Redeemer’s University, Mowe, Ogun State, on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, held its first-ever Inaugural Lecture at the ultra-modern 5,000 capacity hall of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Youth Centre before an enthralled audience, with one of Nigeria’s doyen of culture, Professor Ahmed Parker Yerima, presenting a lecture, titled, “Refracted Universe, Alternative Realities – The Artist as gOD.”
In it, Professor Yerima examined the power of human imagination and the creativity of the artist within given cultural contexts, as exemplified by his over 30 creative works, arguing that the works had been products of his cultural environment and that the artist, in turn, also creates his own environment through his works.
According to Yerima, the artist is endowed with God-given creative abilities that enable him to alter his socio-economic and political realities for the good or detriment of society, and that this virtue qualifies the artist as a god, since he “uses words strung together to tell a story, to document his observations and criticize society particularly on moral ineptitude,” which in turn cause changes internally in individuals, leading to social changes.
The lecturer concluded that since the artist, by the power of inspiration, shares the creative essence of God, the artist through his works that entertain, educate and instruct should be critical of the socio-political reality of his society in a responsible and constructive way.
Earlier in his Address, the Vice-Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Professor Z. Debo Adeyewa, said that by launching the Inaugural Lectures series, the institution was set to make known its academic programmes par excellence, in order to showcase the relevance of its research works with societal needs.
According to him, the Inaugural Lecture series will provide a platform to showcase and celebrate the university’s professors just as it is an avenue to inform colleagues, the campus community, and the general public of their professorial accomplishments, including current research and future plans, and that the inaugural lecturer, his/her department, and the University as a whole, stand to benefit.
Dignitaries present at the occasion included Aibonogie of South Ibie Kingdom, Edo State, HRH Alhaji Aliyu K. Danese, the Traditional Ruler of Shimawa, Shagamu, Ogun State, His Royal Majesty, Oba Gbenga Sonuga, a traditional chief from Ede, Osun State, Chief Yemi Adeyemi, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Duro Oni, Head, Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Foluke Ogunleye, National President of Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA), Professor Sunday Ododo, veteran Nollywood stars, Olu and Joke Jacobs, Bimbo Manuel, Principal Officers of Redeemer’s University, lecturers and students.
The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) was also well represented at the occasion in solidarity with the Director, NICO Training School, Mrs. Brigitte Yerima, who is the wife of the inaugural lecturer.
The NICO team, led by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, included Director, Administration & Human Resources, Barr. Abayomi Oyelola, mni, Director, Lagos Liaison Office, Mr. Louis Eriomala, Acting Director/SA-ES, Mr. Nelson Campbell, Acting Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omije, and Alhaji Bashiru Mohammed of the Academic Unit of NICO Training School, among other NICO staffers.
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