Let's celebrate our scholars alive to boost academic breakthroughs ------- Igwe, UNN VC

SouthEaastPost

NSUKKA----- Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, has asked universities and research institutions in the country to celebrate scholars who have made their marks in research and other academic endeavours while they still alive. Igwe said that apart from scholars some sense of accomplishments, it would encourage others to work harder in order to achieve greater feats in their various fields of endevours. He spoke during the unveiling of the portrait of an international Ghanaian artist, Emeritus Prof. El Anatsui, of the Fine and Applied Arts Department, UNN, at the Faculty of Arts Lecture Hall Friday, in appreciation of his scholarly contributions to the society. Igwe, who is the first alumnus of UNN to be appointed vice chancellor, further said that the likes of Anatsui, Prof. Chinua Achebe and other African celebrated artists had helped to correct the negative impressions about Africans through their works of art. "When we were growing up, Anatsui, told us how he was touring different parts of the world for arts exhibition and we kept wondering when we would grow up to showcase our knowledge to the world. He inspired us a lot," he said. Earlier in his opening remarks, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, UNN, Prof. Nnanyelugo Okoro, had eulogised Anatsui for his creative works saying that his personality could sell any product, service, idea or movement. According to Okoro, Anatsui's academic and social contributions since his 44 years of service in the university had led to human developments, both locally and internationally, just as he (Anatsui) had become every inch a Nigerian having received a traditional title of 'Chief Ikedire 1 of Nsukka' from the monarch of Ihe na Owerre Nsukka autonomous community, Igwe George Asadu. The Dean further said that this was a confirmation of Anatsui's immense contributions to the development of the society, pointing out that, the faculty, after critical deliberations, found Anatsui, and Achebe, worthy to be celebrated due to their excellent scholarly contributions to university and the world in general. In his vote of thanks, Anatsui asked the university community not to be deterred by failures while trying to accomplish their various tasks, stressing that he had failed some at the beginning of his career but that persistent practice turned him into an international artist that he had become. Meanwhile, Anatsui said that he fell in love with Nigeria, and Nsukka particularly due to the fertile academic environment in the country even as he stressed that Nigeria was a vast country of people and cultures which made the inhabitants never to have a dull moment. He further said that the use of 'pigin English' was inspirational to him as it helped to form imageries that helped his work of art to flourish, pointing out that he felt honoured to be celebrated with the late Chinua Achebe.

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