Anthony touching lives through performance
Anthony Yusuf is a budding artist. For the love of stage, he founded the Young Starz of Afrika Arts Academy in 2014 to serve as platform for young people to perform and also to mentor upcoming acts in different aspect of stage performances.
Coming in contact with acting, music and dance at the age of nine, when he began to watch big acts perform on stage, Anthony began to dream of becoming one, so he joined his school’s and church’s drama groups, where most times he played lead roles and soon became popular. Not satisfied with his level of performance, he became a member of the Arts Afrika Dance Troupe to hone his skill in choreography, contemporary/African dance, drama and callisthenics.
Gaining proficiency in 2002, young Anthony left the group in 2014 to establish his on September 30.
His troupe, which started with four members, now has over 25 members and at various times performed at different high profile events within and outside Lagos.
With most of the Young Starz of Afrika Arts Academy plays and dances centred on topical issues, the academy serves as avenue to tell youths to use their talents for self and national development instead of blaming government for their hapless situations.
“With your hands on paper, you can produce words for the future. With your imaginations and creative thinking, you can come up with initiatives that will positively benefit you and the society,” Anthony admonishes the youth.
Why did he form a new troupe, were there any issues with the Arts Afrika? “No, there were none,” he says, “I left because of my conviction. I saw a lot of young people looking for platform to express themselves and hone their talents and I created one.
According to him, “Apart from this, the art academy has given me the opportunity to pay more attention on children/teens theatre. It has also enabled me to carry out my mission, which is to create jobs through the use of music, dance and other art forms and as well to engage the youth; discouraging them from getting involved in vices like Internet scam, armed robbery, kidnapping, prostitution and others.”
The Young Starz of Afrika Arts Academy recently put up a performance at Ikeja for Kody and the Kids. With theme as Back To Our Root, the show drew accolades from guests and the audience.
“I am delighted and this is because the performance brought out the importance of going back to our roots; to the days of our fathers. Another thing was, I wrote the play and directed it, including the choreography.
“Aside this, my other works include, Social Vices: A Setback To Development; The Chronicles Of The Green Land Of Our Birth; Building Hope In The Face Of Adversity; Back To Our Root; WAZOBIA FM, The People’s Station; Halleluyah; Raising A Child In A Depressed Economy; Children Of Africa and others,” he informs.
Having acted in over 35 stage plays, Anthony looks forward to appearing on the big screen, performing with big names in the Nigerian movie industry. In fact, the founder of the Young Starz of Afrika Arts Academy looks forward to appearing on stage with Funke Akindele and AY.
“Basically, when it comes to acting my role model is Funke Akindele (Jenifa) I love her act; I love her movies. I admire her so much and I hope to get on track with her production outfit in years to come. I also get inspiration from AY. I love AY so much; he is a creative person and also my role model. I hope to get on track too with him in years to come.
“I love the stage so much, but I look forward to appearing on the big screen, where I would turn some of stage plays into television series or home movies,” he says.
On what to expect from his academy this year, Anthony discloses: “It’s going to be our Season 4 and we hope to make the event bigger. There’s going to be a live concert from with the fusion of dance, drama, music, comedy, symposium and Broadway musical. We shall also have a sub-activities that would incorporate events like Teens Got Talent, entrepreneurship programmes, roadshow, carnival and rally against social vices and others.”
Calling for partnership and sponsorship, Anthony notes that the Season 4 would showcase different genre of performance and promises to be thrilling.
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