By Prisca Sam-Duru
The Nigeria movie industry and advertisement community suffered a huge loss last Wednesday with the death of veteran actor and advert guru, Theodore Austin Mukoro.
Famously known as Uncle Ted by his fans, Mukoro was a broadcaster, wordsmith and humorous humanist. He died at the age of 89 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, following a brief illness.
Ted Mukoro hit fame as the pioneer headmaster in the iconic television programme of the 80s, The Village Headmaster on the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), which later became Nigerian Television Authority, NTA.
Mukoro was one of the early faces and voices of television in Africa as a pioneer newscaster on Western Nigeria Television (WNTV), Ibadan.
As one of the pioneers of radio drama at the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service (WNBS) and Western Nigeria Television (WNTV), the late Mukoro contributed immensely to the development of theatre in Nigeria, and remained relevant in his acting career even in old age, by featuring in Nollywood movies.
The advertising industry in Nigeria also benefited from the late actor’s copy writing skills and structuring of attractive narratives. He spent his time also mentoring many younger Nigerians.
Mukoro who lost his wife, Felicia, in 2010, distinguished himself as the first headmaster in the now rested TV series, The Village Headmaster and so rests with other departed cast of The Village Headmaster – Jab Adu, Justus Esiri and Segun Olushola.
Uncle Ted’s creativity nurtured many successful brands in Nigeria such as Star, Bournvita, Guinness, Harp, Vono, Omo, Lux, Schweppes, Legend, Tomapep, etc. He would be remembered as one of the most respected early faces and voices of television in Africa and as a pioneer newscaster on WNTV, Ibadan.
As a former Executive Creative Director of Lowe Lintas, Mukoro was a fellow of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and a founding member of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).
The iconic actor made name as one of the earliest advertising practitioners in Nigeria. As an octogenarian, the advert guru was never tired of giving his best in the advertising world.
During his lifetime, Ted Mukoro distinguished himself as a true Thespian, advert guru and a humorist par excellence. His ambition to become a Catholic Priest after he attended a Catholic seminary school was thwarted, but Mukoro did not give up as he excelled in other fields of human endeavour. He regretted that his wife died before him.