New World Nigeria at Nigeria House kicks off with top Nigerian performers – Tuface, Tiwa Savage & Wande Coal

Theatre Royal Stratford East in collaboration with New World Nigeria are delighted to announce the 30 artists selected to take part in 30 Nigeria House, a search for original creative work from young artists of Nigerian heritage. The project is part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. Some of Nigeria’s most acclaimed musicians will be performing as Nigeria House opens this weekend including King Sunny Ade, Seun Kuti, Asa, Wande Cole, Tiwa Savage and Choc Boiz. The opening concert on Saturday 21 July features Wizboyy, Waje and Tuface.

This groundbreaking and exciting new project is one of the outcomes of Nigeria’s Hospitality House (Nigeria House) hosted by Theatre Royal Stratford East, during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Nigeria House is the platform for a sport and cultural exchange, an integral part of the New World Nigeria outreach programme, which aims to promote Nigerian investment, business and cultural dialogue with international counterparts. Key performances across a range of musical artists, theatrical plays, poetry and cultural development programmes are being showcased. For more information visit

30 Nigeria House is a legacy project and the 30 artists have been awarded up to £3,000 to develop their work, providing significant investment in emerging talents. The winners reflect an eclectic mix of emerging and established artists including Holby City and Rev (BBC) television star Jimmy Akingbola; Nkechi Anenyeonu, a 35 year old dancer who has worked with Hugh Masakela and Femi Kuti (Son of the legendary Fela); O-T and Oladapo Fagbenle – two brothers known for directing music videos, acting and writing in the UK, Nigeria and the USA. . O-T is best known for starring in the BBC’s Material Girl and their family also includes a sister who is currently making a bid to represent the UK in basketball during London 2012; Martina Isibor who recently starred in the West End hit Thriller; Chioma Onyenwe is one to watch as an emerging film maker; Soji Ogunnaike, who has edited and technically directed several reality television shows in Nigeria including Big Brother and last year won Best Landscape Picture at the Nigeria Photography Awards. And Lizzy Dijeh, a former member of the Royal Court Youth Writer’s Programme, her play High Life debuted at Hampstead Theatre.

In the final selection there are 23 applicants from the UK and 7 from Nigeria with an age range of 18- 35 and include: Africa Ukoh, Andy Amadi, Ann Akin, Annabel Sowemimo, Christina Adeola Oshunniyi, Damilola Fashola, Debo Amon, Elizabeth Adeola Ayoola, Femi Amogunla, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Irenosen Okajie, Jacklyn Adeniji-Williams, Joy Gharoro-Akpojutor, Nikky Norton, Nwando Ebizie, Ola Masha, Olorufemi Fagunwa, Olu Yomi Ososany, Stella Odunlami, Tosin Otudeko and Ubong Anyang. All the award-winning entries can be seen at and a full souvenir programme will be available.

Artistic Director Kerry Michael says:

‘we have been excited by the incredibly high standard of talent we received from emerging artists across the UK and Nigeria and we are committed to supporting these artists in the long-term development of their work.’

The prestigious judges who were part of the selection process comprised Femi Elufowojo Jnr, Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and founder of Tiata Fahodzi; Ifeoma Fafunwa, a highly-respected theatre director in the US and Nigeria (Engagement, Not My Affair and Vagina Monologues) and active in the developing young Nigerian female writers; Nike Jonah, Project Manager at Arts Council England for decibel, named as one of the top 50 female leaders by the Cultural Leadership Programme; Olu Jacobs, an acclaimed actor, writer, director and producer and an alumnus of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Tokunbo Chiedu, CEO of Compass Consulting, an organisation specialising in developing and managing public-private sector partnerships; Tosan Edremoda-Ugbeye an actress whose credits include Wetin Dey and Story Story for the BBC; and Award winning director, Kerry Michael, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East who created this initiative.

The judges looked across various art forms including theatre, dance, film animation, poetry, spoken word and music and focused on new, emerging and existing artists and their work. This ground-breaking and exciting new project is one of the outcomes of Theatre Royal Stratford East hosting Nigeria’s Hospitality House (Nigeria House) during the London 2012 Olympic Games. 30 Nigeria House also reflects Nigeria’s recognition of its talented people and aspirations to develop the Creative Industries in Nigeria, which are strongly emerging sectors. The Federal Government of Nigeria therefore, through one of its key development agencies, has developed an artistic collaboration with Theatre Royal Stratford East.

This new project aims to assist 30 artists in developing a new piece of work through an award of £3,000 each; an example of continued commitment to new writing and new artists by Theatre Royal Stratford East and Nigeria. The 30 artists will attend the launch of the Nigeria Hospitality House (Nigeria House) for the London 2012 Olympic Games and 8 of these artists will participate in an event to share their work as part of Nigeria House, which is located at the theatre in August.

Mr Waheed Olagunju, spokesman for New World Nigeria, said:

‘We are delighted to be working with Theatre Royal Stratford East to realise our vision of bringing Nigerian culture to the world. Nigeria has a proud cultural history and we are thrilled to have found the next generation’s most promising artists.’



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