Education

U.I, Theatre Arts Don, Umokoro Bows Out Of Service

A Professor of Theatre Arts, Mattew Umokoro has finally bowed out of service of University of Ibadan where he worked for over forty years.

Our Correspondent, Ridwan Fasasi reports that though the current lockdown affected the retirement and 70th birthday bash of Professor Umukoro, the  encomia poured on him by family, friends, colleagues and students as an incorruptible lecturer is no doubt bigger and even louder celebration. 

How can one describe a man whom as an examination officer has an insight into the questions of a compulsory course and seeing his wife reading another thing entirely and never bothered to call her to order making her fail the course?

That’s Professor Mattew Mevayerho Umokoro who said telling his wife, on areas of concentration would give her an undue advantage over her classmates and would as well compromise his zero tolerance to corruption. 

The irony of it is that, that woman is now also a Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Port Harcourt making both of them the only professorial couple in the Nigerian universities where Theatre Arts/Drama or Performing Arts is offered. 

How did Prof Julie Umokoro feel about the action of her husband to that examination’s episode?

In a tribute, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka described the don as one of the longest serving academics whose selfless service has impacted positively in the department and the university. 

To a lecturer at the Department of Theatre Arts of the institution, Dr Tunde Awosanmi, Prof Umokoro as a highly principled person, stood tall without any blemish in all his years in the university.

One of the former students of the celebrant, Professor Mabel Evwierhoma of Theatre Arts Department, University of Abuja described the celebrant as a father, a mentor and a role model whose joy is to always see the progress of his mentees.

To another former student of the great academic icon, Dr Taofiq Nasir of Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof Umukoro has no patience for mediocrity and laziness as his hallmarks are hard work and distinction.

One of the children of the erudite scholar, Mr Simeon Umokoro said despite the busy schedule of his father, he always creates time for his family.

In his farewell message as he bowed out of service of the Premier University, Professor Umukoro said he had been fulfilled for discharging his best for the institution.

Professor Matthew Umukoro is not just a lecturer and scholar, he is also a writer, poet, dramatist, author and critic.

Ridwan Fasasi

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