Professor of Film Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Femi Shaka, has called for a review of theatre arts curriculum and the inclusion of artistes’ management as a course in the department of theatre arts in universities.
Shaka noted that the inclusion of this course would ensure that students are taught how to manage artistes’ as a commodity, as well as equip them.
“We need to teach our students artistes’ management in order to prepare them for the current realities in the entertainment industry. Theatre Arts students should be taught artiste management and not theatre management.
“Every artiste is a commodity that needs to be sold. There is a difference between the artiste as a person, as a father, wife or child and as a commodity that should be promoted.
“The professional artiste is a product of endorsements. The artiste manager will professionally manage more than one artiste as products in the market. If you are still teaching your students theatre management, you are not helping them to face current trends in the industry.
“Universities and relevant bodies such as the National Universities Commission, NUC, should do something now. The curriculum needs to be reviewed because the society is changing, students need new competencies to be able to survive.
“We have not started teaching them what is relevant to the society. Let us train our students on how to make a living for themselves. If you are still teaching them theatre management, they will not survive as professionals in this new age.”
Similarly, he stated that the curriculum should be able to prepare students for any branch of entertainment such as those aspiring to become models.
“When you go to Europe and other western countries, that is how it is done. Our youths need to be properly taught so that when they graduate they can fit into the society and make a living on their own. But if the teachers refuse to do this, they will be teaching using archaic curriculum,” he stressed.
The don called for collaboration between the academia and the film industry for this objective to be achieved.
“Let us bring a marriage between the film industry and the academia to produce the next generation of artistes. As a stakeholder in the academia, the way I want to teach my discipline, film and video studies is to work with people who are practitioners.
“I will invite them to come and impact practical knowledge on my students.
I don’t want to sit in the classroom and make only quantification. I want them to come and teach my students, so that when they graduate they would have known the practicality of their profession.
“You have to set up a discipline to give both academic and intellectual leadership to the industry. The film industry is part of a creative sector that includes fashion designing, music, makeup and the rest. All stakeholders should join hands to build the industry,” he urged.

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