The University of Ibadan on Tuesday renamed its Arts Theatre after Wole Soyinka, a day after the Obafemi Awolowo University made a similar gesture in honour of the Nobel laureate.
UI also renamed its Practical Theatre Geoffrey Axworthy Studio. Mr Axworthy was the founding Director of the premier university’s School of Drama in 1962.
When that school was transformed to the Department of Theatre Drama in 1970, Mr Soyinka became the pioneer Head.
The honours, the Vice-Chancellor, Idowu Olayinka said, received the approval of the Senate.
Mr Olayinka, in his remarks, said his administration has the sole belief in honouring the university’s icons and heroes for their great works and feats achieved, which he said have furthermore placed the University on the radar of global recognition.
He also recalled the renaming of the Central Administration Complex after the late Prof. Tekna Tamuno who was the first alumnus to become the Vice Chancellor of the university.
“Now that the Arts Theatre is being renamed, we are hopeful that the new vision for Wole Soyinka Theatre will be realised sooner than later with the active support of benevolent philanthropists and well-meaning corporate organisations, “ he said.
Mr Soyinka expressed appreciation to the school for the honour bestowed on him and recalled the challenges the Theatre Arts Departments faced at its formative stage.
Mr Soyinka alumnus of UI where he studied between 1952 and 1954. He, however, did not have a degree from Ibadan. Instead, Mr Soyinka holds a United Kingdom’s Leeds University Bachelor’s degree.
Yesterday, at OAU, Mr Soyinka’s official residence was renamed the Wole Soyinka Museum.
Mr Soyinka, now an emeritus professor at OAU, taught at UI, OAU and the University of Lagos, three of Nigeria’s preeminent universities.
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