A front line Set Designer and Artistic Director of the popular Abuja Carnival, Mr. Biodun Abe, has commended the Management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, for providing what he called world-class technical equipment for its newly-established Department of Performing Arts.
Mr. Abe, who is a Fellow of Theatre Arts and Former President of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, was in the University on Tuesday to deliver a lecture titled: Nation Building and the Theatre: The Role of Design in Play Productions as part of efforts to kick-start the new Department.
Impressed by the technical equipment provided for the Department, he said, “I have gone round most institutions of higher learning in Nigeria, and I can boldly affirm that the lighting and sound equipment that I have seen in Adekunle Ajasin University are about the best. Not even first generation universities have the kind of technical equipment that I have seen here.”
Applauding the Management of AAUA further, he said, “For an institution as relatively young as Adekunle Ajasin University to have what I have seen makes me marvel. I marvel not only at the hi-tech equipment procured for the new Department billed to take off fully in the 2016/2017 academic session, but also at everything I have seen so far. I have moved round the school, and I’m pleasantly surprised at what I have seen.
He said, “I can tell you that many of the universities that have been around for decades do not have half of what has been procured by the AAUA Management; and some universities do not have any technical equipment whatsoever for special effects. I think my constituency (drama) should be grateful to the Management of this University.”
Probed further on what could follow on the heels of his glowing endorsement, Mr. Abe said, “What this could translate to, especially if the AAUA Management follows up on its pledge to fully upgrade the Institution’s Multipurpose Hall, is that accomplished film Directors from across Nigeria could come to AAUA for rehearsals, retreats, arts, festivals and other activities.”
This would, according to him, gear up the students and give them hope that they are relevant and have a bright future in drama.
He added that, “Then you are going to see Nollywood veterans coming here because these equipment should be taken advantage of.”
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Oluwayemisi Adebowale, had reiterated the university’s resolve to ensure a conducive atmosphere for learning through the provision of needed facilities. She thanked the Guest Lecturer for personally overseeing the construction of a control room for the lights and other stage effects provided by the University.
Other dignitaries in attendance were the Dean of Arts, Prof. Benson Akinnawonu; the acting Head of Department of English Studies, Dr. Sola Owonibi; the sub-Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Dr. Olugbenga Abimbola; all of whom spoke in glowing terms about the prospects of the Performing Arts Department.
The Head of the new Department of Performing Arts, Prof. Mrs. Oloruntoba-Oju, while giving the vote of thanks, appreciated the Guest Lecturer for taking time out for the lecture and for pledging to mobilise support for the new Department amongst his own personal friends in the theatre industry. She also lauded her students for what she called their dedication, resourcefulness and commitment