Department of The Performing Arts

About Department of The Performing Arts

The Department of the Performing Arts of the University of Ilorin was established in 1981 with a student strength of 16 and 3 pioneering academic staff. The pioneering academic staff was made up of Professor A. A. Mensah, Dr.  Akanji Nasiru (now Professor) and Mr Yulisa Amadu Maddy. Professor A. A. Mensah was the pioneering Head of Department.  12 other direct entry students later joined the 16 students the following year.  In 1983, Dr. (Mrs.) Zulu Sofola (later Professor and  now late) who joined the Department  from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria became the Head of Department until 1988 when Professor Akanji Nasiru alternated with Professor Zulu Solfola as Acting Head of Department between 1988 and 1998. This phase of stability in the development of the Performing Arts marked the enlistment of Mrs. Bunmi Babarinde-Hall from U.S.A. to teach Dance in 1983.  Others such as Dr. Ayo Akinwale (now Professor) and Dr. Bode Omojola joined the Department in 1985. Professor Ayo Akinwale was Ag. Head of Department from 1998 to 1999 while Dr. Bode Omojola took over from him in 1999 to 2001. Mrs Lavinia    Thornton-Odejimi from U.S.A. was employed to teach Music briefly between 1987 and 1988. Mr. Segun Oyesoro (now Dr. Segun Oyewo) joined the staff in 1988 while Mr. Sam Amusan came on board in 1989. 

 Of significance, however, was the employment of former students who graduated from the Department as academic staff in the Department.  Mr. S. E. Ododo (who left the Department as a Ph.D. holder and Senior Lecturer and, now a Professor) came on board of the academic staff in 1993 as the first ex-student of the Department to become a staff. He was the Ag. Head of Department from 2001 to 2003, and the first to obtain a Ph. D. in the Department in 2004. In 1993, two other members of staff were appointed. They are Mr. Taiye Adeola and Mr. Felix Akinsipe to teach Music and Dance respectively.  Miss Gladys Akunna also taught Dance briefly in the Department between 1997 and 2000 before resigning. Mr. R. A. Musa (now a Ph. D. holder who changed his name to AbdulRasheed A. Adeoye) who joined the Department in 1999 was the last staff employed in the 1990s. At least, thirteen  members of the academic staff graduated from the Department although most of them, like some of those listed above also studied in other reputable Universities in Nigeria.  The first staff who joined the Department in 2001 is Mr. J. O. Ojuade (now a Ph. D. holder). Others who joined the Department in the same year 2001 are Mr. S.O. Ikibe (now a Ph. D. holder), Mr. Austin Emielu (now a Ph.D. holder) and Mr. Felix Emoruwa (now a Ph. D. holder). Drs. Felix Emoruwa and Austin Emielu have, however, resigned from the Department. Mr. A. G. Adegbite and Mrs. S. O.O Shuaib (now a Ph.D. holder) joined the Department in 2002. Dr. Ekata Isibor also lectured in the Department between 2003 and 2006 while Mr. A. A. Amali, Mr. Kehinde  Olalusi and  Mr. Taiwo Olalusi joined the Department as staff in 2011. Dr. Oludolapo Ojediran, Dr. T. S. Arinde and Mr. K. Rufai-Ahmad are the newly recruited staff who joined the Department in 2013. 

Today, the Department can boast of competent, brilliant and committed academic staff that are contributing to the development of the Department and striving hard to sustain, and build on the vision of the pioneering members. The Department has internationally acclaimed Professors, Senior Lecturers, and other scholars who are responsible for mentoring, teaching and supervising students at the Undergraduate level and in the Postgraduate Programmes.

The vision and philosophy of the Department blossomed and crystallised during the headship of Professor Zulu Sofola. The Department also witnessed remarkable developments during the tenure of Professors Akanji Nasiru, Ayo Akinwale and E. O. Kofoworola. The Philosophy of the Department is to teach Music, Dance and Drama being the three areas of the Performing Arts to our students.     

Before the demise of Professor Zulu Sofola in 1995, she initiated a Postgraduate Programme for the Department which had additional inputs from subsequent Heads of Department before it was approved in 2002. This was the year that Professor E. O. Kofoworola joined the Department as a contract staff following his sojourn in the United States of America. He was Head of Department from 2006 to 2009 while Professor Ayo Akinwale was again, Head of Department from 2009 to 2012. Suffice to say that Professor E.O. Kofoworola was the first Departmental PG Programme Coordinator. Professor Ayo Akinwale, Professor S. E. Ododo, Professor AbdulRasheed A. Adeoye, Dr. Solomon Ikibe and Dr. Austin Emielu were former PG Programme Coordinators while Dr. Segun Oyewo is the current PG Programme Coordinator.  

         Since its establishment in 1981, the Department had graduated many students who are gainfully employed in several spheres of life – Culture and Creative Industries, Education, Military, Journalism, Banking, Advertisement, Public Relations and Commerce.  Others are also working in national, international and non-Governmental organisations. With a student population of 598 for the Undergraduate Programme and 81 at the Postgraduate Level, the Department is growing rapidly. Professor AbdulRasheed A. Adeoye, a scholar-artiste and an experimental theatre director is the current Head of Department.

Philosophy of the Department

The philosophy on which the Degree Programme in the Department of the Performing Arts is anchored is the one that upholds the fact that the line of separation between Drama, Dance and Music in Africa is very thin.  This is because the people of Africa believe in a fusion of these three arts in the explanation of man and his complex nature.  This is the core essence of Performing Arts.  Students are, therefore, trained to have a working knowledge of the three areas.  This will allow them to appreciate the multi-functional and essentially multi-rhythmic total theatre aesthetics.  Performing Arts courses are designed to cover the most basic areas of theory and practice of the theatre. This is with a view to making students to have rounded knowledge of the Nigerian, African and other world theatres.

Objectives of the Department

The objectives of the Department include the following:

i. To become the foremost Department in the training of competent manpower for the culture industry;

ii. To train students who will be innovative, resourceful, self-reliant and with keen interest in theatre entrepreneurship and self-employment;

iii. To produce national and internationally recognised artists and scholars who will be grounded in the theory and practice of the theatre;

iv. To equip students with adequate knowledge of the performance of intercultural, multicultural and total theatre artistic products;

v. To produce graduates that will become social agents of change and development in Nigeria, Africa and the global world; and

vi. To train students to become artistic directors, playwrights, actors, scenographers/set designers, broadcasters, costumiers, make-up artists, musicologists, instrumentalists, choreographers, dancers and others.

Title of Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) Performing Arts

Upcoming Events

December 13, 2021

Continuous Assessment

January 14, 2022

End of Rain Semester Lectures

January 17, 2022

Lecture Free Week for Revision

January 24, 2022

Commencement of Rain Semester Examination

February 11, 2022

End of Rain Semester Examinations