By TOSIN AJIRIRE
Veteran actor, director and producer, Joseph Abiodun Babatunde Adu, popularly known as Jab Adu, is dead.
The thespian, who was known as Bassey Okon in the popular drama series, Village Headmaster, passed away on Sunday morning after a brief illness attributed to old age at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He was 83.
Born on December 28, 1932 in Calabar, Cross River State, Jab Adu had his elementary education at the primary school arm of the Baptist Academy then located at Oil Mill Street, Lagos. From 1946 to 1951, he attended St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos. He later worked at the British Bank for West Africa (BBWA) now First Bank Plc before travelling to the United Kingdom where he studied Banking at the Westminster City College, London and graduated as an Associate of the Institute of Bankers (AIB) UK. However, due to his passion for dramatic arts, Adu enrolled at Morley College of Drama, South London before returning to Nigeria.
Back in Nigeria, Jab Adu secured an employment with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and while working at the apex bank, he ventured into drama when Sanya Dosunmu now the Olowu of Owu invited him to take up a role in Village Headmaster. In the TV series, he played the role of Bassey Okon, the Oja village’s pharmacist and doctor, who spoke Efik-tainted English and master of Bonny Face, the grocery store sales boy.
Jab Adu eventually left CBN and became a full time actor. He produced and featured in Cool Red (1976), Bisi, Daughter of the River (1977), Adio Family (1978), and Wetin Dey (2007), among others.
In 1978, the federal government honoured Adu with the Member of the Order of Niger (MON) for his contributions to the arts. The deceased, a devotee of Grail Message, is survived by children and grand childre