The Terra Academy for The Arts (TAFTA) has marked the graduation ceremony of its first set of students with the conferment of certificates to nearly two thousand of them who successfully completed its rigorous programme on relevant skills in theatre arts and entrepreneurship.
The ceremony which took place at the Terra Kulture Arena in Lagos last Friday February 10 attracted dignitaries from all walks of life.
The programme offered an innovative curriculum with specialized courses in sound design, stage lighting, animation, and scriptwriting, all of which were incorporated with entrepreneurship modules.
Speaking at the event, TAFTA’s founder, Bolanle Austen-Peters, described her motivation for the creative academy’s establishment and congratulated the graduates on a well-deserved accomplishment.
“The dream of TAFTA is a story of possibilities. It was during the pandemic when industries were shutting down and few were harder hit than the creative industry, that we realized how important it is for us to use our creativity to create wealth. As Terra Kulture, we trained hundreds of talents each year who have become superstars in their respective fields, an opportunity we wanted to extend to the greater public.
“TAFTA was established as a gateway to impacting the lives of young Nigerians. The training we provide allows our graduates to build their entrepreneurial skill-sets, ensuring that they are capable of providing for themselves and their families. I am very delighted that what was thought impossible has been made possible. My sincere congratulations to our graduates today who have taken the next steps to transform their lives.” she said.
In his keynote speech, the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, spoke on the long-term impact of TAFTA’s program on national development.
He said: “Nigeria’s creative industry is the new crude oil. Today, Nigeria has taken the world by storm and found itself in the global space, be it through music, movies, fashion, literature, or theatre. As Nigeria’s population comprises a 70% youth demographic, many of whom are unemployed or underemployed, TAFTA could not come at a more auspicious time. I can say with conviction that TAFTA is contributing its quota to the efforts to solve the unemployment crisis in Nigeria. I also want to congratulate the graduates and admonish them to make the best use of this rare opportunity afforded to them. TAFTA continues to be a partner of progress and its efforts are impressive and highly commendable. The Ministry looks forward to exploring greater means of partnerships with TAFTA to extend their invaluable training across the length and breadth of Nigeria”.
The exclusive gathering was well attended by eminent personalities, industry veterans, as well as up-and-coming stars like Prof. Duro Oni, President, Nigerian Academy of Letters; Rev Olasupo Ayokunle, President, Christian Association of Nigeria; Femi Odugbemi, award-winning Filmmaker; Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Actress; former Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; Cultural Attache at the French Consulate in Lagos, Emmanuella Harang; Deyemi Okanlawon, Actor; and Mike Afolarin, Actor; amongst other key players in the industry. The ceremony was also hosted by Akah Nnani, a famed Nollywood actor.