Throwback Friday-The New Masquerade

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We all loved the 80s as it can easily be described as the era of quality TV programming.

The Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, held sway as the ‘number 1′ station at that time and it never ran short of brilliant family oriented programmes.

One of such is the slap-stick comedy drama series – The New Masquerade.

Parading a talented cast that included, the creator,  late James Iroha (Gringory Akabogu), late Claude Eke(Jegede Shokoya); Chika Okpalla (Chief Zebrudaya); Tony Akposheri (Zakky); Lizzy Eveome (Ovuleria); late Christy Essien-Igbokwe (Akpena); Davis Offor (Clarus); and Nnati; the New Masquerade offered viewers 30 minutes of undiluted humour.

Unknown to many, the catchy theme song, Eddie Quansa, was off the Nigeria 70 Lagos Jump album. It was only made a lot more popular by The Masquerade (later New Masquerade).

Within a short time, the soundtrack became synonymous with the satirical programme that depicted the struggle of the common man in Nigeria.

It is interesting to note that the programme was part of a 15-minute radio programme, In the Lighter Mood, presented by celebrated author, Bob Nwangoro, in the then East Central State Broadcasting Corporation, Enugu.

On the other hand, the role of Zebrudaya, was first played by veteran broadcaster, Nwora Asika and later by Nsofor Obua.

Only a few will recollect that Okpalla started out playing the role of Nati.

According to the creator, the concept of the programme arose  because of the overriding need to assuage the grief that characterized Ndigbo at the end of the civil war.

The drama series captured the national audience for about two decades after it was adapted for television.