I was just standing and waiting, when a hand held me. I was actually on phone with her, a sweet rose, who said her frame was just some metres away from the entrance of the English Department. We were due for a class some minutes earlier and a slight change in venue would not have a cycle without some level of ‘depression’. It was then a man of my clime, a Don with a swag and first Nigerian Professor of Marketing Communication and Applied Rhetoric, University of Uyo, Prof. Peter Esuh, held my hand. His voice had been ringing like an old church bell in my mind, with endless echoes that dangle with me across, the many rivers I have crossed. “Hold this gown for me, for you should wear it in a short while”, he had said.
It was three weeks back when I last met him. I had been invited by a good friend and towns wo(man) to attend the inaugural lecture of another towns wo(man), Prof. Valerie Aphie Solomon. PVAS is a Professor of Agricultural Sociology and Development. The FairieQueen had delivered her lecture at the 1000-Seater TETFUND Auditorium at the Main Campus of the University on feminine, gender and nature issues with the coinage, “Voiceless Voices”. Her grouse was on the many issues of societal stereotypes against the women folk whom she said had never been an ‘afterthought’ at creation, but a ‘refined’ version of man.
It was after the lecture that personalities at the event were billed for a session of group photographs outside the Hall. I’m sure the agile-looking Prof. may have had some weakness in her knees. The session was long and complex. It was time for some natives to join the Lecturer in the exercise. That was when Prof. Peter Esuh put off his academic gown. As indicated earlier, he gave me the gown and prophesied that I should be arrayed in it in no distant time.
Unknowingly to Prof Esuh, I had invaded his territory a couple of months ago. Of course, it became imparative that I should begin traveling on the ‘Road not Taken’. Only recently, I met his absence when I had visited his office for some informal discussion. And so the urgency of my engagement at this opportune moment, could not be flipped out. “Follow me”, he had instructed. And like a lamb would willingly obey his shepherd, I obliged without hesitation. I went with him to his office where he is the Head, Department of Communication Arts of the University.
While informing him of my current status in the realm, and gained the encouragement to sail to the shore, he reminded me of the notification which the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nyahudo Ndaeyo had given three weeks back. In his remark after Prof Valerie’s lecture, the VC had announced that the next Inaugural Lecturer would be a man from the same stock, Òròn. Like Lenris Peters did ‘pronounced’ the sweet-sounding name of ‘Neate’ in that poetic contemplation, the Vice Chancellor called him out, Peter Esuh PhD, leaving the densely occupied hall in a ceaseless electrifying fire.
With this flyer in my hand, I invite my friends to keep a date with a man of timber and calibre as he is set to deliver a classic lecture on the topic, “Persuading the Persuaders: A Rhetorico-Semiotic Direction to Marketing Communication”. The date is Thursday, November 25, 2021 at the same 1,000-Seater TETFund Auditorium at the Main Campus along Nwaniba Road, Uyo by 3pm. I am persuaded to believe that Prof Peter Esuh will do more than justice to this topic.
It is my belief that Prof Esuh will not only give out free tips to marketing strategies, but initiate ready minds into the profession of marketing. Indeed, like he held my hands and took me up to his office, this is an opportunity for those in the field of marketing, public relations and advertising to join this tuition free tutorials in gaining first-hand, and from the ‘professor’ of knowledge, the skills familiar to marketing of products and services. Join me and let’s go up together with the professor.