By– Adeniran Olawale
The third edition of the Faculty of Arts Red Carpet Speaker Series took off on Monday, 31st July at the Arts Theatre, University of Ibadan. The programme which is currently in its third year had had respected individuals and notable Nigerians as speakers.
Some of the previous speakers include the likes of Dr. Reuben Abati- former special adviser to the presidency, Mr. Yomi Layinka- current special adviser to the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Austen Peters- Founder/CEO of Terra Culture, Mrs. Taiwo Ajayi Lycett- renowned actress and Mr. Richard Mofe Damijo- Actor, Lawyer and Former Delta State commissioner for Culture and Tourism, to list a few.
According to the convener, Olusegun Ojewuyi, an award winning International Director and Professor of Theatre at Southern Illinois University in the United States of America, “The Red Carpet Speaker series III underscores our unwavering conviction that the production of artistic and creative work is no longer to be approached as a past time”. He further said, ”we seek to change the narrative of the creative industry by building new competencies and platforms to empower our youth for the fast changing and increasingly competitive market… our immediate initiative is to motivate and equip students, Nigeria’s youth and future leaders with the tools to transition from academics to successful professional and cooperative citizenship”
The first speaker of this year’s red carpet series, Okey Ndibe, a US-based Nigerian writer, novelist and essayist also thrilled audiences with wonderful stories and speeches. Among which was Nigerian reader condemning ambiguity in his writings. He, however refer to Ambiguity as an interesting work of arts and he said he prefer that his readers do not know the exact action that concludes his stories as that makes his more interesting.
The author of Foreign Gods, Inc.and Arrows of Rains, The Memoir, Never Look an American in the eye: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and The Making of a Nigerian American, and co-editor(with Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove) of Writers Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa, also spoke about the mediocre attitudes of Nigerians and usage of God’s name to cover mediocrity. He further asserted that when you ask a Nigerian Engineer if the construction will last long, the Engineer would answer saying, ”by God’s grace”. He said it should not be so that if done well, there should be assurances of safety.
On Friday and Saturday, Don Pedro Obaseki, Enogie-Isi of Benin Kingdom, a film maker, Playwright, Media Consultant and Olawale Ashimi, aka Brymo, International songwriter, composer, Recording artist will be welcomed as Speakers for the Red Carpet Speaker Series respectively.
It shoud be noted that this year’s special guest is Mr. Toye Arulogun, the Oyo State Honourable Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism.