Nigeria’s arts and culture sector has always played a crucial role in uniting the people while defining it as a nation what with over 150 ethnic groups and 500 languages.
In furtherance of its proud tradition of supporting Nigerian arts and culture, MTN through the MTN Foundation, on Thursday, October 18, announced its sponsorship of six critically acclaimed arts initiatives – five musicals and a visual arts festival – due to be staged across the country in the fourth quarter of the year.
They include musicals such as Fela and the Kalakuta Queens (produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters), Legends (produced Gbenga Yusuf and Ayo Ajayi); Our Son, the Minister (produced by Bikiya Graham-Douglas); Simply Poetry (by Dike Chukwumerije), Oba Esugbayi (produced by Joseph Edgar) and the Life in My City Art Festival taking place in Enugu. The sponsorships is part of the Arts and Culture initiative of the MTN Foundation.
Earlier in the year, the Foundation had also supported the public performance of world class theatre productions such as Saro and Wakaa the Musical, as well as the Eko Theatre Carnival.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, October 18, 2018; Executive Secretary of the Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said, “These productions represent the very best of Nigerian theatre, and we are humbled by their willingness to partner with us. Our sponsorships are guided by three key objectives – to re-tell Nigerian/African stories to our people; to promote our values and finally to empower skilled professionals to showcase their talent before a wider audience.”
Also speaking at the conference, three of the producers – Ayo Ajayi, Joseph Edgar and Kevin Ejiofor expressed their appreciation and delight over the partnership.
In the words of Kevin, who is the producer of Life in my City arts festival- “Our event is unique in that it is pan-Nigerian and targets artistes under the age of 35 and has been going on for 12 years. You can imagine our relief that MTN noticed our blood, toil and sweat in trying to empower young Nigerians to attain the height of their creative expression.”
Joseph Edgar, Producer of Oba Esugbeyi said that “When we were working on the show, it was clear to us that for MTN to lend its support, it must be of great quality and have a wide impact on the larger society. MTN has been very supportive in this regard and we are looking forward to a successful show run.”
In the words of Ayo Ajayi, one of the producers of Legends the musical, which will be showing at MUSON Centre – “MTN is everywhere you go when it comes to Arts & Culture in Nigeria and I sincerely appreciate their support and sponsorship.”
Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, which was the first of the productions, took place on October 14 as part of the Felabration celebrations. Other supported productions are slated to take place at various dates in October, November and December 2018.
MTN Nigeria is Africa’s largest provider of communications services, connecting over 55 million people in communities across the country with each other and the world. Guided by a vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world, MTN Nigeria’s leadership position in coverage, capacity and innovation has remained constant, since its launch in 2001. MTN Nigeria is part of the MTN Group – a multinational telecommunications group which operates in 22 countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.