With Tinsel came a great nostalgia for many Nigerians; home and diaspora who grew up watching the iconic soap “Checkmate”. It was a breath of fresh air.
Set in the dynamic world of film production, Tinsel combines all the elements of drama, intrigue, romance, deception, betrayal and triumph in a series involving the story of two rival film production houses whose fierce battles for box-office dominance sees them taking their rivalry from film-sets to industry boardrooms and everywhere in between.
Since its debut in 2008, the Mnet TV Soap, Tinsel has warmed its way into the hearts of millions of viewers across Africa not just because of the intrigue and suspense that constantly makes you look forward to the next episode, but for another chance to see characters we’ve grown to love.
Seven years down the line with over a thousand episodes later, Tinsel has experienced some hiccups, character killing, replacements and of course the introduction of fresh characters.
Seven years is a long time for the cast of any show to work together without one or two characters being removed, replaced or introduced. ‘Twenty friends cannot play together for twenty years’, even popular sitcom “Papa Ajasco” had some characters changed years after they gained recognition and became a family favourite.
TV show lovers are usually emotionally attached to their favorites; beyond the show they still refer to the actor as his persona in the soap.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Damilola Adegbite left the show to explore and pursue more options in her career, hence her character, Telema Duke became history. Her leaving came not long after another lead actress Matilda Obaseki left temporarily because she was pregnant and was replaced by Ghanian actress, Leonora Okine. The temporal swap caused quite a stir as reports revealed that Leonora made to garner support from cast and crew to remain as Angela Dede even after Matilda returned from her maternity leave. Following all of these, some ‘Tinsel’ fans felt it will be the end of them watching the series.
Just as Africa was adjusting to the absence of Telema coupled with the celebration of the show’s 1000th episode, another lead character Chris Attoh who played the role of Kwame Mensah announced his exit from the multiple award winning soap to pursue other career interests. In addition, another favourite Gbenro Ajibade who took on the role of Soji Bankola, Telema’s boyfriend is currently on suspension for reasons yet unknown.
Despite these looming setbacks, the soap continues as fresh new talents and interesting twists to the plot have been introduced. Osas Ighodaro joined the cast late 2012 as ‘Adanna” an Art student from the US who traveled to Nigeria to find her inspiration. The show recently cast Nollywood starlet Beverly Naya who will be playing the reoccurring supporting role as ‘Yaya’, a feisty and seductive lady who will try anything all at once.
Change is constant and in most cases good; the recent exit of popular faces in the show has presented various opportunities; fresh new faces and talents and possible interesting and creative changes in the plot. Tinsel has come a long way and with time, the new characters will no doubt become favourites, if they are not already.
It may take some time for viewers to adjust to the absense of their favorites, but slowly and surely; with good screen acting, the new introductions may make Tinsel a show to look forward to. Maybe even more so than before.