It was an event to behold, when on Thursday, 4th April, 2019, the Department of Performing Arts welcomed and exposed its fresh students to rites of passage as a mark of entrance and acceptance into its fold thus formally assuming the role of Thespians. The induction ceremony signified their exposure to the rules and regulations guiding the Performing Arts activities as a discipline in the Department. This annual event is the norm in all tertiary institutions all over the country where students enroll for Theatre Arts, Creative, Dramatic or Performing Arts as a programme. This year’s event took place at the Pit Theatre of the Department and climaxed with the emergence of a veteran actor from the Nigeria films industry dressed in a Priest regalia, who conducted the initiation rites on both the new students and the Executives of the Students Association of the Department to the admiration of all guests at the event.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Deji Agboola, who declared the programme open on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde seized the opportunity to once again congratulate the young inductees whom he said would become professional performing artists, even though they have just started their formal academic and professional training in the performative arts and culture. Speaking further, Prof. Agboola enjoined them to show more commitments in their studies knowing full well that the induction programme had just initiated them into serious academic and practical studies, and they must, therefore, give all that was required to become world class celebrated scholars and practitioners of the arts. He, thereafter, commended their Head of Department, Dr. (Mrs.) T.O. Oladipo for organizing such a knowledge-based but entertaining event, while acknowledging the cooperation and supports given by the other staff members and the entire students of the Department.
In her welcome address, the Head of Department, Dr. (Mrs.) Oladipo profoundly expressed appreciation to all guests both from within and outside the University Community, especially, the Principal Officers of the University, as well as the veteran actors and actresses at the event. She, thereafter, thanked the Vice-Chancellor for his kind gestures to the department since assuming office, and wished for more whenever the need arises. Also speaking at the occasion, the Staff Adviser to the Performing Arts Students’ Association (PASA), Mrs. Joke Muyiwa Fadirepo, who is also a veteran actress advised the new students that the importance of induction ceremony for them could not be overemphasized, as according to her, it was a rite of passage marking the entrance and acceptance into a group or society, and, therefore a norm in all Theatre, Creative, Dramatic or Performing Arts nationwide. She informed the audience that induction performances include Music, Dance and Drama, that would be climaxed with a veteran actor or an actress, chosen to be a Chief Priest or a Priestess, who would, through theatrical and performative incantation devoid of spirituality, usher the new students into the world of performance.
It was a fun-filled experience to all guests as the inductees usually referred to as “Cockroaches” in the Performing Arts parlance distinguished themselves in the series of musical beats, drama, and dance with acrobatic and cultural display. The enviable potentials in these promising set of students became quite obvious and more interesting immediately the Chief Priest conducted the final initiation rites and pronounced them Thespians.
The high point of the event was the presentation of gift to the pioneer Head of the Performing Arts Department, Prince C. O. Somade in recognition of his invaluable contribution in establishing and nurturing the Department. Among other dignitaries present at the event were the University Librarian, Dr. Adebambo Oduwole, representative of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Dr. A. A. Aina and Head, Department of Nigerian Languages and Literature, Dr. Mrs. Adagbada.
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