print magazine, that he was the last of the great crew of the Village Headmaster as a producer, to have transitioned to the great beyond.
Wow! it’s heartwarming to know Amebo is alive and sound. God bless Globacom for honoring this great old bundle of talent. She lit up the Village Headmaster with her role as the town informant, starring as Amebo. That’s how the moniker, “Amebo”, got stuck on the public to depict those who gossip, engage in petty talks or the snitches. In the TV soap, Amebo had a palm wine bar that was the hub of information and idle talks about everything in town, just like the newspaper stands or some hairdressing saloons of today.
Now at 78 with real name “Ibidun Allison”, her cameo in the Globacom’s commercial tagged “Glo Amebo” reenacts her talkative role in the Village Headmaster sitcom of yesteryears as she chatters on phone all day in the advert courtesy of Glo abundant giveaway airtime.
As much as I do not know the commercial worth of the advert featuring Amebo, I’m glad that a number of corporations are leveraging on the timeless creative performances of our ageing artistes who have contributed immensely to television, arts and broadcasting industry for over four decades, to today showcase their talents, like old wine in new bottle, and emancipate them from financial doldrums.
May the labour of our heroes past never be in vain.
– Tayo Faloye