From WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
Two lecturers of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) , Mr. Nsikan Bassey Asuquo and Dr. Tosin Tume have made the institution proud by winning gold with their respective entries for the drama categories of both the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA) /Olu Obafemi playwrights prize and Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) annual awards for outstanding creative works.
While Mr. Bassey, a lecturer 11 of FUOYE’s Department of Theatre and Media Arts, (TMA) won overall best in the category of drama with his play, ‘The Chosen,’ Dr. Tume won overall best drama entry with her play , ‘The Victims’ in this year’s ANA awards for outstanding creative works which held in Enugu State. Event of SONTA held at Bayelsa State.
The development followed the success recorded a few weeks ago by a team of 25 students of the same department, led by another TMA lecturer, Tayo Isijola at this year’s edition of the Nigerian Theatre Arts Festival (NUTAF), 2019. The FUOYE team of TMA had won gold in the drama category and four laurels in individual talents’ awards which included best director, actor, Make up artist and Costumier.
The Play, ‘The Chosen’ by Mr. Bassey, is a political satire, satirizing the political ills in Nigeria. According to the playwright: ” The Chosen” is a metaphorical representation of the political situation in our nation. It satirizes the attitudes of bad political office holders who would do anything to acquire political office, but when they get into power, they loot the treasures of the people and want sit tight. When it dawns on them that the office is temporal and they have to leave, they begin to indulge in evil schemes to bury anything that can stop them. But sooner than later they realize that what they buried was a “seed”, It germinates because “Edumare” (God) neither sleep nor slumber.”
In the same vein, ‘The Victims’ by Dr. Tume is a tragic critique of how Nigeria’s poor security and political systems aide the festering of insurgency in the northern part of the country and end up destroying the future of the younger ones who becomes victims of such tragic development. The play also paints a vivid picture of how the insurgency has equally created baseless suspicion and distrust leading to possible disintegration in a nation with a nostalgic history of unity, cohesion and great potentials for meaningful development.
Acting Head of the Department (HOD) of TMA, Dr. Desen Jonathan Mbachaga who spoke to newsmen on the development, said: “l wish the two playwrights more exploits. The Theatre Arts department of FUOYE is relatively young but doing well as can be seen with these awards. Earlier this year the students of our department brought home an award from the Drum Festival and recently, they clinched the first position in Drama, during the just concluded Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival (NUTAF). We thank the Vice Chancellor Prof. Soremekun for his support to the Department. We can only get better.”
Pioneer HOD of FUOYE TMA department and former Artistic Director of Abuja Carnival as well as current Dean, FUOYE’s School of Post Graduate Studies, Prof. Rasaki Ojo Bakare, said: “I congratulate Tosin and Nsikan; two of my proteges who just won national awards in Playwriting. Perhaps I am even more excited over this matter than them. This is because I feel fulfilled that the many years of mentoring them, of working with them were not wasted. I am grateful to God.”
Other lecturers, including Prof. Abayomi Fasina, (DVC, Administration), Prof. Sola Omotola, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Mrs. Idowu Adebayo of the Department of Food Technology and among others have earlier made FUOYE proud by winning international grants and honours.
Students of the university have also made the institution very proud by winning local and national laurels.