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In the bustling heart of Nigeria, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu envisioned a creative renaissance for Lagos. A vision that would intertwine the city’s vibrant cultural pulse with a modern, global appeal. That dream began to take shape with the announcement of the ‘Kebulania’ project. Drawing inspiration from Alkebulan, the ancient name for Africa signifying the ‘Mother of Mankind,’ Kebulania was conceptualized as a place of boundless potential and new beginnings.

In the early stages of this grand project, Governor Sanwo-Olu embarked on a series of pivotal meetings with creative investors from the United States, led by Mr. Linus Idahosa, CEO of Del-York Group. This collaboration promised to bring to Lagos an expansive facility spread across 100 hectares in Epe. This film city would be the embodiment of entertainment and culture, boasting state-of-the-art studios, a film and media academy, a Nollywood Walk of Fame, and diverse entertainment hubs. With construction set to commence in 2023, the winds of change were palpable.

The journey to this monumental initiative dates back to a decade ago when the seeds of change were sown. At a time when quality training in the creative arts was scarce and many talented individuals struggled to monetize their skills, solutions were sought. It was during this period that Del-York International took the lead in fostering an ecosystem where practitioners could harness their skills and thrive in an enabling environment.

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to the entertainment industry was unwavering. He recognized its potential under his T.H.E.M.E.S agenda and championed initiatives that would elevate Lagos’s creative sector. Through partnerships like the Lagos State Creative Industry Initiative (LACI), over a thousand creatives were trained in various disciplines, empowering them to contribute significantly to the industry.

Lagos, with its teeming population and dynamic energy, has always been a magnet for creatives. Its unique blend of cultures and histories gave birth to Nollywood, the world’s largest film industry. And while filming activities have spread to other Nigerian cities, Lagos remains the epicenter of cinematic arts.

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s vision was clear. He aimed to create a pilot program that would generate invaluable data to support the inflow of capital into the creative industry. By studying successful models from cities like Atlanta and LA, Lagos could craft its unique blueprint for success.

The establishment of a film city was the logical next step for Nigeria’s evolving film narrative. Given the vast resources required for such a project, collaboration was essential. The recent MoU between the Lagos State Government, Del-York International Group, and Storyland, its US partner, laid the foundation for Nigeria’s premier film city in Epe.

Lagos Film City promises more than just entertainment. It aspires to be a hub where academia meets the industry, offering training facilities and real-world experiences. With a focus on producing local equipment and attracting global franchises, the film city aims to position Africa at the forefront of the global film industry.

For Governor Sanwo-Olu, this isn’t just a project; it’s a legacy. A testament to the potential of Lagos and a beacon for filmmakers worldwide. As creatives from Hollywood and beyond turn their gaze towards Lagos, the city stands ready, not just to entertain but to inspire and captivate the world.

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