The Department of Theatre Arts of Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State has vowed to live up to the expectations of its establishment by arousing social change through their theatre performances.
This was revealed recently during the debut performance of two plays – “The First Lady” and “The Honourable Chairman”, written by a member representing Orlu, Osu and Oru East federal constituency in the National Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jerry Alagboso.
The performance of the plays which were a satire of the Nigerian political and academic system was geared towards instilling an ideal level of thinking and consciousness among the Nigerian populace, especially politicians and academics in order to get the country back on track.
The First Lady captured succinctly the typical Nigerian politician’s quest for power, not to improve the society or better the lives of the people but for self-aggrandizement and enrichment. It also exemplified the transient nature of power, and the need for politicians and those at the corridors of power to use the opportunity they have been afforded to do worthwhile things.
The Honourable Chairman depicted the mad rush for honourary doctorate degrees by most Nigerian politicians and the complicity of the academic world in the scheme despite the fact that most of the awardees lack intellectual capacity and good social standing. Yet, the honourari causa are given to them because of their fat bank accounts.
Speaking after the highly entertaining, educating and hilarious performance by the 100-level Theatre Arts students, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba extolled the playwright for his intellectualism despite the demands of his office as a legislator and the department for equipping the students with such sellable skills in a short time.
He added that the performance of the two plays could not have come at a better time than now that the University is verifying the certificates of its workers to determine their authenticity.
He advised staff with forged certificates and those working and doing their National Youth Service Corps at the same time to resign from the University immediately before the long arms of the law catch up with them at the conclusion of the exercise by the Certificate Verification Committee.
In his remarks, the playwright, Hon. Alagboso expressed his satisfaction with the extraordinary performances of the cast and crew despite the notable challenges posed by non-availability of a drama theatre in the University, advising them to continue to practice and develop themselves in order to be the best in their chosen field.
He further pledged his full legislative support for the growth and advancement of the University especially in building a befitting Art theatre for the University.
The highpoint of the event was a donation of N100, 000 each by Prof. Nwajiuba and Engr. Chibueze Idam respectively, and N500, 000 by Hon. Alagboso to the theatre arts students for their impressive performances.