It was all enlivened atmosphere at the Ekehuan campus of the University of Benin, as students of the Fine and Applied Arts Department observed their NAFAAS week. Joan Madubuogwu who was there, reports that the event was a remarkable one

In university campuses all over, the second semester of every session is usually inundated with activities ranging from academic to non-academic to religious to socio-cultural and sporting. Admittedly, one of such is the departmental week which most students look up to. Some students call it the final year week, while others tag it departmental week.

In the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, it is called the NAFAAS week. NAFAAS being an acronym for National Association of Fine and Applied Arts Students.

In the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Edo State, the NAFAAS week has always been a remarkable one for the Fine and Applied Arts students of the University. The students are bound by this student body. NAFAAS week as it’s fondly called by the students is set out to create rooms and opportunities for the them to showcase their artistic skills and creativity during the colour carnival, their sportsmanship in sports and their sense of sociability during award/dinner nights.

Monday to Friday are given as lecture free days because of the activities involved in the week. Starting from the first day down to the last day, real fun activities are lined up.

One thing that greets Ekehuan campus of UNIBEN Monday morning of the NAFAAS week, is the change in the environment. The sculptural pieces around campus are dressed with colourful clothes. This is always done Sunday night which marks the beginning of the week as publicity. As the eventful week draws closer, there is high level awareness creation as students through the blasts, a system used to announce upcoming activity, are informed traditionally of the NAFAAS week. During the blast, dance competitions are organised and then the activities of the week are announced. At this time, music and shout out rent the air.

Monday usually starts the NAFAAS week proper with seminar and exhibition of artworks done by the students. A lecturer or resource person called for the seminar opens up the exhibition. This is where some of the art works of students are showcased for people to see, criticise and possibly buy them. During this exhibition, people can take pictures of the works. The exhibition session is also an avenue where each student is exposed to better ideas and life. Each art work in the exhibition hall is a master piece of its own.

As a tradition that has been followed starting from the maiden edition of the NAFAAS week, the activities are fixed by the executives and committee set up for the handling of the NAFAAS week.
This year’s celebration is unique as the NAFAAS week clocks 10 years. The usual theme for NAFAAS week is Hueformism and it is backed by this year’s tag “Happiness, Joy Everywhere”.

This year’s NAFAAS week was exceptionally fun-filled. On Monday, the seminar didn’t hold because the resource person was unavoidably absent and the information came too late for a change to be effected. The students exhibited their works which were amazingly displayed at the drawing studio. Later, there was the first football competition between the 400 level class and 200 level class in which the 400 level class won by 3goals to 1. Later in the evening, they embarked on indoor and outdoor games like the ludo games, whot and chess. Also, skipping competition was not left out. The Mr. Hot Beans competition for the males was won by Wale, a 400 level Metal Design major while the Miss Indomie competition for the females was won by Victory, a 100 level student.

On Tuesday, there was an interesting match between the 200 level class and the 100 level class. The 100 level class won by 4 goals to 1. The prepared jean carnival was disrupted by the school securities despite the massive turnout of students.

Wednesday was the ever always anticipated Colour carnival. This day is very special because it was not only the student of the Fine and Applied Arts Department that participated in the event. On this day, even students from other departments participated fully and the whole school felt it that very day. Thespians as well as Maccsans (Departments of Theatre Art and Mass Communication) had participated.

Jacky a 200 level student of Mass Communication, shares his feeling to THISDAY. “We’re one; I’ve been with them since Monday. Actually I’m one of the officials for the matches they’ve been playing for the week. I witnessed the colour carnival last year and this year I’m participating in it,” he said.

When asked what he felt about the carnival and what his expectations were, he said “It’s really fun and I can’t help but join them and enjoy the beauty of art because it feels great. I think this year’s carnival will be much more interesting unlike that of last year that the rain ruined almost everything. But, despite the rain, it was still fun. Seeing the way they are going, the carnival is promising and I believe it will be fun all the way,” Jacky said.

“This event creates room for freedom too. My body art portrays what I love doing. I love football that’s why my costume is a jersey and my body art is painted 13,” he added.
Thursday was not left out as the students had their track event competition in different categories, ranging from 100km to 400km to relay race.

100km for the males was won by Godstime, a 100 level student, while the 200km was won by Odiah, 400 level textiles major. Also, the 400km was won by Usiwoma Textiles major. 100,200,400kms females were won by Galami, a 200 level student.

The relay race was won by the 200 level class for the females and the 100 level class won that of the males.
Later in the afternoon, the final football competition was held between the 100 level class and the 400 level class which ended with a 1-1 draw. The 100 level class emerged winner with a total score of 4 points and 5goals while the 400 level had 4 points and 4goals.The 200 level females won their competition through an automatic work over.
Later in the evening, the students went to Kada Plaza Cinema for a film show and the movie shown was titled ‘Nice Guy’.

Friday was the novelty football match between the students and lecturers of the department. The student’s staff adviser, Mr. El-Drag, was the referee for the match. The match which was full of fun and excitement saw lecturers emerge winners having whipped their opponents 6 goals to 4.
Later in the evening, there was cultural night; students were out on their different cultural attires showcasing the beauty of their place of origin.

Sunday night was the Award/Dinner night held at Kada Plaza which was a means of encouraging the students and also awarding the graduating students for their efforts during their four years of hard work in the department and also a form of sentforth to them.