Photo from Connect Nigeria

By Rashidat Akashat

During the inaugural launch of the new Terrakulture Arena, an ultra-modern 400-seater theatre in Lagos on Sunday, Bolanle Austen-Peters promised to take youths off the streets.

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According to the Chief Executive officer of BAP Productions and founder of TerraKulture, the success of the BAP productions is owed to the youthful Nigerian graduates.

Austen-Peters said “I have been fortunate to work with excellent and brilliant young people who are committed to what they do. They don’t want to be doctors, lawyers or engineers. They only want to perform, sing and dance.

“I have an incredible set of musicians, too. When we started, we couldn’t put our music together. Now we write the song for our musicals. We also have sound and lighting technicians who have all developed from here,” she said.

She added that several persons on her stable who they have mentored for seven years are doing very well.

“My people work very hard. We have all been together for 15 years. I have a team of 60 people in various art institutions across Nigeria.

“So, imagine, if we had 100 branches of Terrakulture in the country, the number of people we would recruit as staff. For every play produced by BAP Productions that you see, not less than 100 jobs are created. We are taking the youths off the streets and adding value to life.

The Governor of Lagos State Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, congratulated the CEO for her dedication to the preservation, promotion and development of Nigerian arts and culture.

Austen-Peters Arena gets Ambode’s nod

The Lagos State Governor noted that by building the Arena, she had effectively influenced his vision to tap into the wealthy potential of arts to make the State a hub of entertainment in Nigeria.

According to him, the plan is to create the right environment to unleash the great opportunities in the creative industry.

This, he said, would promote a driving force for job and wealth creation.

“In this regard, we are committed to establishing one standard theatre in each of the five divisions in the state. In addition, we are collaborating with the Federal Government to restore the lost glory of the iconic National Arts Theatre in Iganmu.”

The Governor hoped that the arena would in the long term serve as a rallying point for people of diverse backgrounds who would have the opportunity to enjoy the richness of the cultural heritage of the country.