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MTN backs talent development with theatre, music

By Eniola Daniel
01 January 2022   |   2:43 am
Multinational mobile telecommunications company, MTN, has said it was keen on facilitating the reawakening of the once vibrant performing arts space, music growth and talent development in Nigeria.

Joseph Umoibom, Executive Secretary, MTNF, Odunayo Sanya and Bolanle Austen-Peters in a group photograph after Death and the King’s Horseman play<br />

Multinational mobile telecommunications company, MTN, has said it was keen on facilitating the reawakening of the once vibrant performing arts space, music growth and talent development in Nigeria.

Since it was founded in 2004, MTN Foundation as a brand has shown commitment to empowering young Nigerians through the MTN Project Fame, partnership with the school of music, helping talents in the theatre industry.

Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation (MTNF), Odunayo Sanya, told The Guardian at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, where Death and King’s Horseman, a play directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters and produced by Joseph Umoibom was staged, that MTNF’s objectives for foraying into the arts and culture space remain to support platforms that promote values through art and culture.

Death and the King’s Horseman is a play by Wole Soyinka based on a real incident that took place in Oyo during the colonial era in 1946.

Speaking on the partnership, Sanya said: “Our partnership with Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions (BAP) dates back a few years now and the reason we do this is that MTNF believes in youths development. We believe that we need to develop people. We partnered with the Muson School of Music where youths study for two years on scholarship to obtain a globally accredited diploma in music; we also recognised that there are some young people who don’t do music but have talents in storytelling, who can preserve our culture.”

On her part, Austen-Peters said: “It has been tough because of COVID-19 but MTN supported us. I came into this story because Prof. Soyinka asked me to direct it. I read the book while I was doing my A-level but I didn’t really understand it, but doing this makes me understand the play. The way I directed this is completely different from the way I have directed other plays.“

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