In what appears a major move to broaden the frontiers of the creative and performing arts industry in the State, Royal Arts Academy, in partnership with Inoyo Toro Foundation, has flagged-off the first ever film monotechnic in Akwa Ibom State.

The flag-off ceremony held recently on the premises of the newly inaugurated Royal Arts Academy, Uyo Campus, 3, Utang Lane, Off Brooks Street, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking at the event, one of Nigeria’s foremost movie producer, script writer and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Arts Academy, Akwa Ibom born Mrs. Emem Isong Misodi noted that the vision behind the inauguration of the Uyo Campus was to create learning solutions in the creative and entertainment industry and open up multiple success opportunities to Akwa Ibom indigenes and residents.

“It’s about the people. That’s why we are here to launch Royal Arts Academy, Uyo. I strongly believe that with this school, Akwa Ibom residents and indigenes now have many more opportunities to move ahead in life.

“My first movie was produced in 1995. Later, I started Royal Arts Academy in Lagos to train a new generation of Nollywood actors, producers, directors, writers. Today, Royal Arts Academy has grown into a unique film school, accredited by the Board of Technical Education to operate as a monotechnic.”

The celebrated English and Ibibio movie maker graciously appreciated the contributions of all stakeholders to the towering successes of the Academy and particularly applauded Inoyo Toro Foundation and its partners, for offering complete sponsorship, nay scholarship, to all its 31 pioneer students in Akwa Ibom State. She spoke glowingly of the Foundation’s sponsorship, describing it as a major inspiration to the birthing and berthing of Royal Arts Academy in Uyo.

Earlier in his remarks, the Board of Trustees Secretary, Inoyo Toro Foundation, Dr. George Akpan, commended the visioner, the lecturers and the facilitators of Royal Arts Academy for its long history of contributions towards fostering creative excellence in the entertainment industry in Nigeria and particularly appreciated the Academy’s effort towards bringing to fruition the first ever film academy in Uyo.

The BOT Secretary, represented by the Programme Manager of Inoyo Toro Foundation, Mrs. Imo Ekong Bassey, stated that the Foundation’s partnership with Royal Arts Academy is borne out of the need to affect the lives of Akwa Ibom youngsters in a whole new way.

“The Foundation, having been aware of the latent and untapped gifts that lie in youths, had found a new avenue in providing opportunities within the creative and performing arts industry. Away from conventional education initiatives, the product of this partnership promises added knowledge in the performing arts as well as life changing careers in the N853.9 billion (IMF Report) Nollywood Industry. It is a great milestone for us at the Foundation, our partners in the Royal Arts Academy as well as Akwa Ibom, which has now joined Lagos as the bellwether States in the promotion of cognate learning in the field of performing arts. Imagine where Akwa Ibom will be in the world map in the next ten years as we sustain this partnership? This is a bold statement as to what our Foundation stands for when it comes to impacting lives in Akwa Ibom State.

“Our Foundation, in pursuit of its vision, has intervened in the education sector and has impacted, in the course of its 13 year history, teacher motivation while providing a platform for mentoring of students in most of the 262 public schools which dot the Akwa Ibom State landscape. In doing so, ITF has been consistent in rewarding teachers and mentoring students, to the end that they can more positively confront the many issues which have over the years affected the teaching and learning environment.”

Flashes of ecstasy beamed on the countenances of every persona in attendance at the epoch-making ceremony when the Foundation’s lead representative at the event announced the intent of Inoyo Toro Foundation to sustain its sponsorship beyond the maiden set of students.

“Finally, I would like to put on record the determination of the Foundation to continue to sustain its collaboration with the Royal Arts Academy, in order to ensure smooth and uninterrupted academic programmes. The Foundation also extends its profound appreciation to all well-meaning individuals and corporate organizations that have sponsored students through our platform.”

In their separate remarks, the Akwa Ibom Commissioners for Information and Strategy, Sir Charles Udo; Culture and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Orman Esin; Trade and Investment, Barr. Prince Akpabio (represented by the Director of Investment, Mr. Okon Esu) applauded the advent of Royal Arts Academy in Akwa Ibom State. They commended the superb contributions of Mrs. Emem Isong and other Nollywood veterans of Akwa Ibom extraction towards projecting the cultural peculiarities of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria to the world through the production and distribution of quality movies. They applauded all contributors to the birthing and berthing of the first ever movie academy in Akwa Ibom State.

The Information and Strategy Commissioner spoke of the determination of the Governor Udom Emmanuel led admnistration to deepen the stakes, widen the scope and broaden the space in the Akwa Ibom creative and entertainment industry as well as open up the state the more to greater opportunities through industrialization, entrepreneurship and human capital development.

By the same token, the Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Entrepreneurial Development, Meflyn Anwana described the recent Royal Arts Academy cum Inoyo Toro Foundation initiative in Akwa Ibom State as a meaningful contribution to entrepreneurship and highlighted similar initiatives of the Akwa Ibom State Government in that direction.

Asides officials of the Akwa Ibom State Government, Royal Arts Academy and Inoyo Toro Foundation, the flag-off ceremony also played host to a number of dignitaries from the academia, the Nigerian Theatre Industry and from diverse other walks of life. Prof. Uwemedimo Atakpo of the department of Theatre Arts, University of Uyo, Dr. Ofonime Inyang of the same department and Dr. Udeme Nana of the department of Mass Communication, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua were among attendees from the academia. High-profile Nolywood actors, producers, directors and script writers at the event included Moses Amstrong, Emmanuel Afia, Bassey Okon, Emem Isong, Mr. Kenny, Robert Moon, Benedette WillsObong, Humble Akpan. Also present at the flag-off event were Barr. Abasiumo Ekong Bassey, Mr. Aniekan Willie and a host of others.

High points of the flag-off ceremony included cultural performance by the Udo Mariam troup, spoken word performance by Dachief and a short play (a theatrical adaptation from Prof. Wole Soyinka’s ‘Trials of Brother Jero’) by students of Royal Arts Academy.

The Inoyo-Toro-Foundation-sponsored 31 students of Royal Arts Academy, Uyo Campus are to undergo three-month certificate training programmes in various aspects of creative and performing arts including Acting, Directing, Editing, Screen Writing, Movie Production and Cinematography.


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