By Oluwatope Lawanson

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday graduated 890 youths it sponsored at the African Film Academy (AFA), after six weeks of free intensive training.

The 890 youths were beneficiaries of the ‘Film in a Box’ programme by the AFA, in conjunction with the Lagos State Government, to train and empower young people in the creative industry in three different centres, namely – Alimosho, Epe and Badagry.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony at the Lagos Theatre, Igando, Alimosho, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, expressed commitment to collaborate with stakeholders in the entertainment industry.

Sanwo-Olu said that the government would continue to train creative minds to acquire skills that would give livelihood to them.

He said that his administration’s THEMES agenda was to make life a lot easier and beneficial to all Lagos residents, especially the youth.

According to him, government will ensure it uses entertainment and tourism to connect with the future, so that Lagos can be a one-stop shop in the world.

He, therefore, urged those in the creative industry to harness the opportunities provided to ensure a better and greater Lagos, as well as taking the state and Nigeria to an enviable position.

Sanwo-Olu urged the graduants from AFA and other creative initiatives by the state government to take advantage of the Lagos States Employment Trust Fund and the State Film Fund, to become self-employed and employers of labour.

The graduates were trained in acting, art directing, light and lighting, editing, sound production and post production, among others.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, said that the initiative was to make the youth agents of change in the creative industry.

Akinbile-Yusuf said that the training would enable them break new grounds and to become self-reliant.

She said that the concept of the training had been expanded to develop arts and culture for optimum performance, to stimulate economic growth, skills and job creation and to bridge the gap in the state creative industry.

The commissioner, while congratulating the graduates, assured them that the state government would continue to monitor their growth and assist them in producing competent creative works in the industry.

In her remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of African Film Academy, Ms Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, while commending the doggedness of her students, urged them to explore the creative industry with training received in the academy.

Anyiam-Osigwe said that though the mandate was to train 600 people, 890 students were trained by the academy in Epe, Alimosho and Badagry.

According to her, some of those trained in the academy have got jobs already, as they are also taught the business side with the creative side.

She said that some of the students during the period of their training made films, adding that one of the films they made ”Akanji” would be shown in the cinema, as it portrayed Alimosho to the world.

Anyiam-Osigwe commended the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration for the huge investment in the entertainment and creative industries, and for equipping the Badagry General Hospital to respond to emergencies, especially when a facilitator fell ill.

A filmmaker and veteran in the creative industry, Mr Tunde Kelani, thanked the Lagos State Government for investing in the entertainment industry, which he noted would curb youth restiveness in Lagos and make young people to be entrepreneurs.

Kelani commended Sanwo-Olu on the proposed film city in Lagos, saying that the name of the governor would not be forgotten.

He also urged the graduands to imbibe teamwork, read, and not to forget their mentors. NAN


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