Connect with us

METRO

Jimmy Johnson: A life of fulfillment

“Until his death this week, Jimmy Johnson or Jimi J as he was known by his peers spent his time in semi-retirement in Abuja contributing occasionally to various artistic productions.”

Published

on

The family of Jimmy Johnson, better known as “Okoro” in the popular but rested TV drama ‘The Village Headmaster’ who died on July 8 in a hospital at Abuja has released a comprehensive profile of the veteran art enthusiast, hinting on the burial arrangements for the late actor.

In a statement issued by the family, “Jimmy J” was instrumental to the evolvement of the Nigerian entertainment industry over the years.

The statement reads: 

“Jimmy Johnson’s involvement in drama and theatre arts began in Ibadan in the early 60’s working with Professor Wole Soyinka in the Orisun Theatre Company and the Mbari Artistes and Writers Club a diverse group of University lecturers, writers, visual artists, musicians and actors that also included Soyinka, Ulli Beier, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, Mabel Segun, J.P Clark, Christopher Kolade, Lindsay Barrett, Demas Nwoko, Tunji Oyelana, Jimi Solanke and Bruce Onobrakpeya amongst others.  Mbari was described as a magnet for artistes and writers of African descent from all over Africa, America’s and the Caribbean.

“The Nigeria Biafra civil war of 1967-70 disrupted Mbari with many members opposing the war, but some forced into different sides by circumstance.

“After the war Jimmy Johnson threw himself into reconstruction of the country as an Information and Culture Officer in the Civil Service – working first from Enugu, capital of the then East Central State, then in Lagos Nigeria’s former capital – while also working alongside colleagues to rebuild a national identity for radio, television, film and theatre.

“Alongside his day job in government in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s he worked with colleagues in Radio Nigeria, Nigerian Television, former associates from Mbari Club and a new crop of film makers and dramatists to build the bedrock of todays entertainment industry in Nigeria. His generation saw FESTAC 77 – The Second World, Black & African Festival of Arts & Culture – as an opportunity to try and rekindle the spirit of Mbari, and invited Black artistes from across Africa, North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean to Nigeria. However some associates, most prominent being Fela Anikulapo Kuti fell out with the Obasanjo government over what was described as military intervention in FESTAC.

“While still working as a Senior Civil Servant he was later best known for the role of “Okoro” which he played for about a decade in NTA’s longest running TV drama The Village Headmaster.

“In 1984 along with many politicians, and senior civil servants he was locked up in Ikoyi Prison and tried, but acquitted by the Buhari/Idiagbon military regime after the overthrow of President Shagari’s government.

“In twist of fate, President Buhari said of him decades later on a recent birthday that “As one of the pioneers of TV drama in Nigeria and a respected thespian” his “contribution to the movie industry, which ranks second in the world, remains indelible” commending his “sacrifice, patriotism and loyalty to his country and his calling, starting out early on stage and the screen when rewards were very minimal, but pursuing his career with relentless passion and vigour”.

“Until his death this week, Jimmy Johnson or Jimi J as he was known by his peers spent his time in semi-retirement in Abuja contributing occasionally to various artistic productions.

“He is survived by his spouse, children, and grand-children including his second child journalist, development and policy expert Rotimi Sankore. His first son Tunde Johnson passed away two years before his death.

“Burial arrangements will be announced soon in line with COVID19 Protocols.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BUSINESS

ALERT: Panic buying in Lagos as fear of petrol pump price hike grips residents

Published

on

By

Lagosians this morning embarked on panic fuel buying as petrol stations across the metropolis become crowded with vehicles and people who want to buy the product in jerrycans.

This may not be unconnected with the Tuesday’s announcement by the the downstream subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, which fixed the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, at N138.62 per litre

When asked why the panic buying, some motorists who spoke with GidiNews blamed on it on the inconsistency of the government over the fixing of petroleum pump price in recent time.

“We are not sure what could come up next and so, one has to prepare well for every eventuality that may occur. I am a businessman and I cannot afford to look on, while my investments are always affected by unpredictable government policies. I need to fill my tank, at least for the rest of the week and that is why I am here” A motorist told our correspondent in Ogba Ikeja.

A filling station along College Road, Ogba

Continue Reading

METRO

Dopemu accident claims three

Published

on

By

Three people have died in a road accident along Iyana Dopemu road, Lagos.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management, the incident happened a few minutes to 7 am.

The report stated that the accident occurred when an SUV rammed into a moving trailer.

“An accident (has) just (been) reported involving an SUV that rammed into a moving trailer on the fast lane shortly before Cement bus stop inward Iyana Dopemu with three casualties.

“LASAMBUS has been contacted as well as a tow truck for evacuation. Officers are on the ground controlling traffic.” according to LASTMA

Continue Reading

HEALTH

BREAKING: Churches, Mosques to re-open August 7

Published

on

By

The Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed that religious centres can re-open for service from August 7, 2020.

The Governor also increases public gatherings capacity from 20 to 50 people.

We will bring you details later

Continue Reading

Trending