The Good Old Days of Nigerian Television

Editor’s notes: With the success of King of Boys amongst the Nigerian audience, and the return of Gulder Ultimate Search, our guest writer takes a look at the golden era of Nigerian TV from a personal lens.

Written by Okediran Adeyemi
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Instagram: Yemi_Write

Nigeria’s No.1 family drama series at a time.

Moments don’t always dissolve into memories. A ton of them are lived and forgotten. But there are a few that never settle and resurface as a memory, making people go through a weird period of nostalgia and other similar emotions. 

I remember being aroused from sleep early in the morning by a commercial advert from a radio set in one of our neighbour rooms which said, “Wake up and live with Andrews Liver salt”.  Or do you remember the old ones buying a bottle of Eagle stout after hearing the message, “Eagle stout puts more strength in you”.  Did you ever notice people rushing home on Thursday evenings to watch their favorite TV drama series Super Story, an anthology drama series sponsored by Unilever PLC, as a means of advertising their goods and services to the general public. 


Super Story is a TV series that rejuvenated everyone in the community irrespective of race, ethnic, gender, and age. I remember how those who had discord earlier in the week reached a compromise before 8pm on Thursday so as to enjoy the popular Super Story. I remember how young folks and old rushed down to my daddy’s office as early as 7 pm so as to secure a seat anytime NEPA failed to restore power supply. As a matter of fact, the theme music of the television series, “This is Super Story – a life of strife and sorrows/ This is Super Story…”, was at a time, a song that compelled both interest and attentiveness. The said captivating TV series originally aired on Thursdays at 8 pm on NTA and also on WAP TV, and at a later time on several other terrestrial and cable networks, the most watched TV serial also aired. Those were the days when innocence still dwelled within the terrain of television. The anthology started with a classic titled: Oh Father, Oh Daughter and continued with fascinating series like: One Bad Apple, Itohan, Omoye , The Grasscutter, etc. With these highlighted few, loyalty to the anthology TV series was enforced without force. Admittedly, the story lines were deep, mesmerizing, and captivating. 

A classic within the Nigerian household

Countless adherents were glued to their television every Thursday night to watch the latest episode. I barely missed a spot in front of the television, for anything in the world, not to talk of the most intriguing part where they said, “last week on your award-winning Super Story”, because I would have bought enough time from my mum who might be a distraction during the program by doing all house chores and my home-work before 7:30 pm. I remember how we all wanted to slap Suara, the ungrateful husband, anytime he appeared on the screen. Everybody’s favorite person then was Abike from Oh Father Oh Daughter. Toyin Tomato (Sola Sobowale) always played the worst character, ranging from husband snatcher to gold digger. What about Francis, the corrupt policeman or thief? Indeed, it was more like a date with destiny. However, it got to a stage when it became boring to people; no more suspense and it stopped to be the soul gazer of many then, as some newer unrelatable characters were introduced, which later saw elements of Neo-Nollywood movies displaying themselves. 


Additionally, the deep story lines started becoming too shallow and vague with the commencement of newer episodes. This, in return, resulted in the cutting short of high expectations. Lack of interest ensued. And, as a result of these, the once captivating television series gradually became a program to pass time. As for others, the fire of enthusiasm that had burnt for Super Story died out with time. Talking about favourite seasons, mine was Omoye and One Bad Apple. I loved both seasons. Apart from the soundtrack; the final credits quote “We are nothing but pencils in the hand of the creator” is another phrase that keeps coming back to me.

Gulder Ultimate Search will be returning later this year.

Another TV series I loved and I never missed watching while growing up was MILO- The Last Man Standing which was broadcasted every Saturday morning, and Oju Oluwa also came up at 10am every Saturday. Others are Papa Ajasco, Nnkan Be by the late Kolawole Olawuyi, Dear Mother which was shown every Wednesday on BCOS, Labe Orun by Segun Adisa, and lastly, Gulder Ultimate Search.

In today’s world of TV series, the likes of The Johnsons, Hustle, Tinsel, Battleground, Awon Aladun—which are all shown on Africa Magic—have taken over. But the one that has gotten everyone’s attention the most is the reality TV show called Big Brother Naija. This reality show has up to 20 people in a house for 3 months while they get themselves involved in different games and tasks while in the house. Fans are allowed to vote for their favourite housemate whenever they are up for eviction in order to keep them in the house. The reality television show which commenced its latest edition, ‘Shine Ya Eyes’, on July 24 is in the 7th week running with 14 housemates still on the show. In recent times, one of the reality shows that has won me over as a committed viewer is The Voice Nigeria. This is a musical talent show where each participant sings at a blind audition and any of the four coaches who are convinced with the participant’s performance picks them to be part of their team, to be trained by them. The recently ended season three was won by Esther Benyogo, who was under coach Dare Alade.

Reminiscing on all these makes me feel how time flies; enjoying the old TV series back then that made one’s childhood memory a long lasting one, and now growing to enjoy these other amazing TV series that keep captivating people’s minds. Get yourself acquainted with these TV series, mostly, to ease the stress off your face after a hectic day at the office; they are worth relaxing with. 

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