First and foremost, I want to thank the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Gowon Edoumiekumo for supporting this concert. Indeed, you are a blessing to this institution. To sell NDU to the world, we need corroborating shows like this that makes academics interesting. Previously, NDU used to hold shows into dead nights, all these went on oblivion for almost a decade now. You have revived the spirit of quality shows in NDU.
Secondly, I want to sincerely thank MC Monica who conceived, pursued and made this show a reality. Establishing this type of show is never an easy task, but you made it possible. All thanks to you and your team. You know one thing, bringing alumni back to the NDU have a lot of benefits to all parties if well coordinated. This goes beyond the normal show and merely seeing each other with merriments. It should also entail discusses on challenges faced by both the NDU, students, and alumni and finding ways through which we can help ourselves.
I will also appreciate members of the alumni who were in attendance despite the show started very late. Notable amongst them were Hon. Miebi Albert, Osoru Jenkins, Mr. & Mrs. Ogoniba, Mr. & Mrs. Godspower Ekpulu, Mr. Onyema, myself and many others, those I saw live and those I never met but saw their pictures on facebook. It was indeed a fine collaboration and support from the alumni community. Although I wish to be patient to hear from the alumni executive on why it was not represented in the show, I wish state that it was somehow not very fine that alumni did not give a speech in a show that was supposedly held to focus on “alumni comeback”. I had seen the Alumni president earlier in the afternoon to the event and even exchanged pleasantries, but I guess he went back since the show started very late.
In this my list of appreciation, the NDU students cannot be left aside. In fact, one of my students asked me if he can come and get a ticket from me, I told him “you are still from NDU2NDU, when you have graduated, and turned NDU2DWorld, you can come and get a ticket”. Like the VC, I was wowed by the amount of students that flooded the venue. It was even like an NDU students’ oriented show. If not for the students, the whole hall would have been empty because alumni did not even take up to 10% of the total attendees.
Kudos to all the artistes that showed up. I never really knew some of these songs I have been listening to were from NDU students and graduates. Wow! It was all hilarious. From Idyl to Paper Corleone to Urban Mahn to Walter Sax et al., I must use the alumni voice to say thank you to all that graced up the occasion.
The concert was indeed a great show with many potentials that can be harnessed to create a better pathway for both NDU and the alumni community.
Suggestions for December 12, 2019
It is on record that the NDU VC, upon being wowed by what he saw at the concert immediately approved December 12 every year as a day for NDU2DWorld. This is side by side with the NDU Thanksgiving day. In view that this programme will be repeated, there is need by the organizing committee to look into several issues which affected the concert held August 8. The following are therefore, suggested.
- Publicity: No business, programme or endeavour thrives without adequate publicity. In fact, the number of alumni that attended testifies that the publicity, even though the organizers tried, was not adequate. It was so because MC Monica MAY have depended upon his own strength to handle the publicity. What MC Monica must however do here is that there are some alumni who will never come except someone who is close to them invited them. Someone they yearn to see, someone that will host them. Some alumni attended because I invited them. I never really saw them face to face because I was at the front, but I later saw their facebook post of shots taken in the event. Before December 12, MC Monica must decentralize publicity. For example, you can meet someone like Hon. Miebi Albert to help you post about the programme. Albert always supports students and the NDU and I believe he will approve that. Other notable alumni members that are well known, appeal to them to invite their friends who may no longer have access to information about the NDU and the concert. This time around, information sharing will be networked in a way that it reaches a better portion of the internet of things.
- Security: Before I vibrate on this issue, I want to thank the NDU Security men. Especially members of the boys brigade, they may have gotten information ahead and restricted everyone from taking the Agric/Engine back road. Despite their blockade, students still strongheartedly penetrated their blockade and passed the road. Some persons would immediately remove themselves from anything that happens thereafter, but no. They ran ahead of the students and secured the length and breadth of the road, with one personnel standing at several intervals just to scare any possible attack. Oga VC, please, increase those boys salary – very important. We are highly pleased. I used to think say na only abuse them dey abuse students.
Haven stated the above, I want to suggest that the December 12th show should be held as early as possible, probably as from 4:00pm. If this cannot be done, that it must enter into the night, then, it should be done in Main campus auditorium. This is because if it is to be held in Newsite again, with the same expected security threats that occurred in this last one, then, I may not attend, make any publicity about it, nor invite any of my alumni friend to attend. I cannot subject myself again to what I experienced going back home. The focus here is on the students. Any show that will put the students in peril cannot be supported. Therefore, in as much it is a must supported show, we must all collaborate to seek for a way forward. I knew the show was supposed to be held in main campus auditorium but for the renovations. If that is the case, then let us ensure that main campus auditorium is a goal by December.
- Transportation: It is very expedient to plan transportation ahead of time for invited guest. Two types of transportation are very important here. First is transportation for the students. You can decide to take N1,100 for tickets and use the N100 to plan for coastal buses to be ready to take students home after the show. This arrangement would have been very helpful in this past concert. The coastal buses would just run through Newsite to roundabout, straight to endipele and turn to CHS, from where it will come back to main campus gate. This would have averted the fear of boys along the way. Even if it is held in main campus by December, this arrangement would also be relevant.
Then, another arrangement would be for those coming from Yenagoa. As many alumni members come to NDU, you realize they do not have any form of contact here again, some do not have cars, so, by 11pm when the concert closed, they were stranded. There is need to prepare vehicles that will convey them back to Yenagoa or make arrangements for hotel bookings ahead of time. Some may not thought of accommodations because they were thinking a show that would kickstart by 4:00pm would probably end by 8:00pm-9:00pm. Only to see themselves at 11:00pm with no plan for where to sleep. This is another area we are going to collectively look at.
- Inclusion of Public Discuss: Since MC Monica is a comedian, it is very possible that all your focus will be in singing, dancing and comedy, with no attention on academic coloration of the concert. I suggest that a discourse should be presented by the alumni president and the Vice Chancellor. Adding discussion to the singing, dancing and comedy will make the programme worthwhile. The VC should come and tell us the challenges of NDU and how the Alumni can contribute. I see the NDU as “a child of necessity” and must be tamed by all and sundry to grow. Also, the alumni is also facing employment issues, they should also come out and appeal to the VC to prioritize the alumni members in their employment. This is very important to all – so that the benefits can be two-way.
- Publicity of NDU Artiste within the NDU Community and Beyond: I listened to some songs in the concert, and I was surprised that they were done by NDU students. What MC Monica should also look at is to make a publication on list of songs by NDU students and graduates and publicize them. This will create more and more awareness and patronage of local artistes.
The NDU2DWorld concert have many potentials for the NDU community if more hands are placed on deck to support the programme. To MC Monica and his organizers, they should know that whatever I write here is merely suggested, no criticism, just suggestions. You guys know what’s up with what can be taken or discarded. It is our collective prayer that NDU2DWorld will be great come December 12.
Michael Oghenenyoreme Jules