February 11, 2011

'Evening with Barclays Ayakoroma' is Feb. 18

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale welcomes the executive secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in Nigeria, for “An Evening with Barclays Ayakoroma” on Feb. 18.

The free event is part of Black History Month. The presentation is from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Student Center, Illinois River Room.

Ayakoroma accepted the appointment as executive secretary in 2009. He has considerable experience with the arts, both from the creative side and from the administrative.

NICO is a joint initiative of the Nigerian government and UNESCO, and is meant to promote and protect the national culture of Nigeria as a developing country. Ayakoroma’s job is to guide the cultural development personnel as they seek to use their knowledge of Nigeria’s culture to promote a multi-ethnic, peaceful and advancing country.

Ayakoroma’s approach for this cultural diplomacy begins with cultural reorientation. It is a way of bringing Nigeria’s rich cultural past into a more industrialized, metropolitan and cosmopolitan future, thereby maintaining unique aspects of Nigeria’s multi-ethnic culture.

In addition to his responsibilities as executive secretary, Ayakoroma is an award-winning playwright with directing and acting experience as well. He is the author of several plays, books and screenplays, including “Dance on His Grave,” A Chance to Survive,” and “Castles in the Air.”

Black History Month is an annual event at SIUC, and with guest speakers, special events and creative opportunities presented throughout the month.