A playwright and actress, Bikiya Graham-Douglas, on Thursday appealed to stakeholders in the arts sector to create platforms for the training of young people in the theatre and film industry.
Graham-Douglas told newsmen in Lagos that catching artists young would enable them to learn fast and become professionals.
She said there was the need to establish theatre arts’ schools where experienced practitioners could train the youths in the sector.
She said that most of the tertiary institutions did not have people that could be classified as hands-on- the-job.
“Unfortunately, there is also a handful of professional schools and this is an impediment.
“Having more theatre schools will be the right thing to do to train our young people in the arts sector.
“If we have these professional schools, it will enhance the contribution of arts to Nigeria’s economy,’’ she said.
The actress recalled that in her secondary school days at Abonnema in Rivers, drama was a vital part of the school.
“It is from there that I discovered my special interest and love for drama; and I made up my mind that I was going to explore it later in life.
“I was exposed to drama at a very young age; it was part of our curriculum then and we had our drama and dance teachers.
“We were able to understand what performing and other arts are,’’ she said.
Graham-Douglas, however, expressed doubt if drama, dance and others still formed many primary and secondary schools’ curriculum at present.
“If young people develop the passion for dance, acting and other arts, where do they go to train and learn them?
“Our educational system needs an overhaul; many things need to change in our educational scheme.
“For the arts to be recognised, it has to be a very integral part of the educational structure.
“It has to be an important part of the educational system in Nigeria,’’ she said.
She urged the government at all levels to address the issue.
“Let government change the policy and make arts a core subject because arts is important in our curriculum. It uses to be in the past, “she said.
Our correspondent reports that Graham-Douglas is the founder and the CEO of Beeta Universal Arts Foundation.
She is a playwright, a producer, businesswoman and an awards winning Nigerian actress.
She had acted in “Flower Girl” and “Lunch Time Heroes” movies.
Monarch Calls For Peaceful Yuletide Celebration, As Community Buries Traditional Ruler
The Paramount ruler of Emohua kingdom in Rivers State, Ohna (Sir) Sergent Awuse, has called for peaceful celebrations of christmas and new year, as he enjoined the youths to be law abiding and shun violence during the festive period.
The first class traditional ruler made the call last Saturday, while preforming the Ohna Emohua burial rights in respect of late Ohna (Hon) Emmanuel A. Obinna at Mgbuitanwo in Emohua community, amidst jubilation for a life well lived.
Ohna Awuse, the Olo IV, Nneweli Emohua XIII urged the people of the community to always uphold and showcase the age long culture and tradition of Emohua Clan. He stressed that their culture is their identity and way of life and a community without culture and tradition is like a sheep without Shepherd.
The monarch noted that late Ohna Emmanuel Obinna would be remembered for his role in promoting the ancient culture and tradition of Emohua. He stated that his demise had left a big vaccum in Emohua kingdom, but the legacies he left behind would live after him.
In his vote of thanks, his successor and acting head of Mgbu Owhor community in Emohua, Chief V.C. Obinna, thanked the Ohna supreme council for the honour they gave to their departed colleague by giving him a befeating burial in line with the culture and tradition of Ohna Emohua, the highest traditional institution in Emohua kingdom. Which the late traditional ruler championed in his life time on earth.
Chief V.C Obinna maintained that apart from being a foremost traditionalist, he was also a devout Christian who contributed immensely to the growth of the Christian faith in Emohua community and beyond.
Also speaking at the well attended event, the chief mourner, Dr Weli Obinna reiterated that his late father lived an upright life, those he left behind would take solace in God because their father and mentor lived a fulfilled life he came, he saw and he conquered to the glory of God and left the scene at the ripe age of 92.
By: Jacob Obinna
Rivers Set For Yuletide Celebration Despite Odds
As this year’s Christmas and New year celebrations beckon, The Tide investigations have revealed that most of the residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital and its environs are not enthusiastic about the Christmas and new year celebrations. Most of the people interviewed expressed the feelings of solemn and gloomy festive period due to the prevailing economic hardship in the country.
One of the respondents, Mr. Solomon Duru, a civil servant resident at the D-Line axis of the city, complained of the rising cost of staple foods in the market, such as rice, beans, tomato, yam etc. which were sold at exubitant prices and had made it extremely difficult to provide two square meals for his family of five, “It is life first before celebration,” he said.
