Thursday, 28 February 2013

NURESDEF AWARD WINNER





Greg Mbajiorgu Clenches First Position Overall in the Arts/ Humanities (Research Category) Of the 5th Nigerian Universities Research and Development Fair (NURESDEF)


The University of Nigeria has taken the 2nd position in overall performance at the NUC-organized Nigerian Universities Research and Development Fair (NURESDEF) held at the University Gymnasium hall of the Federal University of Technology, Gidan Kwano Campus, Minna, Niger State from October 8th to 12th, 2012.  The competitive fair meant for all universities in Nigeria was attended by mostly federal universities (including three from the Southeast zone which are Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike; The University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt). The host University, FUT, Minna, took first position in overall performance, while five universities took the third position in overall performance. They include Federal University, Lafia; University of Benin, Benin; University of Ilorin, Ilorin; University of Port Harcourt, and, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
In his keynote address during the occasion, the Director General, National Office for Technology
Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Umar Bubar Bindir, stressed the need for individual innovation, development and profound and tireless optimism in research as road map to National Transformation and Economic Prosperity.
The University of Nigeria also took first position in Arts/ Humanities and second position in agriculture. This was made possible by the individual performances of the following members of staff of the University: Professor Michael Uguru of Crop Science Department, who took first position individual award in Agriculture (Development Category) for his work, “Phyto-feed Technology, organic waste management and production of high premium crops in Southern Nigeria”;  Mr. Greg Mbajiorgu of Theatre and Film Studies Department took first position overall in the Arts/ Humanities (Research Category) for his book, “Wake Up Everyone” a dramatic discourse of the ecological crises resulting from climate change in our world; Mr. Jeff Unaegbu of the Institute of African Studies who took second position overall in Arts/ Humanities (Research Category) for his book, Ode on Lagos, adjudged the longest poem in Nigeria (700 lines long); and, Pharmacist Justus Nwaoga of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry took second position overall in Science and Technology (Research category) for his work, “Synergy activities of black silicon, Chlorophyll and Thiosulphite composite in Mimosa Pudica Leaf isolates for thin film solar cell development”.  
These individual performances enabled the University of Nigeria to emerge second in overall performance in Research and Development out of over one hundred universities in Nigeria. In the history of the Fair so far, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka took second position in the 2008 (3rd Edition) and first position in the 2010 (4th Edition of the) Fair. 
The NURESDEF is meant to showcase revolutionary research and development which is going on in our universities to the Nigerian public. It is held biennially. This year’s theme was Research and Development: A Road Map to National Transformation and Economic Prosperity.

GREG'S NURESDEF ABSTRACT

DRAMA AS A STRATEGY FOR SAVING OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE: WAKE UP EVERYONE AS AN ECOLOGICAL DRAMA
BY
GREG MBAJIORGU
DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND FILM STUDIES,
UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA
E-MAIL: gregnadix@yahoo.com  MOBILE: 08050511777

Wake Up Everyone is a drama that drives home the implication of government’s inaction in the face of adverse effect of climate change in our rural communities. The playwright embarked on this fact-driven drama not just with the awareness that very little information on climate change adaptation is reaching our rural communities, but that even most of us in urban setting, who have information on the implication of climate change seem not to have taken any proactive step towards finding solution to the problem of our vulnerable rural dwellers.
Mike Shanahan’s study on climate change and the media provides a summary of other crucial reasons that motivated my creation of Wake Up Everyone:
1.      Most media reports on climate change are confusing and contradictory, and this has led to the public feeling disempowered and uncompelled to take positive action.
2.      Climate change is the greatest threat humans have ever faced, yet news report seems to focus more on terrorism and socio-political crises across the globe.
3.      Rural communities in the African continent have contributed least to the looming problem of climate change, yet they are the most vulnerable who are bound to suffer more.
4.      These vulnerable communities must adapt, and they need financial support to do so, yet this aspect of climate change is under reported.
5.      The voice of the most vulnerable are rarely heard in international and intergovernmental gatherings where issues of climate change are discussed.
These are some of the contradictions in ongoing war to bring an end to the challenge of climate change. These contradictions have disturbed the mind of this researcher/creative artiste and compelled him to embark on an interventionist dramaturgy that x-rays a rural society struggling with environmental disasters at a time their Local Government Chairman is renowned for nothing else but his sense of political ineptitude and obtuseness.
To accomplish the research and creative objective that gave birth to this project, Wake Up Everyone has been designed to achieve the following:
1.      To inspire our people to change the way we relate to our environment
2.      To dramatize some of the measures rural famers and dwellers can take to survive the threat of climate change.
3.      To draw our attention and sympathy to rural dwellers who are the most vulnerable people in our threatened planet.
4.      To emphasis the urgency of adaptation in rural African communities and the huge cost of our failure to take necessary action when we should.
5.      To amplify the voice and viewpoints of poor rural farmers and dwellers on the ongoing climate change debate.
6.      To expose the vested interest such as oil companies and their allies that resist the call for positive change towards our attitude to the ecosystem.
7.      To demonstrate the interface and the interconnectedness between the science and the arts of climate change.
8.      To offer the best dramatic techniques for telling the story of climate change in such a way we can mobilize government and policy makers to action.
See attached the published play and its newspaper reviews. Note also that this play, Wake Up Everyone was performed for ATPS Nairobi during their international conference on climate change in 2009 and for the Committee on Building Trans-disciplinary Climate Change Adaptation Capacity at the University of Nigeria, during its inauguration.     

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