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Top NTA Programmes from my Childhood

by Adamu ShehuSeptember 20, 2014

Growing up in the ’80s, we didn’t have as many electronic distractions as kids do now. They have X-boxes now and PS4s and smartphones and such. Back then, you just had the Ataris and if you were mega rich,maybe a Nintendo Entertainment System. For TV, there was just NTA or you had to go play outside with the other kids. Suffice to say, I watched NTA instead because playing in sand sucks.

Reminiscing about the past always gives me tingles so I chronicled some programmes that I enjoyed below.


This was a British cartoon from the 80’s which featured a talking airplane and his buddies at the airport who gave the air traffic controller plenty of grief and was generally a nuisance as they embarked on adventures with his pals, The Jet Set. This was way back in my pre-teens so the animation was on the low budget side bt as a kid, it didn’t bother me much. I just enjoyed the pretty colors.

Tales by Moonlight

There was a time that NTA used to produce quality programming for kids, where they learnt important morals as well as being entertained. Good behaviour tends to be remembered when the medium that conveys it is enjoyed. And Tales by Moonlight hit the nail on the head hard. Plus, it generated catchphrases most kids and parents from the 80’s remember. Who doesn’t remember the classic call and response “Once Upon A Time?”, “Time Time”! God, I always wanted to be one of the kids on that show. I always hated the annoying kid that always knew the moral of the story. Stupid teacher’s pet.


The show that started the whole mecha robot and human pilot trend that was stolen by so many pretenders to the throne (I’m looking at you, Power Rangers). The stories were the same monster of the week format used by so many programmes but the characters were so well developed, the villains especially. Till this day I remember Witch Hagar and her Ro-beasts, King Zarkon and his treacherous son, Prince Lothor. Seems I got goose pimples each time the Lions transformed into the Defender of the Universe, Voltron. I always wondered though, if all it took for the robots to die was for Voltron to use his Blazing Sword, why did Voltron have to wait until his ass was righteously kicked before he formed the damn Blazing Sword?! Cartoon logic is so weird.

Battle of the Planets aka G-Force

It was known by so many names, Gatchaman in Japan, Battle of the Planets in English speaking countries and known simply as G-Force in Naija, it was awesome in any name. Similar format to Voltron, the Gatchaman team were actually skilled in hand to hand combat and experts in use of their individual vehicles which were stored in their giant Quinjet when they needed to team up and kick butt. Till this day, I don’t know whether the bad guy was a dude or a girl because he was strange like that.

Speak Out

A little bit more of that quality programming that NTA used to produce back in the day. It was a debate show where kids from different schools came together to debate about selected topics to win glory and bragging rights for their respective schools. Bit boring for most kids at the time but nobody could deny the impact it had on a kid’s mind growing up. I heard Denrele was a contestant on the show one time, which now that you think about it makes a lot of sense.

Leave your fave old programmes in the comments.

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Adamu Shehu
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