By Tayo Mabeweje
The Nigerian entertainment industry grieves the loss of a true luminary, Pa Dejumo Lewis, renowned as the venerable Oloja of Oja. At 80, he bid adieu to life’s stage, leaving an enduring legacy that resonates throughout the annals of Nigerian television and film.
Pa Dejumo Lewis etched his name into the nation’s collective memory through his iconic portrayal of Kabiyesi in “The Village Headmaster,” a television soap opera that spanned two glorious decades from 1968 to 1988. His magnetic charisma and unparalleled talent captivated audiences nationwide, and his regal steps onto the throne of Oja Village became emblematic of the golden era of Nigerian television.
Beyond the confines of Oja Village, Pa Dejumo Lewis showcased his acting prowess in various productions, notably in “Agogo Eewo,” a Mainframe creation by the prolific producer, Mr. Tunde Kelani. Collaborating with industry giants such as Justus Esiri and Femi Robinson, Pa Dejumo solidified his status as a versatile and revered actor.
For those who came of age in the 70s and 80s, Pa Dejumo Lewis was not merely an actor; he embodied the very essence of the Kabiesi we all admired and cherished. His performances became an integral part of childhood memories, enriching the lives of old-school aficionados with laughter and poignant storytelling. His ability to transcend generations solidified his place as a true cultural icon.
As we bid farewell to Pa Dejumo Lewis, we celebrate not just the end of a life but the continuation of a rich and impactful legacy. God’s benevolence allowed him to live a life well spent, bringing joy and entertainment to countless Nigerians. His craft serves as an enduring source of inspiration for aspiring actors, a testament to the transformative power of storytelling.
In addition to his on-screen brilliance, Pa Dejumo Lewis was known for his off-screen contributions, mentoring emerging talents and advocating for the preservation of Nigeria’s cultural heritage through the arts. His philanthropic endeavors and dedication to the craft further solidify his place as a paragon of the entertainment industry.
May Pa Dejumo Lewis rest in eternal peace, knowing that his indomitable spirit and artistic contributions will continue to illuminate the hearts of those fortunate enough to have experienced the brilliance of the Oloja of Oja.