OUR FACULTIES OF ARTS HAS CONTRIBUTED IMMENSELY TO THE DEATH OF NIGERIA’S READING CULTURE
We all blame the Nigerian government for its failures, most especially the payment of lip service to our educational system by the latter, frustrating the best of our brains into exiles abroad and allowing the potentates to languish in mediocrity. The truth is that we too have contributed immensely to our woes.
A while ago, the Academic staff union of universities went on a six months strike to protest against government’s lackadaisical attitude to the tertiary education of its citizens. They were justified to have raised their voices against mediocrity and shown us the path to liberation.
The University of Ibadan’s Faculty of Arts was established fifty-six years ago at Eleiyele and would later on give birth to the present Faculty of Arts now led by Prof. Remi Raji Oyelade, who emerged the Dean of Arts after the demise of Prof. Owolabi. The Faculty, popularly known as the faculty of letters, is known to be the oldest faculty in University of Ibadan. It has produced writers and scholars such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Isidore Okpewho, Femi Osofisan, Bode Sowande and Niyi Osundare. Talking about literature, the aforementioned writers are giants, one of them now late while others retired but their works still thunder after them.
The Harvard Review now read all the world was established by Poetry room curator, Stratis Haviaras in 1986 who named it Erato because of his irredeemable passion for poetry. Harvard Review is now funded and published by the Harvard University library system.
The Idoto magazine, a literary magazine established by students of the Department of English, University of Ibadan, which had featured Niyi Osundare and Odia Ofeimun, had it been preserved as a faculty of arts culture would have now risen to global consciousness like its Harvard Review counterpart. But unfortunately, Idoto has been allowed to run into non existence, the likes of Rasaq Malik and Odugbemi Ibrahim now struggling to resuscitate Idoto from this sudden death with little or no help.
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