Professor Lawrence Olanrele Bamidele (LOB) of the Department of Theatre Arts of Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, has been described as a thoroughbred scholar, who has contributed immensely to Nigeria’s educational system through his competence in teaching, research and mentoring of many teachers.

Professor Dele Layiwola, Director of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, as Chairman of the Opening Ceremony of the LOB @ 70 Conference with the theme, The Arts and The Performance of Culture, on Friday, 30th November, 2015 at the UI Arts Theatre, stated this, saying Bamidele has used his teaching skills to contribute to the growth of not only Nigerian theatre but to the entire Nigerian literary scene.

His words: “Professor Bamidele is a thoroughbred scholar. He is really a man to describe as a teacher. He taught from primary school to secondary school to College of Education and the university. He is very humble and has mentored students who have grown to become professors. He has supervised many students ranging from first degree to masters and PhD. He has written extensively on Nigerian theatre and literature.”

Continuing, Layiwola said: “The truth is that he has contributed to Nigerian educational system with his thoroughness in teaching and mentoring of students who grow up to become teachers. This is very interesting. Thank you very much, the students of Bamidele as well as friends and family members for thinking that it is worth the while to honour him.”

Dr. Tunde Awosanmi, Head, Department of Theatre Arts, UI, who corroborated this added that this thoroughness has kept Professor Bamidele going because upon retirement, the Department has had  engage him in order to benefit more from his knowledge.

“Indeed, he is an academician to the core. He is a teacher you will be very glad to associate with. He has supervised the highest number of post graduate students in the history of our department. He is so meticulous that he knows the students and their matriculation numbers,” Awosanmi said.

Professor John S. Illah, of the University of Jos, in his keynote lecture, titled, “Franchising the Arts… Tokenizing the People: The Trauma of Cultural Transmission,” asserted that Bamidele has really used his teaching skills to profess Nigerian Arts, Literature and Sociology; while Professors Victor Dugga of the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, and Gbemisola Adeoti of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in their papers, “King’s Throne and Royal Escapism” and “Performing African Culture Between The Myth And The ‘Meat’ Globalization,”  respectively, showered accolades on Bamidele’s feat in theatre and literary scholarship.

The papers presented at the plenary sessions addressed various areas of arts of the theatre, literature, sociology, film, dance, music and so on, including the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Associate Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma’s paper, entitled, “One Plot, Different Tittles and Tales of Confusion in Nollywood Films: The Examples of Bobmanuel Anosike’s Twins but not Brothers, Twins in Sorrow and Battle of Twins,” which highlight the problems of using one plot that runs through many films and titling them as different films Nollywood; while Law Ikay Ezeh’s paper, “The Role of Theatre in the Diffusion of Culture,” captures how theatre disseminates various aspects of culture, as exemplified in selected plays of Barclays Ayakoroma.

Others present at the event were Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi (University of Ibadan), Professor Ameh Dennis Akoh (Osun State University), Dr. Matthew Umukoro (UI), Mr. Sola Balogun (Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State), Mr. Tunde Obalana (National President, NANTAP).

Nwagbo Pat Obi

NICO Training School

Abuja Study Centre