The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma has described former Arts Editor of Daily Sun Newspaper, Mr. Sola Balogun as a Nigerian, whose commitment and determination to contribute to the development of Nigerian culture made him succeed as a cultural journalist.

Stating this in Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State during Balogun’s 50th birthday and 20th Wedding Anniversary over the weekend at the University Auditorium, Ayakoroma, who was chairman of the occasion, said that Sola Balogun made an outstanding imprint in the media, as a versatile arts and culture journalist, rising through the ranks to become an arts editor before moving over to academics.

Ayakoroma, who is also a visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), further said that Balogun, through his reportorial and editorial abilities, had also contributed immensely to the Nigerian literary scene just as he did the culture sector.

The cultural administrator stated: “I have known Sola Balogun (SB) for a very long time. He has this love towards arts and culture. I taught him in his second year in the Department of Theatre Arts, at the University of Ibadan. Then, as an arts and culture journalist in Nigeria, I followed up on his career. He is a good writer; he has determination to succeed in whatever he does; it reflects in his stories on arts and culture. He is into advocacy and developmental journalism. I recall that when I was in charge of Bayelsa State Arts Council, we depended on Sola Balogun (and Patrick Nwagbo Obi), to see our news stories in various print media. With this, I can say without equivocation that, Balogun has contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian arts and culture sector. Furthermore, as an arts editor in The Sun Newspaper, he contributed invaluably to the growth of those who worked under him.”

Continuing, he said: “Now that he is in academics, he is also doing very well. This is obvious in his play, “Withered Seed” that was staged as part of the birthday event. I want to congratulate the students for such a fine performance. You have celebrated the birthday, as far as I am concerned.”

Meanwhile, students of the Department of Theatre and Media Arts of the University performed “Withered Seed,” a play written by Sola Balogun, which uses the themes of love, tolerance in marriage, unity and peace to dramatize the current security challenges facing in the country, where the Boko Haram insurgents have used bombings to cause panic in northern Nigeria.

The event had in attendance the Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Professor Bakare Ojo Rasaki, Professor Bayo Oloyode, Professor Emeka Eze, Dr. ‘Bifatife Olufemi Adeseye and other lecturers in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts of the University, parents, siblings and the children of Sola Balogun and his wife, as well as Mr. Law Ikay Ezeh of NICO Training School, Lagos.

Nwagbo Pat Obi

NICO Training School

Abuja Study Centre