With over 150 ethnic groups and 500 languages, arts and culture has always played a crucial role in defining our nation and uniting our people.
In furtherance of its proud tradition of supporting Nigerian arts and culture, MTN through the MTN Foundation, today announced its sponsorship of 6 critically acclaimed arts initiatives (5 musicals and a visual arts festival) due to be staged across the country in the 4th quarter of the year.
L-R: Nonny Ugboma, Executive secretary, MTN Foundation; Ayo Ajayi, Executive Director Declassical Arts and Entertainment; Dennis Okoro, Director, MTN Foundation and Abasi-Ekong Udobang, Senior Manager, Program Implementation, MTN Foundation at the press conference unveiling the MTN Foundation arts and culture initiative at Terra Kulture in Victoria Island, Lagos.
They include musicals such as Fela and the Kalakuta Queens (produced by Bolanle Austen Peters), Legends (produced Gbenga Yusuf and Ayo Ajayi); Our Son, the Minister(produced by Bikiya Graham-Douglas); Simply Poetry (by Dike Chukwumerije), Oba Esugbayi (produced by Joseph Edgar) and the Life in My City Art Festival taking place in Enugu. The sponsorships are as part of the Arts and Culture initiative of the MTN Foundation.
Recall that earlier in the year, the Foundation had also supported the public performance of world class theatre productions such as Saro and Wakaa the Musical, as well as the Eko Theatre Carnival.
Speaking at a press conference today October 18, 2018; Executive Secretary of the Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said “These productions represent the very best of Nigerian theatre, and we are humbled by their willingness to partner with us.
Our sponsorships are guided by three key objectives – to re-tell Nigerian/African stories to our people; to promote our values and finally to empower skilled professionals to showcase their talent before a wider audience.”
Also speaking at the conference, three of the producers – Ayo Ajayi, Joseph Edgar and Kevin Ejiofor expressed their appreciation and delight over the partnership.
In the words of Kevin, who is the producer of Life in my City arts festival- “Our event is unique in that it is pan-Nigerian and targets artists under the age of 35 and has been going on for twelve years. You can imagine our relief that MTN noticed our blood, toil and sweat in trying to empower young Nigerians to attain the height of their creative expression.”
Kevin Ejiofor, Executive Director, Life in my City Art Festival; Nonny Ugboma, Executive secretary, MTN Foundation; Edgar Joseph, Duke of Shomolu Productions and Bikiya Graham-Douglas, COO, Beeta Universal Arts Foundation at the press conference unveiling the MTN Foundation arts and culture initiative at Terra Kulture in Victoria Island, Lagos
Joseph Edgar, Producer of Oba Esugbeyi said that “When we were working on the show, it was clear to us that for MTN to lend its support, it must be of great quality and have a wide impact on the larger society. MTN has been very supportive in this regard and we are looking forward to a successful show run.”
In the words of Ayo Ajayi, one of the producers of Legends the musical, which will be showing at MUSON Centre – “MTN is everywhere you go when it comes to Arts & Culture in Nigeria and I sincerely appreciate their support and sponsorship.”
Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, which was the first of the productions, took place on October 14 as part of the Felabration celebrations. Other supported productions are slated to take place at various dates in October, November and December 2018.