The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) and Course Lecturer, Research Methods in Theatre and Cultural Studies (TCS 701) of the Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Administration (PGDCA) Programme, NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has identified the need for cultural research as one of the key research areas for the 2016/2017  PDGCA students to choose from in their theses, saying, “since you are in the culture sector, the concept of culture is very vital, and writing a thesis in this area, which  your establishments would be proud of is necessary/encouraged”.

He stated this in a lecture with new batch of students of the 2016/2017 academic session of the NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, on Cultural Research Methodology, at the Institute’s Headquarters, No. 23 Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja-FCT, on Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.

Starting with Edward Tylor’s definition of the culture as, ”the totality of the way of   life of a people”, Prof. Ayakoroma stated that culture entails the language, beliefs, norms, values, religion of a people and how they organise themselves and control their environment, adding that culture emerges as shared historical experiences of given societies, which are continuous and ever changing and developing, and that culture gives a people an identity.

He listed areas of Cultural Research, ranging from indigenous languages, proverbs and aphorisms, festivals, foods, marriages, chieftaincy institutions, burials, ritual practices, ancestral worship, kinship and kingship, socio-political culture, religious and aesthetic life, on one hand; and enumerate acting, directing, dance and choreography, theatre design, lighting and sound design, costume and make-up design, production publicity, stage management, house management, marketing, etc. in Theatre and Literary Research, on the other. 

The astute cultural administrator, cited the Cultural Policy for Nigeria (CPN) enacted in 1988 as a resource material, which identifies four aspects of culture, namely, material, institutional, philosophical and creative cultures, as all encompassing, but decried the inability to review such documents, as recommended by UNESCO.

He further looked at the concept of cultural heritage, as, ”tangible and intangible cultural materials inherited from generation to generation was given”, citing examples like cultural resources, practices, industries, languages, festivals, and so on.

Concluding, the NICO boss highlighted some common research problems for beginners, which included, where to begin, the scope and limitation of the research, designing effective strategy, method to adopt for data collection, how to carry out data analysis, and how to justify the contribution to knowledge.

The 2-hour lecture had in attendance students drawn from sister cultural Parastatals, including Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC); National Gallery of Art (NGA); National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC); National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), and Kebbi Sate History & Culture Bureau, among others.

Njideka Dimgba

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