Bolanle Austen-Peters, Founder of Terra Kulture, an arts and culture based company,says Nigeria must package its entertainment industry to effectively influence its culture on global art world.
Austen-Peters told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos in an interview in Lagos that the art world had become global where cultural influences were drawn from all participants.
She said: “We need to package ours well for it to make impact on people. We have seen how other countries such as Spain and India using their Telemundo and Bollywood respectively to influence us; we should look for ways to use “ours’’ also to do so.
“Where we were as a group culturally 10 years ago is not where we are today, a lot have evolved, but we need to rebrand and package it well. I think what we need to do is to keep encouraging those promoting our arts and culture to package it in such a way that it would be saleable globally.
“That way, there will be no accusation of cultural imperialism in the future because everyone is doing what he or she needs to do to protect themselves.”
She said that people’s complaints about foreign influence on Nigeria culture would not stop because Nigeria also influenced other countries through arts, music, films and culture.
She said: “We also are influencing a lot of people through our movies, culture, music, arts, fine and graphic arts, photographs, films, dance and others. Arts will always have global influence on every society no matter what and things would always evolve.
“Our musicals and films are also traveling all over the world; hence, people are learning our languages through that. So, it is the same way American and European influences come into Nigeria.”
The art enthusiasts said that there was no way we could guard against the prevailing Western influence on our arts, culture and music pointing out that “we just have to up our game in promoting what we have”.
Austen-Peters, however, said that Broadway style, “Saro the Musical’’ was conceived because her theatre productions became increasingly bigger.
She said that the idea was that “we should start doing productions that would rival the things that are imported into Nigeria that we also go and see when we travel abroad”.
She said: “So, I think that was what challenged me and also after seeing “Fela on Broadway’’ which story was basically a Nigerian story.
“And it was all about music and dance, I figured that it’s something we can do ourselves. So, Saro was created.”
NAN reports that Austen-Peters is the daughter of Chief Afe Babalola, Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
She has a master’s degree in International Law from the London School of Economics and also graduated from University of Lagos, in Political science.
She worked in her father’s law firm before working with the United Nations High Commission for Human right in Switzerland.
She founded the Nigerian Arts, Education and Cultural organisation, Terra Kulture in 2003.
With the creation of Bolanle Austen-Peters Production in 2013 she raised the bar in the theater Industry with the production of “Saro the musical’’ and “Wakaa the Musical’’-2015.
She received the highest nominations in 2017 African Magic Viewers Choice Awards, for “93 days’’ a film about Ebola disease.
In 2016, she built the first ever private theater in Nigeria, Terra Kulture Arena with a 450-seater theater.