By Ebi Kesiena
All is now set for the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) to confer the First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi with the honorary award of fellow of the association at its 2021 Elective Convention.
At the Convention which commences from Thursday, September 16 to Saturday, September 18, 2021, veteran Nollywood Actress, Patience Ozokwor and 28 other members of NANTAP will also be inducted as fellows at the award night.
The award is the association’s highest meritorious award conferred on her members in recognition of their contributions to the practice of theatre over the years.
In a statement issued, the association explained that with this conferment, they assume the ‘Distinguished Thespian’ status and use the ‘FTA’ prefix in front of their names.
The 30 fellow-designate are expected to file out to be decorated by the NANTAP President, Distinguished Thespian Israel Eboh, in company of the Chairman of the Board of Fellowsm (BoF) Professor Duro Oni of the University of Lagos on September 18.
Two former Presidents of the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artistes (SONTA), Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura and Prof. Sunday Ododo; popular Nollywood Actor, Akin Lewis; Dancer, Choreographer and University scholar, Esther Onwuka of the University of Abuja; former President of the Guild of Nigerian Dancers (GOND), Steve James, Yibo Koko, DG, Rivers State Tourism Commission and Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, Permanent Secretary Lagos State Min. of Tourism, Arts and Culture are among the fellow designate to be Inducted.
“There are many first as far as this year’s convention is concerned. It is the first time we are being officially hosted by a state government, and to this we are greatful to the Ekiti State first family, the government and people of Ekiti State and the Commissioner of Arts, Culture and Tourism, Professor Rasaki Ojo Bakare, who is one of our own, for identifying with us,” Mr. Israel Eboh, fta, NANTAP President said.
He added that the celebration was deferred last year because of the rampaging COVID-19 that shut down the entire world, hence, the association is having a fellowship investiture for thirty deserving members, which is unprecedented in the history of the association.
“Another first in the 30 years history of NANTAP is the conferment of Honorary Fellowship on deserving members of the society, and in this case, the writer-activist and art lover and promoter, First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi who deserves this recognition for her invaluable support to the arts and culture sector,” Mr. Eboh added.