Performing Arts and Economic Self Reliance in Nigeria: The Elizade University Experience

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West African Research and Innovation Management Association


The fundamental concern of the Arts disciplines (Humanities) is with man and his complex nature; cognizantly his multifaceted relationships with the world around him and beyond. It is in this context that each Art discipline tries to investigate and explain those aspects of man's nature that particularly concern or challenge him. In a more specific context, the study and practise of Performing Arts is saddled with the expressions of these realities offering opportunities to display cultures and traditions while "mirroring" the society. In recent times, there has been a sudden rise in interest and attention given to the creative and cultural industries, especially with the popularity of Nigerian popular music and video films across Africa and beyond. Further to this, a lot of young minds have been inspired to seek university education' in this area, in order to develop their artistic instinct and build their creative capacity towards economic self-reliance. This paper highlights the objectives of the Elizade University Performing and Film Arts degree programme as it experiments with the concept of 'total theatre' incorporating drama, music, dance and film. Furthermore, the idea to deviate from the traditional nomenclature of 'theatre arts' by incorporating 'film studies' into the programme is being stressed here to portend the ability to produce thorough bred professionals in the field that would eventually be Job givers' and not Job seekers'. The paper also traces the origin of the Nigerian film industry now called 'Nollywood', and asserts that in the nearest future Elizade Performing and Film Arts graduates will be ready to fill the capacity requirements of 'Nollywood', and be part of the generation to take the industry to the next level. This paper is projected to instigate more interest in the use of the cultural industries as a viable means of economic sustainability using the Elizade Performing and Film arts degree programme as an impetus



Performing and film arts, Nollywood, Economic sustenance, Elizade University