The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has been conferred an Award in Artistic Excellence by the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA), the umbrella body of Theatre Arts lecturers in Nigerian Universities and other Tertiary Institutions.
The President of SONTA, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, who presented the award to Dr. Ayakoroma, at a Gala Nite to mark the SONTA Jubilee Conference at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, said, the Society decided to honour the ES, alongside others, who have done a lot for SONTA and the theatre industry, in addition to rendering selfless service to the Nigerian society.
Professor Dandaura said: “SONTA has deemed it fit to reward those, who are helping us to realize our aims and objectives. The awardees have done a lot to encourage SONTA. That is why we are giving them the awards to let them know that we appreciate them and what they are doing to SONTA. They really merit the awards.”
While presenting the award to Dr. Ayakoroma, the SONTA President said, “Dr. Ayakoroma, the ES of NICO, is one of us, who value culture and theatre so much in Nigeria. He has continuously aided SONTA in all our activities. He is a cultural administrator and despite all his schedules apart from the help he gives to SONTA, he has always been present in all the activities of SONTA. When he is busy, he sends representatives. He has really encouraged theatre and excellence in NICO. So, I use the powers conferred on me, as the President of SONTA to confer on him the Artistic Excellence Award.”
Others, who were also given awards include, the Vice-Chancellor, Benue State University, Makurdi, Professor Charity Angya (Fellow); former Ambassador of Nigeria to Canada, Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Ashiwaju Jerry Alagbaoso, and Lady Elenda Osima-Dukubo (Award of Honour in Cultural Arts); Mr. Chris Mammah, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, Prince Emeka Obasi, and Mr. Dan Okolo (Artistic Excellence Award); Dr. Sunday Ojong Onor, Professor James Epoke, Professor Eka Braide, Dr. Gregory Ibe, and Professor Sunday Peters (Excellence in Leadership Award); Hon. Alex Egbona, Mr. Onwuka Meregini, Elder Bolaji Anani, Obong Umana Okon Umana, and Chief Diamond Ovueraye (Pacesetter Award); Mr. Arnold Udoka, Hon. Etetim Anwatim, and Mr. Essang Nsa Bassey (Great Achievers’ Award); Chief Edem Duke, Senator Liyel Imoke, and Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio (Distinguished Leadership Award); while the founding Head of Department of Theatre Arts, University of Calabar, and father of Technical Theatre in Nigeria, Mr. Dexter Lyndersay, was given a Post Humous Award, which was received by Professor Molinta Enendu.
It will be recalled that Dr. Ayakoroma was conferred the Life Time Achievement Award by SONTA in 2011, during its Conference in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and by that award, he was inducted into the SONTA Hall of Fame.