A major highlight of the National Delegates Convention of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) scheduled to hold in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State from September 16 through to 18, is the investiture of 30 members of the association into her Body of Fellows.
The fellowship, officially known as ‘Fellow of Theatre Arts (FTA), is the association’s highest meritorious award, conferred on her members in recognition of their contributions to the practice of theatre over the years. With this conferment, they assume the ‘Distinguished Thespian’ status and use the ‘fta’ in front of their names.
The thirty fellow-designate would file out to be decorated by the NANTAP President, Distinguished Thespian Israel Eboh, in company of the Chairman of the Board of Fellows (BoF), Professor Duro Oni of the University of Lagos on September 18.
Two former Presidents of the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artistes (SONTA), Professor Emmanuel Dandaura and Prof. Sunday Odo-do; popular Nollywood actors, Patience Ozokwor and Akin Lewis; Dancer, Choreographer and University scholar, Esther Onwuka of the University of Abuja; former President of the Guild of Nigeria 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. Also, wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, a writer and human right activist would be decorated at the award dinner as a Honourary Fellow of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), at the award night.
“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.