Representatives from 20 Nigerian universities gathered in Lagos, as the 38th Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival (NUTAF) opened at the National Arts Theatre, Lagos.
The six-day festival, which began with an opening ceremony on Monday, October 21, witnessed a vibrant display of costumes and traditional attire, as well as a mixture of colorful song and dance performances that reflect the rich diversity of Nigeria’s many ethnic groups.
The festival themed ‘Governance and Globalization’ is sponsored by the MTN Foundation and prides itself as one of the pioneer forums where young and bright talents from theatre arts faculties around the country, will perform and be seen by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
Speaking on the Foundation’s support for the festival, Director, MTN Foundation, Dennis Okoro said, “Our rich and vibrant culture, bequeathed to us by our parents will only thrive on the strength of the support that we provide to our next generation. The MTN Foundation is passionate about empowering young people to develop.”
The organizers, the Nigerian Universities Theatre Art Students Association (NUTASA), which is also the umbrella body for all students in the department of performing arts in Nigerian universities, confirm three universities will perform daily. Each performance will consist of a wide range of activities including drama performances, creative dance, standup comedy as well as workshops on creativity, costuming and stage design.
Speaking at the event, National President, NUTASA, Egbemwonghaye Osazee proudly restates that the Nigerian Universities Theater Arts Festival was established to “unlock the untapped talents in Nigerian Universities and through them project the excellence of African culture to the world from the Center of Excellence.”
Founded in 1981, and with only three schools – the University of Ibadan, the University of Benin and the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife – in attendance, NUTAF has grown to become a staple on Nigeria’s University events calendar. The 2018 edition of the festival, which took place in Jos, welcomed 25 participating schools. Some of Nigeria’s most popular actors including Richard Mofe-Damijo, Hilda Dokubo, Segun Arinze and Julius Agu are veterans of past editions of the festival.
NUTAF is supported by the MTN Foundation as part of its Arts and Culture Causes through which it has sponsored some of Nigeria’s most compelling art, poetry and theatre productions and the creatives behind them for almost a decade, including Saroo, Wakaa, Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, Jungle Story 2 and Legends to name a few.