The recent death of Jab Adu, Sam Agbebi and Mike Odiachi has cast a gloomy shadow on the ubiquitous Nollywood industry in Africa. Mike Odiachi died at the General Hospital, Ikorodu on February 15, while Joseph Adu, popularly known as Jab Adu, one of the few surviving actors in popular old TV drama, The Village Headmaster died last Sunday, at the age of 83.
While the news of his death is still fresh in the minds of everyone, the industry was jolted again by the death of another famous actor, Sam Agbebi, who also featured in that popular TV drama, Village Headmaster. Agbebi, the palace servant who later became Lawyer Iyanda in the TV series died on Tuesday, after Jab Adu passed on last Sunday, expanding the death list of cast and crew members. His death has marked the end of an era for a generation of thorough-bred actors who distinguished themselves in their chosen career.
62-year- old Agbebi who hailed from Osun state reportedly had been sick for over five years. He was said to have been suffering from severe pains in the leg, a situation which forced him to quit his job as a part-time lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU) and rendered him inactive. Adu was one of the few surviving casts of the popular TV drama, The Village Headmaster, a film that featured another late actor, Justice Esiri. He also featured in some other interesting movies such as Cool Red (1976), Bisi, Daughter of the River (1977) and Wetin Dey (2007), playing actor and producer respectively. Before his acting career kick-started, he was a banker with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a time that also saw him combining banking with acting.
The talented Cross River state-born actor featured as an actor and writer in ‘The Village Headmaster,’ playing the role of Bassey Okon, the doctor, dispenser and pharmacist of Oja village. Meanwhile, paying tributes to the departed Jab Adu, veteran producer, Zeb Ejiro described him as “a theater legend, someone that helped build the theatre in Nigeria that we are all enjoying today. He was a professional to the core and he was very dedicated to his work. We will all miss him.”