Arts  

When The Tape Stopped Rolling For ‘Lord Mayor’ Of Hotel De Jordan

Hotel De Jordan

Hotel De Jordan

Another popular pioneer cast member of the Nigerian Television Authority’s popular TV slot at the NTA Benin Production Centre, Prince Musa Yesufu known as the Lord Major of “Hotel De Jordan” has passed on at the ripe age of 85 years.

Needless to recall here the inexplicable reason(s) why this very
popular TV drama slot has been laid to rest by the station, even upon countless feature articles by this writer on why the slot has been put away, thus denying thousands of its fans the reason (s) either by the station or the creator, Joe Ihonde, many decades back.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2011, at the Ultra Modern Hall of the NTA, hundreds of its fans gathered in Benin City and were told about the 40th celebration of the slot where the Authority had described it as an outing of “creativity and excellence” but after a sketch by a few of the living pioneer cast members entertained the audience, NOTHING else had happened, not until the recent passage of the Agbede Royal
family born Prince Musa Yesufu who played the role of the “Lord Major”of the slot on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at his residence in Benin City.

The effect on die hard viewers of this age long opera gets
periodically tormenting each time a member of the cast passes on.

Chief Ajas (Sam Osamede) another ageing pioneer cast member upon hearing the demise of the Lord Major asked this… “wus matter with us now, eh? Lord Major has died? Abi na my turn now?”

I had no answer for his frightening and humiliating questions other
than telling him to direct his questions to NTA Benin and Joe Ihonde
who can perhaps enlighten the public what is behind the non
re-appearance of the slot.

The “Masquerades” TV Drama from the Eastern part of the country, I reliably gathered that it could have also fallen into the irritating
situation like Hotel De Jordan if not for the creative ingenuity of
Peter Igho’s tenure as the Zonal Director, somewhere in the East, who
was able to preserve some old tapes of the “Masquerades” that are now
periodically aired on NTA national slot periods.

A creative theme when killed like as it is happening to “Hotel De
Jordan” is an unpardonable blunder.

A new cast can be assembled through an audition wherein the format of the various characters can be re-born: an effort was put into place years back by Chief Ajas (Sam Osamede) at his expansive flower garden in Ugbowo, Benin City, but I can’t explain here what hurdles have held him back.

Here again, Joe Ihonde should tell the general public what are the
hurdles bewitching this popular slot before the entire exit of the
pioneer cast members.

“Okhue” (Joseph Edobor) the humorous native doctor who married the
mami water and divorced her is late, “Casino Manager (O’ Ray Slater)
is late, “Kokori” (David Ariyo) another actor, whose role as an
imbecile depiction would crack one’s ribs with laughter is late and
“Osiobaifo” (Emma Oni) another colourful actor. “Bob Allan” (Professor
Richard Idubor, of the law faculty of the University of Benin) I
believe would pull off his pair of suit and unknot his silk tie to
give life to “Hotel De Jordan” to play his role as the Journalist, if
requested. Who is killing the slot?  Certainly not those that are passing on turn by turn.

• Abudah, a journalist/Arts critic wrote in from Benin City, Edo State

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