By: Racheal Ogunmuyiwa
…Prof. M. M. Umukoro describes Wole Soyinka as an institution
The University of Ibadan has on Tuesday, unveiled the Arts Theatre as Wole Soyinka Theatre while it also renamed the practical theatre as Geoffrey Axworthy Studio.
This took place alongside the 2nd Geoffrey Axworthy Memorial Lecture delivered by Prof. Ahmed Yerima titled, Geoffrey Axworthy and the Modern Nigerian Theatre.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University; Prof. Abel I. Olayinka said that the decision which was recommended by the Department of Theatre Arts to the university authorities has been achieved because the institution “believes in giving honour to whom it is due whether dead or living”.
Meanwhile, the Head of Department, Theatre Arts; Prof. M. M. Umukoro in his preliminary remarks has described Wole Soyinka as an institution.
He said, “Wole Soyinka is Wole Soyinka. Any attempt to add a title is to diminish his personality which on its own is an institution.”
Speaking further, Prof. Umukoro reiterated the contributory efforts of late Geoffrey Axworthy who was the founding director of the School of Drama of the University in 1962 and Wole Soyinka who was the first head of the department upon its transformation in 1970 to the Department of Theatre Arts.
In attendance were Emeritus Prof. Femi Osofisan; Professors J.P Clark, Femi Soyinka, Demola Dasylva, K. K. Olosho, Julie Umukoro, Dele Layiwola, Segun Ojewuyi, Keye Abiona; principal officers of the university, among others.