The Governing Council of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, has approved the appointment of Professor Ahmed Parker Yerima as the new Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the institution during her 68th statutory meeting held recently. He is an eminent academic, award-winning playwright, and Professor of Theatre and Cultural Studies in the Department of Theatre Arts and Film Studies, Faculty of Humanities.
Professor Yerima was born in Lagos on the 8th of May 1957. He had his primary education at St. Bernadette’s Private School, Abeokuta from where he proceeded to Lagos Baptist Academy and obtained the West African School Certificate and Higher School Certificates in 1971-1977. He also obtained a Diploma and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University between 1977 and 1981. He proceeded to University College, Cardiff in 1982 where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Playwriting and Acting. He obtained his Doctoral degree in Dramatic Theory and Criticism in 1986 at the Royal Holloway College, University of London. Professor Yerima worked at the University of Ife (1984-85) and Ahmadu Bello University (1985-1991). He also holds a Certificate in “Peoples, Policy and Administration” from the Open University, England. His research interests focus on Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Historicism, Despotism, Cultural Deconstruction, and Reconstruction in Dramatic Literature.
Professionally, in 1991, he became Deputy Artistic Director of the National Troupe of Nigeria, and later in 2000, he became Artistic Director, a position he held until 2005 when he was appointed Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Theatre/National Troupe of Nigeria, until 2009. In 2007, he had the singular honour of being appointed the Director-General of the Abuja carnival, a national and global event that brought contingents and tourism enthusiasts to Nigeria. As the leader of the National Troupe for seven years, Professor Yerima helped to positively project Nigerian culture far and wide. He has played significant roles in the formulation and administration of Nigeria’s cultural policy, especially in the use of theatre as a tool for development and cultural integration. He is also an Adviser/Member of the RCCG Drama Group and MGO Drama: A new dawn since 2017.
He was an Associate Professor at the University of Lagos in 2008 and was announced full professor at the Kwara State University in 2009. Professor Yerima was appointed to Redeemer’s University on 1st August 2011 as a Professor. He was the Dean Faculty of Humanities (2012-2014). Head of Department of Theatre and Film Studies (2014-2019). Member of the university Governing Council (2013-2020). He served as Provost of the College of Postgraduate Studies (2021-2023). He was the pioneer inaugural lecturer of Redeemer’s University and was the Chairman of the Committee on the movement of the university from Redemption Camp to its present site in Ede in 2014. He was the Chairman of the Students’ Disciplinary Committee of the university from 2012 to 2015, and Chairman, Staff Disciplinary Committee, from 2018-2020.
As an accomplished playwright, he has published over 80 plays, many of which have won international awards. In 2006, he won the Nigerian/NLNG prize for Literature and presently serves as a Member of the Advisory Board of the prize. He has published over 40 articles in international journals and has to his credit, 12 scholarly books and 10 chapters in books that are being used in tertiary institutions across the world. He is also a Fellow of the distinguished Nigerian Academy of Letters. In 2022, he got a grant which enabled the training of two Master of Arts students in Directing at the Department of Theatre and Film Studies in professional productions outside the university. Also, in 2023, he endowed a N1,000,000 prize in perpetuity on a Faculty rotational basis for the best doctoral thesis in the College of Postgraduate Studies. He is happily married and blessed with children. His appointment takes effect from 7th March 2023.