By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu
Former Nigeria Ambassador to the Philippines and erstwhile ANTP Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Yemi Farounbi, OON, has appealed to stakeholders in the entertainment industry to ensure its continued growth and stability towards sustaining its benefits to the nation and the achievements of pioneer actors.
At a special dinner held in honour of the newly elected Central Working Committee and National Executive Council members of ANTP at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State’s hall in Ibadan, Dr Farounbi recalled how the foremost Yoruba Theatre-Arts trade group, Association of Nigerian Theatre-Arts Practitioners (ANTP) was formed at the University of Ibadan by the founding fathers of the industry; Chief Hubert Ogunde, Prince Oyin Adejobi, Akin Ogungbe, Ayinla Olumegbon, Moses Olaiya, and a host of others.
He stressed the need for stakeholders, especially the current leadership and members of ANTP, to work towards sustaining the legacy of the departed performing artistes.
He added that governments need to capitalise on the job opportunities provided by the entertainment industry by supporting and ensuring its growth and well-being.
He, therefore, sought the partnership of arts and entertainment projectors with the ANTP leadership and members towards encouraging the survival of the Association.
Farounbi also noted that ANTP, which had from inception, promoted the unity of the Yoruba, needs to bring Yoruba performing artistes back into its fold.
“I remember the days of Alawada, Kootu Ashipa, Bode Wasinmi, Alajopin, Ile Iwosan… we want to reenact from today, a big partnership as part of our efforts to restore the dignity of ANTP.
He said the purpose of the dinner was to celebrate the continuing existence of ANTP as the very first Nigeria theatre-arts association.
” The purpose of being here today is to celebrate the continuing existence of ANTP as the first Nigeria Theatre-Arts association, to celebrate the greatness, the excellence that ANTP has always brought. ANTP represents the growth and development of the arts in this country and the people of the South West through the existence of entertainment.
“Entertainment industry provides jobs and livelihood to a number of people. It is, therefore, imperative that the industry continues to grow.
ANTP National President, Dr. Rasak Oyadiran, thanked the BOT for organising the dinner. He also appreciated all attendees.
He said the dinner was historic because it was the first of its kind in ANTP. He assured the BOT that he had taken notes of all suggestions. He promised that the NEC would not disappoint ANTP.
One of the association’s elders, Alfa Yisa Olorunoje, gave a brief history of ANTP while Elder Oyewole Olowomojuore spoke on the way forward for the association.
The BCOS General Manager, Mr Goke Adelakun, congratulated ANTP for the success of the occasion and assured the association of partnership whenever they present good content for the public.
Also present at the dinner were the General Manager, Oyo State Council for Arts and Culture, Mrs Olayinka Yimisola Adedeji, the General Manager IPRISE, ANTP National Deputy President’, Mr. Biodun Rufai Odua, the Vice President North Comrade Ibrahim Mabolaje, Vice President South, Mrs. Mariam Bakare, the National General Secretary, Mrs. Adeteju Agunlejika-Magbade, the Chairman, ANTP Anti-Fraud Committee, Mr. Biodun Adekanbi, Alhaji Oyeniran Eletu, as well as ANTP Governors from Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Kwara States.