The Nigerian Universities Theatre Art Festival, NUTAF, was originally billed to hold in 2020, but the novel coronavirus, code named covid -19 that ravaged the world, destroyed economic and social activities leading to lockdown and force organizers to shift the event.

It was scheduled for April but due to some issues bothering on students examination it was again shifted to 2nd of May. Finally it came to pass and Gregory University remained the host, having won the right in a highly contested bid. By this fit, it has become the first Private University to host the over 30 years old event.

The President Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Students Association, NUTASA, Anthony Ugwu, commended the Chancellor for keeping to his promise, “when we visited the Chancellor two years ago, he promised to build an amphitheatre for NUTAF, but we regarded it as normal political talk, we never took him serious. But am surprised to see a brand new amphitheatre standing on once an empty space. We appreciate the Chancellor and the management for making this a reality”.

Ugwu made this known during a courtesy call by NUTAF board of trustees and NUTASA Executives to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Augustine Uwakwe.

The board of trustees chairman, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, said that they are impressed with what they have seen and are proud to be part of the epoch making event. “I want to particularly thank the Chancellor for his boldness to embark on this mind blowing project, called University. Our respect to the management of this great institution, not just for hosting the event but you are a listening management. We appreciate the swift and effortless way you handled the issue of accommodation when at the last minute the students suddenly want to stay inside the campus rather than the hotel already booked for them. Your action shows efficiency and cohesion amongst yourselves. So far you have proved that Gregory University Uturu is a wonderful host”.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Augustine Uwakwe, while thanking them for coming to their school located inside a bush despite all the odds. According to him Uturu as a town has a lot of history behind you. “In Uturu here you’ll get the early man’s abode, the cave he inhabited”.

Professor Uwakwe, said that the Chancellor has personal love for Theartre Arts, as such he spares no fund in making this happen in that department. “We have so much regards for culture, that was why we built the Igbo Renaissance center, it has become a place where Ndigbo gather to take important decisions”. He said

Continuing, “it may interest you to know that we owe nobody or any bank a penny. We generate our funds internally, we have paint factory, printing press among others. Therefore, I cannot understand why Universities that are 20, 30 and above years old still go cap in hand begging for funds from the government”. He lamented.

He assured the contigents of adequate security, stressing that Uturu people are very hospitable and accommodating.

The NUTAF, started with carnival float which took the participating institutions into the villages. They ended up in the brand new amphitheater where they displayed some citilating dance steps and cultural attributes of their area. The festival would end on Thursday 6th May.

GUU Media Unit

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