Creativity is passion, passion is creativity. This was on our minds as we approached Ofoani Bobby Victor, a Delta State University (DELSU) student studying Fine and Applied Arts, as he was working on a painting. He spared HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE a few minutes to have a chat with him about studying in Nigerian universities, art and life. Correspondence by Kikelomo Onigbanjo and Odunayo Adeneye:
Happenings magazine: Personal details:
Bobby: My name is Ofoani Bobby Victor. I’m from Delta State. I go to Delta State University (DELSU) where I’m studying Fine and Applied Arts. I major in painting. I am currently undergoing my Industrial Training in Yaba College of Technology.
Happenings magazine: What was the inspiration behind choosing Yabatech as your choice of IT placement?
Bobby: The inspiration behind choosing Yabatech is for dynamism. We artists should not be limited to one environment. We should always study how things are done in other schools. For example, Yabatech. is good for impressionism, expressionism and sculpting. I am really envious of them because they learn a lot and they are very practical in their work. I actually came here to learn something new. I am also here to explore.
Happenings magazine: How is life in DELSU?
Bobby: Life in Delta State University is fun and sweet. We have five campuses; I am in the main campus (Abraka). I stay off campus. We have hostels though. The leading hostel is called NDDC because it is clean and nice. It was built with oil money.
Happenings magazine: How has it been so far since you got into school?
Bobby: Ha!!! It is a very interesting long story, but I won’t tell it today. With a school like DELSU you may likely want to give up. I have been the one sponsoring myself in school. As a result of that I am always thinking too much. When it is time to pay my school fees I am always very worried. There is also a problem of food. Food in Delta is very expensive but houses are cheap in Delta.
Happenings magazine: Sponsoring yourself, how have you been coping financially?
Bobby: I sell some of my works; I also do some other works off my field. I teach sometimes, I also do some manual work. I also have some God-fearing people that sponsor me. Like Fr. Dormit, Fr. Wisdom Chikezie, Mr. S.A Mukoro, I also have a mentor in the person of Mr. Victor who is a lecturer in my school. These people have been there for me, encouraging and keeping me alive so that I can finish my education.
Happenings magazine: So what is the career path you plan to thread after school?
Bobby: Asides painting which is just a hobby for me, I plan on being an actor. I am also a comedian. Theatre is my best friend. I would really love to open an art studio after school where I can practise my art. I would also like to have a gallery for my works where they are displayed. There is nothing bad in doing the two. If I am given the opportunity I would like to be an actor and an artist.
Happenings magazine: Have you visited any art exhibition?
Bobby: I visited one arts exhibition when I was in Auchi Polytechnic which was the Artists’ Convention in 2008. Another one was in DELSU, the Final Year Exhibition. That is all.
Happenings magazine: How do you relax?
Bobby: I hardly have time to relax like that. Looking back at my life, I had it so hard. So I am always on my toes looking for ways to get funds to settle this and that. My brain is always working because before I know it, school fees are due again. The only time I ever went for a party was last month which was the house party we organised for our outgoing senior colleagues. I let down my hair that day and I partied hard.
Happenings magazine: Relationship status?
Bobby: Hmmmmmm… I am not really in any relationship. If a woman wants to be a part of me, she must understand my job. Women understand that we artists don’t really have time like that. I have a lot of female friends, but it is very hard to find a woman that understands you in and out.
Happenings magazine: A typical day for you?
Bobby: When I’m supposed to have a normal day, I’d rather go to the studio to work. I think better when I am working, therefore working is more or less like relaxing and relaxing is like working. For me you really cannot tell both of them apart. So basically, my day starts and ends in the studio.
Happenings magazine: Thank you for your time.
Bobby: You are welcome.