Another respondent who sells garri at Mile One Market, Diobu , Port Harcourt, Madam Dorathy Duke maintained that garri which used to be the poor man’s food has become the rich man’s food. According to her, a basin of garri that was sold for #3000.00 is now sold for between #7000.00 and #8000.00, while five cups of garri that used to be sold for #200.00 now cost #500.00.
“Even at the prevailing price today, garri has become a scarce commodity even when you succeed in getting it, there are no buyers , there is trouble in the country, Nigeria has now become Ghana of those days when they ran to Nigeria to take refuge due to their poor economy , but today the reverse is the case, may God help us”, she said.
A transporter in Abali Park, Mile1, Mr. Sunday Udo, lamented the lack of patronage due to the hike in transport fares as a result of the unprecendented rise in petrol and other petrolum products. He stressed that even vulcanizers and mechanics are in trouble as patronage from car owners decrease every day due to poor economy.
It was the same woefull story when The Tide visited a supermarket attendant along Aba/ Port Harcourt Express Road who pleaded anonymity. He disclosed that it was no longer business as usuall as most of their customers had disappeared due to the increase in the price of goods. “We record poor sales daily to the extent that the management has decided to reduce the workforce, my brother, it is double wahala for dead body” according to Fela”, he said.
However, a mass communication student of the Rivers State University Port Harcourt, Mr. Abel Dike, noted that Nigerians were used to suffering and smiling, so this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations would come and go, this year would not be different despite the sufferings. People would still enjoy themselves even with their last kobo.
“People will still go to catch fun with their loved ones at their favourite relaxation joints, hangouts, cinemas, amusement parks and night clubs. Residential houses, churches and public places will also wear new looks with Christmas trees, lights and other decorations, even communities are ready to mark their annual carnivals, beach parties, cultural and masquerade dances as well as wrestling competitions and other social activities to mark the festive period, so I believe all is not lost despite the bad economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pastor Silas Wosa of St. Pauls Anglican Church Diobu noted that Christian faithfulls all over the world would celebrate the Christmas. “Christmas is the biggest celebration and holiday every year, because it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of God who came to the world to redeem mankind” he stressed.
By: Jacob Obinna
2022 Christmas: Festival Galore In Port Harcourt, Bayelsa
As the 2022 Christmas season draws closer, events have continued to fly in the air, festivities have become the centre of attraction in the Garden City of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The common fact that the hike in the prices of goods and food stuff are now triple the usual costs in the market is yet to put a halt on turns of event going on, in and around the state to celebrate the Christmas season
However, Shabach Dance Academy, Port Harcourt held her All White Carol, Awards and Dinner event on Wednesday, which also, witnessed the presence of Itohan Agbator, Nigerian Idol Top 5 Finalist and Founder of Itohan Teens Talent Initiative as a Special Guest at the occasion, where she sang Oh Holy Night to give the occasion that flavour of Christmas.
She congratulated the award winners and encouraged all the dancers to keep working hard in following their dreams for future feats.
Meanwhile,the Organiser of the event, Mr Oliver Emmanuel, thanked all Shabach Dance Members and parents for gracing the event. He also appreciated Itohan (Baby Dragon) for gracing the event and showing support to young talents always.
Also, today, in Bayelsa State, the Government House will be entertained with the performance of the Garden City Choir for her Carol event tagged Bayelsa State Christmas Carol of Nine Lessons.
The Director, Garden City Choir, Isaac Iwuoha, who is also the Assistant Choir Master, St. Cyprian Anglican Church, Port Harcourt disclosed this to The Tide Entertainment, yesterday.
He explained that logistics have already been put in place for his group to perform at the event.
Meanwhile, organiser of the Abuloma Beach Party at Sand City, Abuloma, Iweriso Godbless, has confirmed that the second edition of the fiesta will hold on Monday.
According to him, the event which was a one-day event last year, would now hold for two days, on 26th and 27th December respectively, as it promises to feature Artistes such as M. I.C, Gbenga Owolo, Splendid and up coming artiste, Teekay to perform at the beach party.
By: Nancy Briggs
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