A Professor of Film Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Femi Shaka, has called for the inclusion of artiste management as a course in Theatre Arts curriculum.
The don, who stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja, said the inclusion of artiste management in Theatre Arts curriculum would ensure that students are taught how to manage artistes as a commodity.
He said the course would also equip students of Theatre Arts on the current realities in the profession.
“We need to teach our students artiste management now to prepare them for 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 now, you are not helping them to face current trends in the industry,” he said.
Shaka called on stakeholders to review theatre arts curriculum in Nigerian universities.
“The 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 to be able to make a living for themselves. If you are still teaching them theatre management, they will not survive as professionals in this new age.”
Shaka said many students would want to be models, both males and females, adding that there should be a curriculum to prepare them for any branch of entertainment they desire.
“When you go to Europe and other western world that is how it is being done. Our youths need to be properly taught so that when they graduate they can fit into the society and make good living on their own. But if the teachers refuse to do this, they will be teaching archaic curriculum,” he stressed.
The don called for collaboration between the academia and the film industry in order 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 to 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 sector is part of a creative industry that includes fashion designing, music, makeup and the rest. All stakeholders should join hands to build the industry,” he urged.