The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services, University of Lagos, Professor Duro Oni, has commended the efforts of Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, as the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), describing him as a scholar of repute, who has contributed immensely to Nigeria’s cultural development.
Speaking on Friday, 16th August, 2013, as the chairman at the 4th NICO Annual Public Lecture, which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, Professor Oni added that Ayakoroma has also contributed to the growth of the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood.
He said this informed why NICO, under the Ayakoroma administration, has continuously pursued and promoted the mandate of the Institute with deep understanding and appreciation of the place of culture and arts in Nigeria.
According to him, it was the tremendous respect he had for Ayakoroma that informed his not hesitating to chair the event, when he was contacted to do so, adding that other reasons for accepting the responsibility were that the topic of the lecture was of great interest to him and the Guest Lecturer, Professor Ayo Akinwale, was a scholar he had known over three decades.
Continuing, he asserted that the title of the lecture, “Nollywood as a Medium for the Promotion of Nigeria’s Cultural Diplomacy,” was not only timely but significant, because Nigerian video films were the leading form of Nigerian popular culture and that Nollywood had become a major phenomenon in the art circuit, shown in major cities of Africa and among Africans in the Diaspora, just as they have equally become a potent tool for Nigeria’s cultural diplomacy.
He further stated that the choice of Professor Ayo Akinwale to deliver the lecture was apt, because he was one scholar that had effectively combined scholarship with practice, and that his foray into the Department of Performing Arts, University of Ilorin, in the past three decades, had produced generations of performing artistes and scholars and that it afforded him an opportunity to bring to bear his decades of academic and practical theatre experience.
Nwagbo Pat Obi