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Tribune Online
With Ojo Bakare, culture set for greater heights in Ekiti

GOVERNOR of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi is known for upholding competence as the gold standard for appointments into his cabinet. During his first term in office and the current dispensation, the Governor has remained guided by this principle in the quest to regain the state’s lost values.

For him, getting the most qualified hands for essential state affairs is a priority; hence he goes to great extents to search for such outstanding individuals. Fayemi’s quest for competence and excellence again manifested in the recent appointment and inauguration of renowned choreographer and academic, Professor Rasaki Ojo-Bakare as the state’s Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism.

Dr Fayemi, who knew that the creative sector has a vital role in his development plan for Ekiti, had no fears picking Bakare who has an impressive antecedent.

He’s an authority on culture/ tourism; understands the business side of the creative industry,and was among the few who birthed what is today known as Ekiti State Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 1997.

With Bakare’s experience and global connections in the industry, culture and tourism will soon become a significant source of income for Ekiti State.Though a university teacher, the dance scholar has shown through his contributions over time that the creative industry can create wealth and jobs. He has consulted for at least 25 states and the federal government in the last 25 years.

His footprints outside Nigeria are also impressive. He was a consultant/choreographer to the Gambia’s National Troupe from 1994 to 1996. Bakare also directed ‘Jagunmolu’ Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s inauguration play in 1999; ‘Voyage’ for the late President Umar Yar’Aadua in 2007 and Langbodo for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.

His journey with Fayemi started during the governor’s first term when he was decorated as Cultural Ambassador alongside 13 other artists from the state. The other recipients back then include renowned gospel musician, Yinka Ayefele, Peter Fatomilola and veteran actor, Chief Jimoh Aliu.

Born November 8, 1964, in Aramoko Ekiti, Bakare is Nigeria’s first professor of Choreography and Performance Aesthetics. He was a theatre apprentice under Chief Jimoh Aliu and the late Hubert Ogunde but has since become globally renowned. He gained his first two degrees in Theatre Arts from the University of Calabar and PhD in Choreography and Dance Studies from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Bakare, who became a full Professor in 2011, has handled over 200 command performances within and outside Nigeria. He was Artiste- Scholar in – residence at the University of West Indies, Edna Manley School of Performing Arts and National Dance Theatre Company, Jamaica in 2003. Through a grant from PASMAE and UNISA, Prof Bakare was in the University of Pretoria, South Africa for collaborative research on African Musical Arts Education in 2003.

A member of the Teaching Artists Research Group, Oslo, Norway, 2013 and the Carnival Research Roundtable, Trinidad and Tobago, 2012, Prof Bakare has also benefitted from research and workshop grants provided by Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, SWAAN, UNFPA, C4C and NCWS.

His works have represented Nigeria at international competitions and won laurels for the country. Some of them are Friendship International Festival, North Korea, 1997; Afrika- in Tyrol Festival, Austria, 1999; Africa Peace Tour, Mozambique, 2002 and Gauteng Carnival, Soweto, South Africa, 2010.

Bakare was Acting Head of Drama, National Troupe of Nigeria, 2001, and Artistic Director/ CEO Nigeria National Carnival, Abuja from 2009 to 2013.

He directed the culture content of the Heart of Africa project with performances in London, Paris and other cities. The new Commissioner also supervised performances of the opening and closing ceremonies of FIFA U-17 World Cup 2009. He has been a consultant to several states including Kogi, Plateau, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, the FCT and Gombe.

Bakare is also a member of International Dance Council (CID), UNESCO, Member, National Academy of Letters, Fellow, Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists, Fellow, Dance Guild of Nigeria and National Adviser, Theatre and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria. He has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books. The new Commissioner taught at UNICAL, ABU, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Uyo, University of Abuja, UNIUYO and Federal University, Oye- Ekiti.

Until his appointment two weeks ago, Bakare was the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti.

With his coming on board to work with other tested professionals including Director-General of the Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Wale Ojo-Lanre, hopes are high that Ekiti will soon become a one-stop-shop for culture in Nigeria.

With Ojo Bakare, culture set for greater heights in Ekiti
Tribune Online

source https://tribuneonlineng.com/with-ojo-bakare-culture-set-for-greater-heights-in-ekiti/

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