To paraphrase the holy writ; the vision is for an appointed time. It may tarry, but we are admonished, to patiently wait for it, for it shall surely fructify in the end. This paraphrase of Habakkuk chapter 2:3 aptly captures the journey of the Alumni Association of the graduates of Theatre and Film studies, of the University of Port Harcourt, AKA Crabites. The journey to becoming a duly registered and fully functional, if not one of the most formidable forces in the creative space in Nigeria has been a challenging and arduous one. Indeed, many Crabites made sacrifices and invested hard earned resources to ensure the dream was birthed. Today, that dream is a reality.
Recall that Crabites held a well-publicised and attended homecoming event in 2012, that shut down the university of Port Harcourt community for three days. Students, lecturers and other members of the University of Port Harcourt community were ecstatic as they competed to catch glimpses of their favourite Nollywood stars who are proud graduates of the Department of Theatre Arts, UNIPORT. Some of the stars who were physically present then are, Julius Agwu, Bimbo Manuel, Hilda Dokubo, Ejike Asiegbu, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Francis Duru, Monalisa Chinda-Coker, Chief Sir Victor Osuagwu (KSC) amongst others. The events of that homecoming ended with a well-organised dinner at the Shell Club, Shell Residential Area, Rumukwurushi, Port Harcourt.
It is gratifying that the Crabites Association is a reality today. The alumni is now duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as “The Crabites Association” with a vision to be; “Leaders in the Arts, Culture and Entertainment industry in Nigeria.” There is today a fully functional Board of Trustees, (BOT) ably led by professor Alex Asigbo as chairman. Also, the association successfully conducted its maiden election electronically with Crabites home and abroad voting for candidates of their choice. The election was intense and keenly contested, even when every activity was within the digital space. The election produced the maiden executive council for the association with; Mr Francis Ajua (President), Mrs Christy Nwabuoku-Okonji (VP, Diaspora) Mr Basoene Kelsey Tariah (VP, South-South), Mr Patrick Otoro (VP, North), Mrs Ogechi Ekpe (VP, West), Mr Eni ChukwuEmeka (VP, East), Mr James Oparaekocha (Secretary-General), Owumi Ajueshi Edirin (Social Secretary), Mr Chima Adimora (Financial Secretary), Nnamah Ifeoma Onyinye (Welfare Secretary), Nengi Rufus-Spiff (Treasurer), Linda Ochete (Assistant Secretary), & Don Kester Oshioreame (Publicity Secretary).
Whereas many people worked relentlessly over the years to make the association what it is today, for which all Crabites worldwide are grateful, we must make special mention of the 7-Man, Electoral Committee (ELECO) led by Dr Martins Tugbokorowei as its chairman, that conducted the maiden electronic election successfully, between Friday the 5th thru Sunday 7th November 2021, despite apparent challenges. Similarly, the Interim Executive Committee (IEC) which was led by Mr Leo Isi-Irabor, for its role as a patient midwife that birthed the association.
Congratulations to all Crabites.
Barring any last-minute change in plans, the inauguration of the maiden executive council is fixed for Sunday 12th December 2021 in Port Harcourt.
The Crabites Association is poised to be “leaders in the Arts, Culture and Entertain industry in Nigeria.”
Don Kester Oshioreame.
The Crabites Association.