The Council and Senate of the University of Ibadan have renamed the arts Theatre of the university after Prof. Wole Soyinka in recognition of his global status as a writer-activist and also the first African head of the department of Theatre Arts which was founded in 1963. The ceremony was done alongside the 2nd Geoffrey Axworthy Lecture, instituted in honour of Geoffrey Axworthy, the founding head of the department of Theatre Arts on July 31, 2018.
The arts theatre is a historical structure. Apart from being one of the oldest buildings in the university, having been constructed in 1955 with a generous grant from the Rockefella Foundation, it has assisted – being a major laboratory to the department – in producing an enoumous size of human resource for the Nigerian nation’s and indeed, Africa’s creative and culture industry, not to talk of the media, civil service, banking, oil and gas, etc. sectors. It is no doubt the oldest institutional theatre in Nigeria and most likely in Africa since the Department which it houses is the oldest on the African continent.
Following the unveiling immediately was the lecture by Prof. Ahmed Yerima of the Redeemers University. The first in the series of the lecture was delivered in 2013 by Prof. Soyinka on the occassion of the 50th anniversary of the department.