Dr Adebola Ademeso is a senior lecturer and the immediate Head of Department of Theatre Arts and Music, Lagos State University. In this brief interview with OSA AMADI, he shares the contributions the Faculty of Arts and the department has made to the arts the creative industry in Nigeria.
Stage performances within the university
The department of Theatre Arts and Music is always bustling with music and theatrical performances. It’s unfortunate that the media do not give us adequate attention. For instance, throughout last year we had quite a number of performances such as Eniayan, a dance drama for the 2016 convocation, devised and choreographed by Mrs. Yeside Dosumu-Lawal, a dance lecturer. It attracted a large number of audiences who came from outside the university.
•Dr Adebola Ademeso
We also staged Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stooped to Conquer, directed by Mr. Shina Ayodele, a design lecturer. We also had A Resin in the Sun, a black American play written by Lorrin Hansbery and directed by myself, Bola Ademeso. We also did The Sisters by Hammed Yerima, also directed by me. Besides these plays, we had performance workshops by students.
Contributions to the creative industry
The department trains people to be self-reliant and job creators. We have produced quite a number of stars. Steve Onu (aka Yaw) of Wazobia FM is our product. We also produced Ife Salako, another broadcaster. Njoku Chris, Olarotimi Fakunle (a stage actor), Kunle Dada of BBC, Segun Dada, and Obi Martins (a content producer in the media industry) are all products of our department. We have also produced many lecturers who are presently teaching in different universities in Nigeria.
Why visual arts is missing in the department
You know LASU is a developing university. We are hoping that one day the proposal before the Senate now, seeking the establishment of school of performing and visual will be approved. For now, we have theater arts, music, and film studies. Our film study is still at the diploma level. Before the end of his tenure, former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, had commandeered the university to add visual arts to the courses offered in this department. So, I believe we will have it soon. It may interest you to know that we now offer PhD courses in music and in theater arts.
Do PhD students still spend 10 years for a 3 or 4-year program?
The current LASU administration does not give room for any laxity on the part of students and lecturers. I can tell you that within the last 4 years, there has not been any disruption in the academic calendar. The Dean of Post Graduate School is working in tandem with the Vice Chancellor who does not want any delay or disruption of any kind in the academic calendar. In fact, the present administration in PG School has been able to clear a lot of backlogs and had graduated a lot more PhD students than its predecessors. So if a student does not graduate this time, that student should be blamed, not the university. LASU has changed radically in connection to PhD programs and other academic programs.