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Soyinka, others open Seaside Cottage Theatre in Bariga


Wole Soyinka, some dignitaries and members of Footprint of David Arts

A new initiative at harnessing child talent in the area of community theatre and talent development is set for launch. It is the community-based humanitarian project of Footprints of David Art, known as Seaside Cottage Theatre. It is a project of ‘My Bariga My Pride Initiative (MBMPI)’ in Shomolu, Bariga, Lagos, which will be officially opened April 28, 2018.

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, will declare the outfit open. The aim is to further advance the primary objectives of using arts, as a tool for community engagement and development. Seaside Cottage Theatre will cater for the interests and talents of children and young adults alike and take them off the streets and sundry vices.

According to one of its promoters and Creative Art Director of Footprints of David Art, Mr. Seun Awobaje, Bariga is one of the sub-suburb areas of Lagos, where social vices and child abuse are pronounced, yet with loads of talented street children. He said Footprints of David (FoD) runs special children’s Art Academy that “uses theatre as a positive tool to rebuild, reshape and retrain many disadvantaged children in Bariga. FoD has saved over 400 street children, housed some, returned some to school and trained all into great thespians and creative giants. All of them are now better children for their handicapped parents and community at large.”

These young thespians, according to Awobaje, “have also represented Nigeria in various international art festivals. Theatre has served as an escape route from the prevailing social vices such as acts of brigandage and thuggery in the area. With their involvement now in theatre, the kids have found a new love, a new home and a new dream.”

He also said the troupe has travelled to over 18 cities in Europe, performed before past and current presidents, governors, president of Germany, and handled the command performance of Lagos@50 celebration last year. He noted that the cottage theatre would have the presence of Soyinka and the first female Permanent Secretary in Nigeria and Board of Trustee of Footprints of David Art, Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel. Executive Chairman of Bariga LCDA, Hon. Kolade Alabi David, will also witness the opening that will hold on April 28 at 130, Community Road, Akoka, Bariga, Lagos. Time is 4pm – 7pm.

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