Monday, 24 June 2019

Nikkita Duke, making Efiks proud in the diaspora ...See what she did

Nikkita Duke, in her beautiful Efik attire
 just after her MFA Hooding Ceremony 

Ukorebi Esien 

CALABAR - The Efiks are said to be a rare species of human beings, especially among Africans. The Efiks truly have a rich cultural heritage and this has endeared them to the Western world since the first contact was established in the era of slave trade. In recent past, so much has been said about the Efiks, some derogatory while others promotional. Many have said they are a bunch of lazy fellow who just sit down waiting for manner to drop from above. The misconception of such thoughts is not unconnected from the royalty feeling which is embedded in the blood of every true Efik. 

For me, this does not and and cannot amount to pride and laziness as off course many sons and daughters of this African extraction have actually proven critics of the Efik Kingdom wrong as they keep excelling in their various fields studies and professions with several national and international recognition. 

It is based on this backdrop that TDN took out time to celebrate yet another daughter of the Efik extraction who has demonstrated hardwork and diligence in her studies even in a foreign land. One unique thing about this beauty with brains is that she still remembers, celebrates, and showcases her root. 

It was a warm Thursday evening of 20th June, 2019 and at exactly 3 pm, the Cahn Auditorium on the Evanston Campus of Northwestern University located at 600 Emerson Street, Evanston, IL 60201 was already filled with Students, Faculties, Invited Guests, Parents and well wishers, ready to witness and participate in the 18th edition of the annual PhD and MFA Hooding ceremony of the University.

Like an African bride, of the Efik kingdom located somewhere in the South Southern region of Nigeria, Cross River state in particular, a daughter of the Duke Royal House, last girl child of an erudite scholar, a politician par excellence, who have carved for himself a name in history of the state and nation at large in several spheres such as sports, governance and poetry. Chief Orok Otuekong Duke's beautiful daughter appeared just as the name Nikkita Duke was mentioned by the moderator. 

Adorned in the Efik traditional attire - Onyonyo, Barr Nikkita Duke majestically in royalty and elegance stepped forward to be hooded by Thomas Bradshaw, an MFA adviser in the University, signifying her success in completing the graduate program of the prestigious institution. 

The Hooding ceremony of the Northwestern University is a special recognition ceremony for PhD and MFA degree candidates during which a current Northwestern graduate faculty member places the doctoral hood over the head of the graduate, signifying his or her success in completing the graduate program. The ceremony is similar to a graduation in that faculty and students are dressed in academic attire (regalia). The Hooding Ceremony is in addition to and does not replace the all-University Commencement at Ryan Field.

For miss Nikkita Duke who graduated with an MFA degree in screen and stage writing from the University, she said her sense of dressing to the event was her own unique way of showcasing and appreciating her rich cultural heritage. She said the theme for her attire was "Eyen Calabar" interpreted to mean "CALABAR CHILD". 

The young miss Duke, who was called to bar in the UK some years back has already gotten a job offer from Warner Brothers in Hollywood, an American entertainment company headquartered in Burbank, California, even as she gears up for a PhD, Hollywood, Emmy, Oscar and several other degrees and awards. 

Speaking with the visibly elated father, Chief Orok Duke, a one time Deputy Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly and immediate past chairman of the Cross River State Sports Commission, he expressed satisfaction at the level of speed his daughter is fast progressing form one level of speed to the other how she has continue to always remember and celebrate her root even in a strange land. 

Chief Duke also added this in a text message made available to this reporter 
More Grease, Little Nikkita, our skilled writer.....soar on. 

Pictures below shows Nikita with mum and Dad after her MFA Hooding ceremony 

Watch video of Nikkita being hooded 

See video of Nikkita's call to bar in the UK