I walked into the Open-Air theatre, University of Jos, and I felt at home. There were two stages at opposite ends lengthwise, but one was much bigger than the other. The smaller one was against the back wall way into the theatre while the big one was at the first half and the rows of concrete seating nestled in between the two stages.
There were people in leotards dancing, singing, rehearsing scenes from plays… It was all so exciting to little me. A place to really get into the things I loved to do… It was a dream come true. Unknown to me, this dream was to be short-lived.
I went through the university wishing I was someplace else. I kept thinking there had been a mistake somewhere. I’d made a mistake being here. The department of Theatre and Communications was so full of sh*t… These were my thoughts for almost three years until something happened to change my mind in my last semester. This was when I met Professor Illah.
Professor Illah was once the Dean of my faculty, but at this time he was just one of those senior lecturers who took final-year students from time to time. He loves cars and drove an Audi A8 then, in 2011. His method of teaching was by taking our opinions and ideas and linking ig with what he wanted us to know. In his eyes, everyone was right. He taught Dramatic Literature and Criticism which explored the elements of Drama and the components that made a work of Art spectacular. Elements that made it beautiful and the one way he described beauty was thus;
“Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder And The Reason For Beholding”
The second half of this quote made the scales fall from my eyes and I had an Epiphany (I love this word). I suddenly realized why I was where I was. I began to appreciate the years I’d spent in the school and told myself that even if I hadn’t learnt anything, this was worth all the time and energy.
The saying makes you understand that beauty is in everything and what may be perceived as ugly to one person is beautiful to someone else. 🙂 This makes you appreciate and see the beauty in everything.
Through his classes we explored why certain businesses are more successful than others, why cartoon characters have huge eyes, why people love drumsticks over chicken legs or why some people like curvy ladies. Essentially, the appeal in a work of art of any creation is trying to find out what makes it attractive, what makes it beautiful. With this knowledge, life is easier and one can go through life being more appreciative of everything around us.
Professor Illah became my favourite university lecturer and whenever I can, I share this theory to help others be more appreciative as it has helped me.
Apply this simple theory and life can only get more beautiful.