‘Professor Johnbull’ harps on Moral Values
With 26 episodes in two seasons so far, satirical comedy series, Professor Johnbull, has continued to expose dominant ills of the Nigerian society by passing across valuable lessons in life to TV audiences across the country.
Since its debut in August 2016, the drama series, which airs on Nigeria’s biggest TV network, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on all its platforms including terrestrial and cable, DSTV and StarTimes, has shown the hilarious as well as educative; featuring episodes with subjects and titles such as Kitchen on the Run, Voice of the City, Beautiful Girls, Happening Guys, Baby Bomboi, Foreign Petrol, Eliza My Daughter, Find Me Something and others, Oil Windfall, Dem Give Me, Sorting Things and Radio without Battery.
Mercy Johnson Okojie plays Caro, a character that flagrantly exhibits her grammatical limitations. This makes her a delight each time she comes into a scene. ”Professor Sir” is her usual refrain to her master’s (Professor) calls.
The ”erudite professor” is played by a master in the entertainment industry, Kanayo O. Kanayo. He gives a fantastic account of himself in translating the role. Naturally, Kanayo O Kanayo is not a man given to high-sounding words, but, indeed, he is handling the role so well. Not only is he professorially dignified in carriage, he is also very paternalistic. And his Engish? Wow, it could raise the dead. He has a way of elevating a simple communication task to the level of a doctoral thesis. Sample: ”This is unabashed educational jingoism” when all he meant was, “a wrong way to teach”.
The soap also parades other comic characters like Olaniyi acted by Yomi Fash-Lanso, Mai Doya (Funky Mallam), Jumoke played by Bidemi Kosoko, Etuk (Imeh Okon Bishop). These guys just turn on the fountain of humour.
Beyond these regulars, the drama has also featured musicians including Ego, Flavour, M.I., featuring in cameo appearances. Similarly, comedians such as Ayo Makun (AY), Bovi and Helen Paul have added spice to the satire.
In addition to mirth, the show is didactic and instructional. Every episode has a lesson it conveys. For example Kitchen on the Run, carries the message that husbands should provide culinary support for their busy wives. ’Voice of the City’ condemns the replacement of public power supply with domestic power generating sets which are hazardous to both health and social relationships.
In the last two seasons, Professor Johnbull has brought art, humour, high technical quality and education to the viewers of NTA and DSTV, giving Nigerians a bundle of creativity packaged in 30 minutes of drama.
Prolific Tchidi Tchikere who is the series director, was effusive in commending the concept Professor Johnbull as a TV drama series. He highlighted the numerous merits of the sitcom, part of which is the emphasis on peaceful co-existence among the different ethnic groups in Nigeria.