How I was conscripted to become an actor –Kate Adepegba

By Christy Anyanwu



For early television viewers, the face of Kate Adepegba brings back memories of The Village Headmaster, a popular television soap opera that ruled the airwaves in the 1980s and ’90s. 

As a young lady, she spiced up all the episodes of Village Headmaster as one of the dutiful girls (Folake) in Sisi Clara’s shop.  That role opened doors for other big acting opportunities for her. She went on to feature in other TV shows, such as “Mirror in the Sun”,  “Turning Wheels,” “Violated Stars», and many others. In this interview, she spoke about her journey into acting and more. 

When did you realize you were popular as an actor? 

Of course, (it was in) the very first one, the Village Headmaster. That was 41 years ago.

Tell us how it began, how you went to the audition and became part of the series…?

That wasn’t the intention initially. I just lost my dad at that time. So, I needed a job. I was very young, I needed a job. I had this neighbour that worked with NTA. She said I could come see her for a job. I went in there, but she was not in her office, so I decided to just stroll around for a bit and then go back inside. I strolled around the studio, I think it was Studio A at that time, and, incidentally, “The Village Headmaster” was being recorded. I also had the late Oba Funso Adeolu, who was my neighbour at that time. He was in the studio. When I walked in, he thought it was him I came to see, but, of course, I was just strolling around the place. The star that time, we just lost him, Dejumo Lewis, saw me and he said, “Uncle, we are looking for a small girl. Can this your daughter play the role?”  I remember Uncle Funsho said, “No, no, that’s not why she came.” Dejumo insisted that I read and I just read in passing. I didn’t even take it seriously. I had never done an audition in my life. I didn’t take it seriously.

I finished reading and he said, “Okay, you can’t go home now, you have to shoot.” I said, “Ah, they will be looking for me at home.” That was how I did my first shoot in “Village Headmaster”.

Did you have any premonition that you would take to acting as a career while growing up?

I tell people that I owe my emergence as an actor to my early school days, that is, my primary and secondary school, where I did a lot of acting and was exposed to a lot of literary textbooks. I actually started as a child actor, but then I still didn’t want to be an actor. I wanted to be a diplomat or a linguist, and I looked forward to working in an organisation like the United Nations. But God has the final say in our lives.

Are you involved in the new Village Headmaster, which was launched a while back? 

No, we are no longer doing it. It came up briefly in 2020 and 2021. We had the first and second seasons, but I don’t know, for whatever reasons, the drama series couldn’t go on.

You have also been acting in movies and other TV series after “Village Headmaster”…?

I worked with Amaka Igwe for a while, where we did “Checkmate”. My role was Celestina. I was Nobert Young’s second wife in the soap opera. After that, we did another one that was produced by Ego Boyo. Then “Mirror In the Sun”. We had Mofe Damijo, Joke Silva, etc. Then I did “Fuji House of Commotion”, which was a spin-off out of “Checkmate”. It was part of “Checkmate” at that time because there were four families in “Checkmate”. 

“Fuji House of Commotion” was with Amaka Igwe.

How do you cope with stardom? Do you still do all those market runs, buying stuff along the road, and so on? 

I’m not a starstruck human being. Naturally, yes, I do go to the market, if there is need, even though I have not been to the market in a long time. But, if I need to go into the market, I will go. We are first human beings before becoming star actors and the way we perceive ourselves is different  from how others do. For me, nothing has really changed. I still do whatever I need to do. Maybe not buying boli and groundnut by the roadside, probably because I did not used to do that. If I was doing that before, I probably would still do it. If I need to do any other thing publicly, like going to the market, that is not an issue at all.

You have acted for over 40 years, but you do not look like it…?

I will actually be 61 this month. It’s just the glory of God.

Any secrets for looking good? 

Nothing, just the grace of God. As you lay your bed, so you will lie on it. Basically, for me, I just take life easy and live healthy; there’s no hard and fast rule. I don’t overdo things. I just take everything easy.

What are the lessons you have leant about life? 

Life is for the living, no matter what happens, no matter what you do, try to stay alive. Do not hold grudges. Do not take life too seriously. Do not take yourself too seriously. Take each day as it comes and leave the rest to God. Don’t be desperate. You see a lot of people saying “I just want to show my face”. In fact, these days, in the 21st century, what we have is more models than actors. People just want to show their face on TV. For me, I would tell them, don’t be desperate,  whether acting or in anything, do not be desperate. And try and get some training. When you are trained in whatever you want to do, it makes you a better person.Then just take one day at a time.

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