Arts Academy Graduates 19,000 Students 

Funmi Ogundare 

A total of 19,000 graduands who have completed programmes in Theatre Arts and Entrepreneurship, have graduated from the Terra Academy for the Arts (TAFTA), an institution dedicated to nurturing artistic talent, career support and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at Terra Kulture, Lagos, the founder of the academy, Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, stated that it had to collaborate with the academia in the university system and other practitioners to develop a curriculum in 2020.
She explained that though as a practicing lawyer herself, everything she learnt and did, were through hard work, tenacity, focus and understanding what it was to entertain people.
“The quality of education the graduands got can be compared with anywhere in the world. We took the best brain and worked with them to develop the curriculum that we have today. So we have our practical centres in Ogun, Kano and Lagos States. A lot of you have benefitted from experts,” Austen-Peters stated.
She thanked the team who made the dream a reality, saying that having ideas and bringing it to reality are completely different things as people have ideas that are dying in their heads.
She expressed hope that the centre will surpass 19,000 over the next four years, adding that running Terra Kulture is not easy.
She admonished the graduands to be strong in the face of challenges in life by looking inwards and working on the talents in them.
“There are so many information online that you can use to improve yourselyes.Throw your skills up for people to see. Don’t waste your time on the internet on just social engagement. Use it to better yourselves as you have done with TAFTA. Go for the best, work hard and hope for the best for each and everyone.”
In her remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola commended the founder for her passion and for believing in the creative ability and what it could do to impact Africa. She also congratulated the graduating students and those who have supported them, saying that the future of the world is not necessarily about what they have learnt, but what it did to their minds and how it will make them outstanding in their chosen fields.
She challenged them to be job creators by investing in themselves, being the best they can be and using their skills to build the country.
“I am a believer in the African renaissance. We must talk about our culture because it is rich. Education is about the impact you can have on your country. You need to portray our best sells and gradually, we will rise to that expectation.
The VC advised them to follow their dreams, keep learning and be innovative, to embrace failure rather than getting discouraged.
A veteran actress, Mrs. Joke Silver advised them to be life-long learners and keep at it, adding that in the creative industry, they need to collaborate because it is a way to survive.
“We are at an age when there is so much need for content. You need to be humble and be ready to do what you are asked to do because you are just starting.”

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