Joseph Abiodun Babatunde Adu, one of Nigeria’s veteran actors and dramatist, popularly known as JAB Adu, is dead.
He was aged 83.
A close source to the foremost thespian, reportedly said he passed on in his Abeokuta, Ogun State home early Sunday morning.
The source said that JAB Adu has been contending with illness associated with old age.
The drama icon was renowned for his role as ‘Bassey Okon’ in the popular Nigerian Television Authority, NTA Drama series, ‘The Village Headmaster’.
Jab Adu, who had an illustrious career on stage, television and film, was trained as a professional banker and started his adult life as a banker with the Central Bank of Nigeria before settling as an actor.
While with the apex bank, he squeezed out time to participate as an actor and writer in the popular Village Headmaster, in which he played the role of Bassey Okon, the doctor, dispenser and pharmacist of Oja village.
He was born in Calabar, Cross River State. Thus, it was easy for him to play the role of an Efik in the junction town of Oja.
He left banking in 1970 and went into full acting, writing and production.
According to reports, he was more renowned in acting but his creative pedigree transcends not just acting that he was very well known for on the screen.
He was a film producer whose production credits include “Bisi, Daughter of the River” and “Adio’s Family”, a series he co-produced with NTA. The film was one of the pioneering efforts that followed “Kongi’s Harvest” and “Things Fall Apart.”
Based upon the Yoruba legend of Olurombi and shot on 35mm on celluloid on location both in Lagos and Badagry, the film threw a challenge to the American and Indian films in the Nigerian cinema circuit because of its production quality and Nigerians’ thirst to see their own people on the cinema screens in the theatres.
While alive, Jab Adu, was a devotee of Grail Movement.
By Patrick Aigbokhan