By Funke Olaode
She is gradually carving a niche for herself. Ayanfeoluwa Lawal, CEO of Quints Diction and Social Polish Academy, is becoming an authority on etiquette. Within a few months, she has built a stream of Ivy league clients, as her services have become much sought after by highbrow secondary schools across Lagos State. The clergy are not left out of the teeming number of professionals who contact her in a bid to project a positive image through public speaking.
For Lawal, a trained broadcaster turned diction coach, her newfound love was borne out of her passion to see a transformed society through public speaking.
Lawal is a passionate and creative professional with valuable experience in broadcast journalism spanning over a decade. She has traversed the whole gamut of vocations on radio and television; serving at various times as a newscaster, presenter, reporter, as well as producer. Much of these services were rendered between DBN Television and MITV. She has also developed strong capacity in communication skills and consultancy on diction, elocution and social polish.
She has certificates on Presentation from the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Training School, which is the foremost institute in Nigeria on Phonetics training and broadcast presentation.
She also has a Masters degree in Communications Art from the University of Ibadan and has attended several trainings on diction, public speaking and social polish.
To further the frontier of passion, she recently launched a book ‘The Diction Book’ which comes with an audio CD. It teaches elocution and gives all the necessary tips on how to speak righty. The book contains over 200 commonly mis-pronounced English words
Lawal anchors her passion on her background. The daughter of a retired Baptist clergy, she was raised in a pastoral environment which has influenced her behaviour in public.
Initially, she thought of retiring into diction coaching, which was a vision she thought she would push into retirement. But she had to resign her appointment and then proceeded to give life to her vision.
Throwing more light on what her company does, she said. “Our area of focus is voice and diction training, accent reduction and accent neutralisation because you have people with a very thick accent which is peculiar to different cultural settings.
“We also teach the rudiment of managing freight and nervousness. No matter how much you can speak, if you do not pay attention to your grammar and vocabulary people won’t take you seriously. I had to conquer my own family and made them believe in me because they didn’t understand. But I think when your passion is big and strong enough you face your fear and launch out. They can see the result of what I am doing and their confidence in me is restored.”
Tunde Kelani Institutes Legacy with Film School
Respected filmmaker, Tunde Kelani (TK) and team members of his film school, Mainframe Film and Media Institute (MFMI) recently graduated the first set of students and presented certificates to them in the presence of notable personalities such as Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Segun Odegbami, Kunle Afolayan, Mr. Segun Adaju, Dipo Famakinwa, Mr. Tunde Adeniji, Chimaobi Agwu, Femi Odugbemi, Ropo Ewenla, Seye Oyeleye and many others.
At the ceremony that had filmmaker and pioneering head of jury for Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award (AMVCA), Femi Odugbemi delivering the keynote address, many other notable stakeholders in the industry enjoined students to put to good use during the eight-week course.
Filmmaking, according to Femi Odugbemi, is a powerful drill. He said “Use it to make a hole…Make films to make a point. Make films that matter. Filmmaking is first and foremost an artistic endeavour. It is a thoughtful, disruptive endeavour that seeks to influence the minds of its audiences. It is primarily entertaining but its real power is that it causes society to reflect on its history, its sociology, its ideology but much more its empathy and humanity. Filmmaking is not a trade; it is not some easy vocation for the dimwitted or something to do because you couldn’t pass JAMB.”
Kunle Afolayan, a filmmaker, who has drawn so much from the well of wisdom of TK, emphasised the need to have mentors. In driving home his point he said, “Filmmaking is a collaborative effort. You need the input of several people to make qualitative films.”