Village Headmaster cast beyond grows with Esiri exit

Posted: February 21, 2013 in art/entertainment

justus esiriFormer star of the defunct Village Headmaster television comedy series on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and veteran actor Justus Esiri has passed away aged 70. According to reports the actor, the father of popular musician Dr Sid, and brother of top photographer, Andrew Esiri, died Tuesday.

Many took a status from his son on social networking site Twitter as confirmation of the veteran actor’s passing. According to Secretary-General of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Abubakar Yakub the actor passed away as a result of complications arising from diabetes. There are also reports that the actor may have died in a Lagos hospital.

“This is a very sad one. I don’t know why death seems to have focussed on our industry for some time now. We have lost four members already this year. Uncle Justus was like a father to all of us, and we will miss him greatly,” said Abubakar.

Esiri’s death follows the sudden passing on of another top entertainment figure in the country, Goldie Harvey, who reportedly died on returning from the Grammy Awards in the United States, on Valentine’s day, February 14, in addition also to the shocking death of another veteran actor Enebeli Enebuwa, popularly called Andrew.

Esiri (MON), who had the rare privilege of playing the role of the village headmaster after the pioneer character Mr. Araba (Femi Robinson) left the cast, enjoyed the spotlight as the long-rested show was centred around his character.

Other cast members of the defunct comedy series who have died since the resting of the show in the 80’s include, Mrs. Elsie Olusola (Sisi Clara), Chief Albert Olayemi, (Gorimapa), Oba Funso Adeolu, (Oba Alaye-Ode of Ode-Remo, in Ogun State) who played the character of Chief Eleyinmi, Joe Layode (Teacher Garuba) and Oba Wole Amele (Councillor Balogun).

The actor was born on 20 November 1942 in what is now Delta State. He studied and started acting in Germany before returning to Nigeria in the 1970’s. Esiri first came to fame when he appeared in Village Headmaster as the headmaster in the 1970s.

He has since acted in more than 100 titles in Nollywood productions including Home in Exile, Kingdom of Men, Most Wanted Bachelor and many more.

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