…as college holds virtual art exhibition
For his prominent role in development of Virtual Arts education, scholarly contribution to the arts profession and management of college of education in the country, the management of Federal College of Education (FCE Technical), Akoka, Lagos, has extolled the virtues of the former Deputy Provost of the college and former Provost of Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr Kunle Filani, describing him as a great artist and scholar.
The management, led by the Provost of the college, Dr Wahab Azeez, gave the commendation during a Virtual Art Exhibition organised to mark the 65th birthday and retirement of the former Deputy Provost, which was held at the college. According to him, Dr Filani could be best described as a great artist, teacher of all teachers and an administrator of note.
“FCE Technical, Akoka is not only hosting this event, but we are partnering with several other organisations and institutions who are also identifying with Dr. Filani to give him his well-deserved honour,” the Provost said. As part of the activities, a lecture, titled: ‘Kunle Filani: The Man, His Heart and His Arts,” was delivered by Mr Babasehinde Ademuleya of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.
In the lecture, Ademuleya said that the person of Dr. Filani is known to possess two opposing characteristics; restlessness and patience, adding that his ability to marry the two elements had been of great and tremendous advantage to his art and views, and that both attributes had been so perfected in him that they have become very essential basis for almost everything he does.
He said: “Consciously or unconsciously, the two elements discussed above as well as the gígún and níwòn attributes form the psychological base for Filani’s commitment to the arts.
“One may wonder how a restless person could as well be patient. Filani’s restlessness does not connote what the Yoruba would call ai ni’farabale or ai’nisuuru – lack of patience but rather that of inquisitiveness. “His restlessness is borne out of his thirst for knowledge and the eagerness in disseminating knowledge acquired.
While his restlessness rules his mind fuelling his inquisitiveness and imaginations, he allows patience to rule his soft heart, which informs his habit of picking and developing an idea to a surreal level.”
Ademuleya further noted that those were the concepts that informed Dr Filani’s philosophy of life and could be felt in his art, his administrative style and even in his writings, even as he added that Dr Filani’s contribution to the art profession in general, particularly its education, theory, criticism and practice could not be overemphasised.
According to him, Dr Filani had played a prominent role in arts development as the founding President of Culture and Creative Art Foundation (CCAF), a non-governmental and non-profit making organisation, which seeks to sensitise the world on the richness and diversity of African culture.
The group, he pointed out, organises conferences, lectures, seminars, workshops, exhibitions and other activities on Creative Art and Culture, and also celebrates well-deserving artists and art scholars. “He is also a Fellow of Pan-African Circle of Artists (PACA), a group concerned with the task of engineering an indigenous voice for the propagation of African Art. Dr Filani has equally played prominent roles in the running of the Society of Nigerian Artists and other art-related societies from time to time,” the don added.
Expressing delight over the honour bestowed on him, Filani said he was overwhelmed by the presence and outpouring of love from individuals, groups, friends and alumni in spite of no invitation. While also applauding the Provost and management of the college, he said: “Words cannot be enough to express my joy today; the affection of mankind towards me on my attainment of 65th birthday is wonderful, thank you all for this respected honour.
Also speaking, a former Dean of Arts, YABATECH, Dr Kunle Adeyemi lauded the celebrant for his commitment to study and professionalism, but decried the poor enrolment of students into Arts and called for a deliberate effort to redress the situation. Adeyemi, however, said that the country stands to benefit immensely in the study and promotion of the nation’s arts, cultural values and tourism.
Meanwhile, Dr Filani was conferred with a full Honorary Professionalism Award by African American University (AAU), Republic of Benin by the Vice Chancellor, Mr Ben Ezeohagwu. At the event was Mrs Victoria Filani (the mother of the celebrant), principal officers of the college and lecturers, as well as management staff of FCE, Abeokuta and OAU alumni, among other dignitaries