By PrISCA SAM-DURU
For Nubia House Arts School, the training platform of Nubia House productions limited, the producers of the popular TV soap opera, Private Sector, Saturday, October 16, 2010 marked a significant water shed in the school’s history as three major events were celebrated.
First, was the first graduation ceremony of its pioneer students. Second, triumph of truth over lies, justice over injustice as evident in the swearing in ceremony of Dr. Fayemi Kayode as duly elected Governor of Ekiti State and third, the nations golden jubilee anniversary.
Most notable among the events is the swearing in ceremony which coincided with the graduation ceremony and almost robbed the organizers, students, parents and invited guests, off their expected fun as the stipulated kick off time was over stretched while everyone awaited the arrival of some of the special guests of honors including the chairman of the occasion who never showed up as a result of his unplanned trip to Ekiti state to witness the all important occasion.
The graduation ceremony which was held at the kanyinsola events centre Dopemu Lagos began at about 2pm with an opening remarks by poet, writer and MD/CEO of NUH, Adebayo Ojo who first noted that Dr Fayemi’s swearing in ceremony and the death of private Sector’s first Executive Producer, Engr. Bola who died 4 days to the events almost disrupted the graduation but could not because the school was determined to go on with the event to celebrate the achievements of the late executive producer and show solidarity to the swearing in ceremony in Ekiti State. A minute silence was however observed in honor of late patron.
Mr Adebayo who admonished the 40 graduates to engage in artistic performances that will help rebrand the nation rather than involve in praise singing activities, added that their talents coupled with the formal training they have acquired, would go a long way to making them model artists.
He further hinted that Nubia House Art School which was established in January 2010 though trailing behind PEFTI, is however aspiring to be in the lead of art and entertainment education in the whole of Africa.
‘’The journey that gave birth to today, started early this year with a small group involved in imperative art for social change and today, we are graduating a total of 38 local and 2 international students. We are well equipped with quality books from all over the world to lecture students on art as a discipline, this is a great achievement if you ask me.’’ He explained.
The first performance by the graduating students was a spectacular rendition of the 8th verse of ejiogbe, in a celebration of drum, percussions and dance. It was a creatively rendered traditional dance drama, sung in Yoruba language, depicting a traditional/historic marriage ceremony in Yoruba land, as the villagers eulogized Orunmila while his son, Ifa entered, blessing the marriage and the people. The performance portrayed the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba race.
Aside the gleeful traditional performances, the graduating students also treated guests to a well packaged African dance steps of the now famous world cup song by Mexican born artist, Shakira, titled, This time for Africa which was given a rousing interpretation in a dance dramatization that many will not forget in a hurry, as the African essence of the song was brought to the fore without taking anything away from the sensual dance and captivating melody.
This was followed by the youth empowerment song sermon tagged, Bang bang bang, originally composed by Tracy Chapman which was redelivered in a solo- and -chorus version. Next was a spellbinding command performance of an excerpt Alapomu from the play, This king must Die by Prof. Ayo Akinwale of the Performing Arts Department of the University of Ilorin. The accompanying songs, dance and drumming were dramatic pieces sufficiently grand in themselves. In all the performances, the graduands displayed a high level of creativity which justified the quality of training they received at the art institute.
Also speaking at the occasion, the director of studies, Mrs. Titilayo Adebayo reiterated the institution’s plan to incorporate graduands who excelled in their various fields of study which include cinematography, acting, photography, video editing, sound engineering, costume and make up, scriptwriting and directing, into future productions of the institute, so as to assist them fulfill their aspirations, instead of wasting away in the labour market.
The Iron Lady as she is fondly called by the students, while boasting of the quality of training the school offers, said that if all talented individuals seeking a chance to become stars in the world of Art could acquire professional education in art, the case of the town taking over the gown would be a forgotten issue since this will result in an increase in the number of high quality productions, thus, throwing touts out of business.
Mrs. Adebayo also highlighted the challenges the school is encountering at present and the journey so far. According to her, fiscal policy, poverty, and disorientation are some of the factors that militate against the smooth operation of a vocation training enterprise
In his remarks earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. James Omolaja Odumbaku who was represented by Mr. Akinniyi Sowunmi praised the school for accomplishing so much within such a short period. Acknowledging the high quality performance put up with great passion and excellence, by the graduating students, Odumbaku argued that it is as an added credibility to the school.
Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of certificates and awards in different categories to deserving students. In the best video editing department, petit dancer and singer Andikan Success received the award; best photography award went to Abdulazeez Abiodun Bamgbose, while the award for best sound engineering dept was received by Dauda. One of the students from Liberia, Linda took the prize for the best student in the acting department, Stella Amaechi Ebere who took the best costume and make up award also emerged the best female graduating students while Temitope was the best male student.
Presenting the awards, Hon Adelabu Onibiyo, a two time member of the Lagos State House of Assembly who represented the Father of the day Engr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, advised the celebrants to be good ambassadors of Nubia Art school who should stand out among the crowd of Artistes in the whole of Africa.