A 2-Day International Conference with the theme, “Media Studies in Nigeria: Genesis and Detours,” in honour of foremost Nigerian film scholar, Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, opens Thursday, 26th November, 2015 at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

A statement by the Conference Conveners, Professor Onookome Okome of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and Professor Marcel Okhakhu of the University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria, indicated that two keynote lectures will be delivered after the opening ceremony by Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Abuja, Nigeria, and Professor Jonathan Haynes of Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, New York, USA.

According to the release, Ayakoroma will be speaking on the topic, “Instant Miracles, Poetic Justice, ‘To God Be the Glory’: Reflections on Developments in Nollywood;” while Haynes will focus on “Nollywood and Nollywood Studies.”

It will be recalled that, at the centre of the boom in media scholarship in Ibadan was the then young scholar, Hyginus Ekwuazi, who was just making a radical transition from the Department of English to the Department of Theatre Arts, the premiere centre for performance studies in Nigeria.

After a BA degree in English in 1978, Ekwuazi came to media studies in extraordinary circumstances, taking a doctoral degree in media history and criticism in the Department of Theatre Arts, the first of its kind in Nigeria; and as part of his training in the science and art of cinema, he was an exchange student at the University of Pennsylvania, USA and enrolled as a student at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.

Soon after his PhD, he took a position in Ibadan and since then, he has tutored and mentored a school of students, many of whom obtained PhDs in media studies and have gone out to teach in other Nigerian universities and elsewhere in the world.

But he is not just a scholar of film, with deep knowledge in the areas of film criticism and theory; his PhD dissertation, which he submitted at the University of Ibadan, remains the reference point for anyone interested in the history of film in Nigeria.

Ekwuazi was the pioneer Director of the Nigerian Film Institute (NFI), which is housed in the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC); it is the first Institute of its kind to offer courses leading to Diploma and the BA degree in the practice of filmmaking in Nigeria. Kenneth Gyan, the director of the brilliant film, B for Boys, graduated from this Institute.

Professor Ekwuazi, who also served as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation for a term of four years, has produced, written and directed a number of films both as the Managing Director of NFC and as an independent producer.

The media conference and the book of essays that will be based on it, celebrate the scholar, poet, friend and teacher extraordinaire, Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi, as a small number of essays will be devoted to the role that he played in the making of the Ibadan School of Media Studies.

© Nico news