Farewell Ovularia As The Curtain Falls On An Era Of Laughter

By Isaac Asabor

In the quiet hum of the evening, as the sun sets on the horizon, it is compassionate to bid a heartfelt farewell to a figure who brought joy to millions. Madam Elizabeth Evoeme, known to many as Ovularia from the beloved sitcom "The New Masquerade," who just took her final bow at the age of 81.

Ovularia was not just a character; she was a cherished memory etched in the hearts of those who grew up watching "The New Masquerade" in the 1980s. Her wit, her charm, and her ability to bring a smile to the most solemn of faces were her true gifts to the world. As we reminisce about her performances, we are reminded of the laughter that echoed through our living rooms, a testament to her timeless talent.

There is no denying the fact that the news of her passing on May 7, 2024, has sent ripples of sorrow across the nation. Yet, in this moment of grief, we also find a celebration of life; a life well-lived and a legacy that will continue to live on in the annals of Nigerian television history.

Born on December 1, 1942, Ovularia's journey was one of passion and perseverance. She rose to prominence in an era when the Nigerian entertainment industry was in its nascent stages, carving a niche for herself and setting a standard for future generations of actors. Her demise was confirmed by a family member, surrounded by love and warmth in her final moments.

As tributes pour in from colleagues and fans alike, it is germane for each and every one to be reminded of the impact she had not just as an actress, but as a cultural icon. Jide Kosoko, a veteran in the industry, expressed his sorrow, reflecting on the void that her departure has left.

Ovularia's death comes as a stark reminder of the realities everyone must face. It is a call to cherish the memories and to acknowledge the transient nature of life. Yet, it is also a celebration of a woman who lived fully, loved deeply, and laughed heartily.

In the words of her daughter, Justina Ngozi Evoeme, the loss is both painful and shocking. The family has requested privacy during this difficult time, as they navigate the complexities of grief.

As we look back on Ovularia's life, we are reminded of the power of entertainment to transcend time and space. She was more than an actress; she was a beacon of joy in a world that often forgets to laugh. Today, we do not just mourn; we honor a life that was dedicated to bringing happiness to others.

Madam Elizabeth Evoeme, our beloved Ovularia, may have left the stage, but her legacy endures. In every chuckle and giggle that her performances continue to elicit, her spirit lives on. Rest in peace, Ovularia. Your masquerade may have ended, but the memories remain, as vibrant and vivacious as ever.

Ovularia, portrayed by the late Madam Elizabeth Evoeme, left an indelible mark on the hearts of many with her memorable performances in "The New Masquerade."

In fact, some of the most cherished moments that fans fondly remember her cut across her playing the role of the confident wife Ovularia's character, and was celebrated for her confidence and assertiveness. She was known for never hesitating to challenge her husband, Chief Zebrudaya, creating memorable tension and friction within the household.

In a similar vein, she was no doubt a cultural Icon. This is as her role transcended mere acting. In fact, she became a cultural icon, representing the strength and wit of Nigerian women during the 1980s. Her performances were not just entertaining but also empowering.

Without a doubt, she brought humor and heart to "The New Masquerade," making each episode not just a show but a shared experience with the audience. Her ability to evoke laughter and joy was truly remarkable¹.

These moments contributed to the legacy of Ovularia, making her character one that will be remembered for generations to come. Madam Elizabeth Evoeme's portrayal of Ovularia was a testament to her talent and her contribution to the Nigerian entertainment industry.

Madam Elizabeth Evoeme, known as Ovularia in "The New Masquerade," was indeed known for her memorable catchphrases that resonated with the audience. In fact, her characters in "The New Masquerade" often had unique lines that were humorous and reflective of their personalities. Ovularia's character, with her wit and charm, would have had phrases that contributed to her endearing presence on the show.

Without any iota of exaggeration, "The New Masquerade" was a popular Nigerian sitcom that featured a vibrant cast of characters, each bringing their unique flavor to the show. Some of the key characters include Chief Zebrudaya who was portrayed by Chika Okpala, also known by his alias 4:30 sobriquet, he is a domineering husband with a range of experience as an ex-serviceman and resident in foreign countries. He communicates using a mixture of Queen's English, Igbo language, and Pidgin English.

In the same vein, Jegede Sokoya played by Claude Eke, Jegede is Zebrudaya's friend whose arrogance and quest for easy money often cause conflict. He calls himself a doctor and the youngest millionaire in the universe, and he likes to demonstrate his ability to speak in Queen's English, albeit with a thick Yoruba accent.

Giringory Akabogu James Iroha, who was also the creator of the sitcom, played Giringory, one of the houseboys who speaks in Pidgin English.

These characters, along with Ovularia, formed the core of "The New Masquerade," making it one of Nigeria's longest-running sitcoms. The show started as a radio program known as "The Masquerade" and was created after the civil war as a means to bring laughter to the homes of citizens after the devastation caused by the Nigerian Civil War¹. It is remembered for its humor, cultural commentary, and the way it captured the essence of Nigerian society during its time.