The Vice Chancellor of the Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi, Professor Charity Ashimem Angya, on Thursday, March 14, 2013, joined the league of those who have lived for five decades and was celebrated in grand style by the academia in Makurdi, the Benue State Capital.
At the event, which was held at the College of Health Sciences Auditorium, BSU, Makurdi, and attended by accomplished academics, the book, titled, “Difficult Dialogues in Development – A Festschrift: Charity Ashimem Angya, edited by Gowon Ama Doki and Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, and put together by the Department of Theatre Arts, Benue State University and the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), was presented to the public in honour of the celebrant in recognition of her continued service to, and patronage of the Arts.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Central Planning Committee and Head of Theatre Arts Department, Dr. Gowon Ama Doki, said whenever an individual attains 50 years of age with corresponding milestones of achievements, such an individual deserves to be celebrated, stressing that 50 years in the life of any individual is no mean feat.
Explaining the involvement of NICO in the public presentation of the festschrift in honour of the celebrant, Doki maintained that the book was a product of a collaboration between NICO and the Theatre Arts Department of the University, to honour a theatre Amazon, the first Tiv spinster to bag a PhD and the first female theatre artist to become a vice chancellor in Nigeria.
In his remark, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, expressed pleasure to be part of such a noble project, saying although he was sceptical about getting involved in the project, the quality of the presentations and the line-up of academic giants, prompted him to avail himself for the project. His words: “It was in far away Cape Town that Dr. Doki requested that I join him in this project. I was sceptical at first but when he sent me the articles and I saw the quality of academic giants in the collection, I had no option than to jump into the train.”
He stated that although the NICO had identified with the production of the book, the Institute is proud to be making history as the official partners of the Theatre Arts Department of Benue State University in the public presentation of the festschrift in honour of a great actress, theatre critic and playwright, Professor Charity Ashimem Angya, as she clocked 50 years.
He maintained that since the Institute has the mandate of training cultural workers towards the award of Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Administration, the book will remain invaluable to candidates and therefore acquired twenty copies of the festschrift for the Training School Library of the Institute.
It is interesting to note that the 33-chapter festschrift has rich contributions from very seasoned and dynamic scholars of different fields in the academia across Nigeria, which ensured that the quality of the content of the book remains a delectable feast.
Dignitaries present at the occasion include the President, Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA) and Head, Department of Theatre Arts, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, former Vice Chancellor of Benue State University and Current Vice Chancellor, Veritas University, Abuja, Professor David Ker, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Benue State University, Professor Nicholas Ada, former Head, Department of Theatre Arts, University of Port-Harcourt, Professor Emmanuel Emasealu, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Alex Asigbo, Director. Nnamdi Azikiwe University Centre for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, Professor Tracie Utoh-Ezeajugh, and immediate past Head, Department of Theatre and Film Arts, University of Jos, Professor Irene Salami-Agunloye, amongst others.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, was accompanied by Deputy Director/Special Assistant to the ES, Hon. Nelson Campbell, and other support staff of the Institute.