Femi Robinson, who was popularly known as “Ife Araba” in the now rested “Village Headmaster’’ TV drama, has died.
His family announced his demise today on Face book.The cause of the death of the 75-year-old actor was not disclosed.
News of his death shocked fellow actors such as Larry Williams, a contemporary of “ Mr Araba’’. He said he lacked words to describe how he felt about the development.
“I do not know how to react to this sudden sad happening.
“I am totally overwhelmed by this development because we talked recently and I was discussing about my coming production that I want to play him in.
“He was hale and hearty, there was no sign that he was ill, so I’m shocked,” he said.
In the same vein, Prof. Duro Oni, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services, University of Lagos (UNILAG), told NAN that it was such a shame that a man like that will just die.
“He called me about a programme he wanted to do at UNILAG and we discussed at length about it.
“He worked at UNILAG in 1976 and was one of the technologists in the Business Management and Centre for Cultural Studies Department, we worked together.
“He was also doing the `Village Headmaster’ play and later he travelled abroad for more business training,” he told NAN on telephone.
Oni said that the late Robinson was also involved in the University of Ife, staging of the “The Gods Are Not to Blame”.
“He was very passionate about the promotion of arts and culture and plays in the country. May his soul Rest in Peace, and May God give the family the strength to bear the loss,’’ he added.
Reacting, Ozi Okoli, the Public Relations Officer, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), said the country has lost a gem in the arts.
“In his time and tenure as an actor, entertainment was not popular and was too hard because of the level of technology at that time.
“They acted naturally and with great passion because they wanted to leave a legacy behind not just entertaining people.
“If you look at his peers, the late Ambassador Segun Olusola, the late Justus Esiri and many of them, they were a force to reckon with and that passion is lacking now in acting.
“So, if they had technology as it is now, those kind of people should be winning the Oscar awards.
“People like us looked up to them. They interpret characters well.
“Village Headmaster is a masterpiece till today, May God be with his family,” he said.
Robinson stepped into the lead role of the Village Headmaster in 1973, after the departure of Ted Mukoro, who had featured as “Mr Gabriel Fagade since its inception.
The Village Headmaster was created by the late Ambassador Segun Olusola in the late 1960s and featured other prominent thespians like Dejumo Lewis, Ibidun Alison and others too numerous to mention.