UNN seeks lifetime honour for scholars
University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has called on the country’s academic community to celebrate remarkable scholars in research and other academic endeavours in their lifetime.
The institution made the call in Nsukka at the weekend while celebrating Ghanaian artist, Prof. El Anatsui of the Fine and Applied Arts Department of the university.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Igwe, who reeled out Anatsui’s accomplishments, said celebrating people of his kind would encourage scholars to work hard to achieve similar academic feats.
Prof. Anatsui’s portrait was unveiled at the Faculty of Arts Lecture Hall at the event in appreciation of his scholarly contributions to the academic community.
Igwe, who is the first alumnus VC of UNN, added that the likes of Anatsui, Prof. Chinua Achebe and other celebrated African artists helped to correct the negative impressions about Africans through their works.
“When we were growing up, Anatsui told us how he was touring different parts of the world for arts exhibitions and we kept wondering when we would grow up to showcase our knowledge to the world. He inspired us a lot,” the VC said.
Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Nnanyelugo Okoro, also eulogised the creative works of the honouree and noted that his personality could sell any product, service, idea or movement.
He added that Anatsui’s academic and social contributions in his 44 years of service in the university led to human developments, both locally and internationally.
Okoro also said that Anatsui had become “every inch a Nigerian, having received a traditional title of ‘Chief Ikedire I of Nsukka’ from the monarch of Ihe na Owerre Nsukka autonomous community, Igwe George Asadu,” which, according to the dean, is a confirmation of his immense contribution to development of the society.
He further said that the faculty, after critical deliberations, found Anatsui and Achebe worthy of celebration due to their excellent scholarly contributions to the university and the world in general.
While giving his vote of thanks, the Anatsui told the audience not to be deterred by failures while trying to accomplish any task. He revealed that he failed at some point at the beginning of his career, but that persistent practice turned him into the international artist that he became.
He said he fell in love with Nigeria, and Nsukka particularly, due to the fertile academic environment he discovered.
Pointing out that Pidgin English helped him to create imageries that helped his work, he added that was very happy to be celebrated with Achebe.
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