Written by Emmanuel Ojiego
That is what they call it – initiation. This is ritual which marks the process of inducting new students of Department of Theatre Arts, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) into the world of acting. This event was organized on Tuesday, May 23 at the Igbariam campus of the University.
The event took place in an open arena as people gazed on while the process which was a bit scary went on. It looked like an fetish initiation into the traditional secret societies in town. But make no mistake, it was simply an academic exercise and everyone who participated is spiritually safe (as we were made to believe).
The students were made to kneel before a make-shift shrine made up of red clothes tied to a tree while people wearing red cloth, looking like chief priests initiated the freshers, a process that qualifies them to be called “Thepia”, a name that makes them full members of Theatre Arts Students Association (TASA). The students were involved in what looked like an oath-taking process and they were all made to drink wine from one cup as part of the initiation process. It was gathered that any student who does not pass through process will not be allowed to act on stage.
President of TASA, Daniel Okonkwo said in an interview, that this practice has been going on for ages and had nothing fetish in it.
The event looked colourful and frightening. But note that they said it was all about acting. Nothing fetish about it o.