It was a collage of memories that would endure for students, culture lovers, parents and teachers of St. Francis Catholic Secondary School (SFCSS) Idimu, Lagos, as it recently marked its 30th anniversary of Jesuit education in Nigeria.
The event offered art students of the school the opportunity to freely express themselves in different forms of art, including painting, pencil and beadwork, as well as mixed media. There were a series of dance performances held outdoors. The cultural feast had been a tradition in the history of the school. Equally on parade were a broadway form of performance, and a group exhibition of artworks by the students at the school art studio.
The administrator of the school, Rev. Fr. Maduabuchi Leo Muoneme SJ, noted that the school was established 30 years ago, adding that, though “we are yet to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, three decades of Jesuit-Catholic education is worth celebrating.”
He said, while the pearl anniversary and cultural day celebration were quiet, “We still desire to express our gratitude to God in marking our anniversary as part of our annals of Jesuit education history. We also thank the Olorunfunmi family, a Muslim family represented by Alhaji Wasiu Agoro Olorunfunmi, the Akinrogun 1 of Idimu land, for generous donation of the land where the school situates.”
Also speaking on the occasion, the Catholic Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Revd. Alfred Adewale Martins, remarked that, with the school making culture an integral part of its curriculum and celebrating the same, those who refused to pass on their culture to the next generation would soon lose their foundation.
A visual arts teacher and former Head of Department, Emmanuel Uwaya, said, “We are cultural people, and Nigeria is blessed with so many cultural groups, hence, we deem it necessary to anchor the event on culture. Even now, everyone knows that, without art and culture, it would be difficult to exist and, if we must participate in global cultural feasts, we must be creative and, at the same time, be culture minded.”
The current Head of Visual Art Department, Barry Erho, who is from Bruce Onabrekpeya family, described the school as the greatest and the best in Nigeria. He expressed delight being part of a school that is offering quality education to its immediate environment.
Explaining the exhibited artworks were two students of the school, Okosun Kefas and Akinola Oreoluwa Glory. Akintola said, “In this school, we see art as a means of self expression. The art studio of the school generally is a place students come in to express themselves in painting, pencil and beadwork, mixed media and other ways.”