Taiwo Aina

Thatre Myths

Rooted in the belief that theatre is a typification of life, this induction process is meant to reawaken and promote cultural consciousness in African students. The process requires students from various cultures who are admitted into the Department of Performing Arts, University of Ilorin to dress in full traditional regalia, recite chants, dance and perform drama. Acts that showcase their culture to the University community and the general public.

Documenting this ritual is a way of preserving, amplifying and reminding young people of what our culture is doing. For example, Yoruba culture is practised in a Yoruba environment, Hausa culture in a Hausa environment, etc. I've documented a few universities in the South-west showing Obatala, ‘Arc God’. In a Yoruba area, white attire is worn for any important cultural activity.

Culturally, white symbolizes purity, innocence, and peace among others. The students’ faces are also dotted in white. Students walk and sing around the school to publicize their appearance and entertain students in the school. It was assured that these activities aren’t spiritually connected but just an imitation of life in an artistic way. Regardless of who you are or where you come from.

Participation in this induction is compulsory before a student is called a Thespian.

In Africa, this story hasn’t been documented properly by anyone in Nigeria. I'm so enthusiastic about this story as a student, and also as an individual who's interested in learning about other people’s cultures. I have a great connection with students because I’m also a student. Photographing topics that interest me is one of the amazing ways I learn even more about life. I got to know about this

interesting activity from my younger sister who is a Performing Arts student.

Students are united by where they are from and learn from other people's cultures in the induction. This project is an ongoing series examining educational stereotypes connecting to culture in a diverse environment with a focus on theatre arts.

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