Art, Theatre and the Making of Talents In Nigeria

Posted on May 15 2019 , at 07:19 pm
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Action, cut, take two…!

These words may come to mind when you are thinking of play or film in Nigeria. From the stage pioneers, such as Herbert Ogunde who began acting in 1944, to Joke Silva, Olu Jacobs, Wole Soyinka; Lion and The Jewel, Pete Edochie; Things Fall Apart, Ola Rotimi; The gods are not to blame, Fela and the Kalakuta Queens… (the list is endless). The Nigerian theatre scene boasts of veterans who have contributed significantly to the development of the industry.

How do you feel when you reminisce on these writers, stage actors who taught us so many great lessons.

Moral Lesson? Arts can guide you in choosing a career path!

Gone are those days in Nigeria, when kids aspired only to be doctors, lawyers, engineers or accountants. In more recent years, professions like stage acting, directing, makeup artistry, previously looked down on have taken over and grown into billion naira industries profiting the nation; providing jobs for the youth and placing the country in the world map of progress. If arts is this profitable, why not start from the foundation level to “train up a boy/ girl in ways that he should go”?

“Theatre for Schools”, a brilliant initiative by MTN Foundation as part of its Arts and Culture debuts this week. The idea is to promote the development of theatre arts in Nigeria, by arousing the interest of young Nigerians in secondary school in the arts through competition and participation.

As the Executive Secretary of the MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma puts it, “One thing that has become clear from supporting arts and culture over the last few years is that Nigeria is burgeoning with amazing talent and many stories waiting to be told. With Theatre for Schools, we are offering a platform to discover our next generation of storytellers. We are looking at nurturing teens who will go on to become great thespians in the Nigerian theatre scene.”

Here’s the gist of how it will play out…

The competition will consist of university faculties of Theatre Arts mentoring a select number of secondary schools within their geographic catchment area.

The schools will be required to produce a play which will be staged, first at regional finals in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Ibadan, with the winners battling it out in a national final in Lagos.

All participating schools in the competition will be adopted by the Foundation as ‘MTN Arts & Culture Schools’ and paired with some theatrical leading lights in order to develop these talents further.

que sera sera

Break a leg!


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