Federal University Oye-Ekiti has sought collaboration with the Oni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi in the area of cultural expansion. This, the university demonstrated recently through its Theatre Arts Department on an occasion of dance and drama performances known as an Evening of Culture with Oonirisa held recently at the palace of the monarch.

The event, which witnessed an impressive performance by the dance and drama groups comprising both staff and students, had in attendance the monarch himself and guests from within and outside the country. The young and amiable monarch was thrilled to the admiration of all the participants, and could not hide his joy but clapped and beamed smiles throughout the performance.

Speaking on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, the Head of Ikole campus of the university, Professor Olugbenga Amu, said the team was there first, to celebrate with the monarch on his coronation, and then seek areas of cooperation that would be mutually beneficial to the kingdom as well as the institution. He stated that FUOYE had watched with keen interest the pet project of the traditional ruler on culture and tourism and therefore would not hesitate to tap from it. This, he revealed would be through a proposed establishment of Centre for Culture and Research and Development within the university’s Faculty of Arts. Professor Amu also said the laudable initiative of the monarch in cultural renaissance would be of help to Federal University Oye-Ekiti’s proposed cultural centre.

Earlier, the Dean Faculty of Arts, leader of the cultural troupe and initiator of the programme, Professor Ojo Rasaki Bakare, revealed that the event was made possible through the effort of Mr. Tope Agbeyo who, he said, facilitated the programme right from inception to the execution. Professor Bakare equally stated that as soon as the paper works on the proposed Ooni Centre for Cultural Research and Development were completed, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Kayode Soremekun would personally make the presentation to the Ooni. He gave the assurance that no effort would be spared in actualizing the dream with the assistance of the Royal Father.

Responding, the monarch said he was quite delighted by the initiative of the visiting group, and announced that he would continue to expand his pet project on culture and tourism. He revealed that he was already working out modalities for an annual competition for universities through a Festival of Arts and Culture for all Tertiary Institutions.

According to the Royal Father, part of the social woes that our country suffers today is as a result of neglect for the nation’s rich cultural heritage. He therefore stressed the need to go back to them. He said human cultural potentials especially in Africa were being grossly underutilized hence, his idea of a pet project on cultural rebirth beginning with his kingdom, which he described as a land of expansion. The monarch expressed delight over what he described as an incredible performance by the visiting troupe. He called for sustained peaceful coexistence among people irrespective of race or religion assuring that the relationship between his kingdom and FUOYE would continue to be cordial and mutually beneficial. Even as the relationship is still at cradle stage, the monarch promised to do everything possible to support the young institution in its quest for cultural advancement.

Also speaking, the facilitator of the programme, Mr. Tope Agbeyo said he and other well-meaning citizens would rally round the monarch to ensure that the monarch’s project on culture and tourism turned out a success. He also expressed delight at the performance by the Troupe which he again described as incredible. Mr. Agbeyo viewed his role of facilitation in the entire event as a corporate social responsibility.

The FUOYE cultural troupe thrilled the gathering with a total of six different dances selected from across Nigeria which included Obitun dance, Akoto dance, and Apepe dance. Others were Drum Evocation dance, Ugo dance and Egwu Odum dance as well as an abridged version of the drama, Moremi.

Director, FUOYE Distant Learning Centre, Professor Wole Atere, expressed delight with the monarch’s kind disposition and expressed the willingness of FUOYE to continue to key into his laudable programmes especially on culture and tourism. The Head of Department of Theater and Media Arts, Dr. Femi Adeseye, was on ground to render support to the team alongside other members of staff of the department. The Registrar, Federal University, Mr. D. A. Adeyemo, was at the occasion.

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