Ayade commends Unical’s inclusion of carnival studies to curriculum

…as ADSPON Holds AGM in Calabar

By Kingsley Agim

Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade has commended the University of Calabar, under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Zana Akpagu, for including, the first-of-its-kind, Carnival Studies to the curriculum of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies.

The Governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Orientation, Dr. Aye Henshaw, gave the commendation at the Association of Dance Scholars and Practitioners of Nigeria Conference and Annual General Meeting, held recently at the University of Calabar.

Governor Ayade said the timing of the Conference was “auspicious,” as it comes at a period (December) where the State is meshed in the ecstasies of the month-long glitzy and glamorous Carnival Calabar festivities.

“I like to commend the dynamic leadership of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu, for the partnership which has led to the addition of Carnival Studies, first time in the country, to the curriculum of the Department of Theatre Arts. This, the State Government could not have done without, because apart from adding to the curriculum, the Carnival Calabar, in terms of content, has gained considerably from the partnership with resource persons from the University, serving as adjudicators and in several other capacities,” the Governor remarked.

Governor Ayade, who emphasized on society’s dependence on the universities for new ideas and expansion of knowledge, expressed hope that recommendations from the conference to help enrich content of the carnival and add impetus to the development of Carnival Calabar and tourism in the State.

In his remarks, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Calabar, Prof. Offiong Ani, welcomed participants to the conference, the University and the ancient city of Calabar, assuring them that in line with the theme – “Dance, Carnival and Tourism Development,” scholarly presentations and other deliberations at the event, would help in advancing these all-important areas in the entertainment and tourism industry.

Also speaking, the Head of Department of the Theatre, Film and Carnival Studies Department, University of Calabar and Convener of the Conference, Prof. Emmy Ikanaba Idegu, who defined a dancer as “anybody that ever moves he body to synchronize to the given sound of music, said beyond that, ADSPON is a gathering of dancers, scholars and practitioners.

Prof. Idegu expressed delight at the honour of hosting this year’s edition of the conference, adding that “when it comes to carnivals in Africa, Carnival Calabar is unrivalled.”

He described the theme of the conference as apt, noting that at the end of the 3-day event, justice will be done to the theme and subthemes, while welcoming delegates to the all-important event.

Earlier in his address, the President of the Association, Prof. Jaleel Ojuade, pointed out that the choice of Calabar for the conference stemmed from its coincidence with the internationally-acclaimed Carnival Calabar Festival that draws tourists and fun-seekers from across the world to the ancient city at this time of the year.

Prof. Ojuade said Carnival as a factor in our society’s development needs adequate promotion and support; hence the conference is for stakeholders, scholars and practitioners to interrogate the dance and carnival, to put a lens to their contributions to sustainable development of tourism in Nigeria’s socio-cultural and economic environment.

He thanked all contributors towards the success of the conference for their painstaking contributions and wished delegates a memorable event in Calabar.
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