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RoadToAMAA: Sanwo-Olu promises to support AFA graduands with grants

AMAA2022: Tunde Kelani, Saidi Balogun, Sanwo-Olu attend AFA graduation in Alimosho

Lagos, Nigeria – The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised to support freshly graduated students of the African Film Academy with grants to help them start up in the creative sector.

Sanwo-Olu made this known on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, when a total of 890 youths sponsored by the Lagos State Government graduated from the African Film Academy.

The graduand and some of their works were presented to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu after a six-week free intensive training after which the governor pledged. In attendance were filmmakers and members of the creative industry including, Tunde Kelani, Saidi Balogun, Keppy Ekpeyong-Bassey, Queen Blessing, and other facilitators as well as dignitaries from the Lagos State Government.

The 890 youths were beneficiaries of the ‘Film in a Box’ program by the African Film Academy in conjunction with the Lagos State Government, to train and empower young people in the creative industry in three different centres – Alimosho, Epe, and Badagry.

The graduating trainees were trained in acting, art directing, light and lighting, editing, sound production, and post-production, among others.

The beneficiaries of the Film in a Box initiative, who were visibly excited by the gesture from the Lagos State Government, praised the government’s commitment to the creative industry and promised to support and ensure Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s victory for a second term in the next year governorship election in Lagos State. Some of the students that include Stephanie Eka, Mayowa Akinleye from Alimosho, Cornelius Demayon from Badagry, and Sylvia Chinwendu from Epe, chorused their excitement and delight to have been allowed to be part of the training in their respective centres.

Speaking at the Film in a Box Graduation Ceremony of the African Film Academy, held at the Lagos Theatre, Igando in Alimosho, Governor Sanwo-Olu restated his administration’s commitment to collaborate with stakeholders in the entertainment industry to train and acquire skills that would create an ecosystem to give livelihood to creative minds.

The governor also urged the graduands and other creatives to take advantage of the Lagos States Employment Trust Fund and the State Film Fund, to become self-employed and employers of labour.

Speaking earlier, Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. (Mrs) Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, said the initiative was to make the youths agents of change in the creative industry and break new grounds to enable them to become self-reliant.

She said the concept had been expanded to develop the arts and culture for optimum performance to stimulate economic growth, skills, and job creation to bridge the gap in the state creative industry.

Akinbile-Yusuf, while congratulating the graduates, assured the graduands that Lagos State Government would continue to monitor their growth and assist them in producing competent creative works in the industry.

In her remarks, a renowned filmmaker and Chief Executive Officer of the African Film Academy, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, commended the doggedness of the graduands and urged them to explore the creative industry with training received in the academy.

Anyiam-Osigwe said though the mandate was to train 600 people, the Academy went on to train and feed 890 students in Epe, Alimosho, and Badagry. She noted that some of those trained in the Academy has already been engaged by professionals in the creative and film industries.

The CEO of the African Film Academy disclosed that some of the students during the period of their training made films, adding that one of the films they made “Akanji” would be shown in the cinema portraying Alimosho to the world.

Anyiam-Osaigwe, who commended the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration for huge investment in the entertainment and creative industries, praised the Lagos State Government for equipping the Badagry General Hospital to respond to emergencies, especially when a facilitator fell ill.

Also speaking at the event, Mr. Victor Ganzallo, the coordinator of Ibijoke Sanwoolu Table Tennis Challenge, another initiative in collaboration with Peace Anyiam-Osigwe commended the governor for his belief in the youths and the numerous programs lined up towards giving them an opportunity for expression and investing in their future. According to Ganzallo, it is a known fact that Lagos is the trailblazing state in Nigeria and with Sanwoolu in the saddle, he is daily raising the bar in excellent service delivery to the electorates.

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