It was an exhibition of talents in visual and performing arts by the students of St. Francis Catholic Secondary School (SFCSS), Idimu, Lagos, recently, when they took the stage for potpourris of creative activities to mark the second edition of the annual Jesuit arts and culture festival.
The event, which took place at the Layola Jesuit Jubilee auditorium, coincided with the celebration of Nigeria’s 59 independence anniversary. It was part of ways the administrators of the school promote Jesuit education through theatre and drama in the host communities.
The event witnessed sterling arts show from the students in the visual and performance genres. There was an art exhibition, which took place at the creative visual art laboratory named after an Italian Baroque painter and art theoretician, BR Andréa Pozzo, SJ. Equally, on the bill were dance, music, and drama where the students recreated Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, a play written by Ola Rotimi.
The star artist at the exhibition corner was an ex-student of the school, Tola Adefuyo, who is now a graduate of creative arts of the University of Lagos. One of his works is entitled “African Instrumental Ensemble.”
He explained the rendering of the artwork and others, “It portrays images of drums, shekere, etc. It is also composed to expose what African music and instruments look like. The second image is composed of four female’s images in local adire attire and entitled, ‘Our culture, Our Pride.’ It is made of African clothes, and aims to promote African culture and tradition, as well as preserve our cultural heritage.”
The administrator of the school, Rev. Fr. Leo Muoneme, told journalists, “Jesuit Annual Festival is a celebration of art, music, drama and culture. It is a celebration we started last year, and this is the second edition, which coincided with our Independence Day celebration.
“The goal is to inspire hope in the young people, celebrate their creativity and imagination. It is a coincidence we are having it on an independence day, because we need to be happy in our independence day. We started with Holy Mass where we prayed for the nation. After the mass, we had an art exhibition, which was dovetailed by Eegun Dance by Young Missionary Movement of Nigeria (YOMM).”
Following the dance was a musical performance by St. Francis Symphony Orchestra, which performed “Song of Thrones”, and “Chosen Generation” by Sinach Traditional Reggae Medley, while St Francis Jesuit Drama Troupe performed Ovonramwen Nogbaisi by Ola Rotimi.
Muoneme further explained, “Ovonramwen Nogbaisi is a story of how the historical Benin City was sacked by the British Empire. It is an important drama at this point of our history, especially with the Ruga controversy. Apart from tying the event to Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration, Jesuit Catholic College of Lagos is very strong in promoting holistic education.
“We don’t just carry out intellectual, spiritual and kinesthetic formation; we also train the whole person: the heart, mind and body, soul and spirit, imagination, and musical intelligence of our students. The festival is basically to celebrate the multiple talents of our students,” he said.
Throwing light on one of the student’s cartoon works on ground, one of the visual art teachers in the Faculty of Vocation Studies, Mr. Uwaya Emmanuel, said, “The work is a cartoon painting tagged transformation. It depicts the school environment; changes that took place; new hostels, etcetera. It is a portraiture telling parents that new things are happening in SFCSS.”