Austen-Peters, Mixta set to take Wakaa to London

The Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions and Mixta Africa, alongside others, may be on the path to making history by pooling their resources to take ‘Wakaa The Musical’, a Broadway-style theatre production, on a tour of London between July 21 and 25.

Beyond exporting African culture and entertainment, the play is intended to serve as a wake-up call to theatre practitioners in the country to hunt for scarce foreign exchange in support of government’s thrust to save the ailing naira.

“The Federal Government is encouraging us to bring the scarce foreign exchange into the country. What we are doing is to promote government’s policy. We need to become an export country rather than continue to depend on imports.  So we are exporting our talents, creativity and entertainment. We are also doing what we need to do to encourage Nigerians to become exporters”, Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, the Chief Executive of BAP, said in an interview with our correspondent.
Asked how much it would cost to take ‘Wakaa’ to London, she said, “In terms of the equivalent in naira, I can’t give you the exact figures now. But I know that it is not cheap. It costs no less than N50m to put our productions together. So we are looking at this within that region or more for the forthcoming production. We need that much to do it at the right level.”

Austen-Peters said that the story line of the play was inspired by contemporary issues in the Nigerian society. Just like the highly successful ‘Saro The Musical’, she noted, ‘Wakaa’ is a story about what normally happens to the youth in the society, especially young graduates.

“Some want to get rich quick. Some go into politics, which is what we hope will start happening in the country so that they will take over the reins of government.

“Some go abroad to where the grass is greener on the other side. Also, some of the girls want to marry rich or work hard. The story is focused on love and politics,” she said.

According to her, the play has some benefits for the Nigerian society. “The fact is that there is extreme creativity in the country and there is amazing showmanship. The most important, perhaps, is the fact that we are a parody of our society. What we have tried to do is to tell the story as it is. There is a lot of satire in the play, which ends up passing a message that this how we would like our society to be,” she said.

Also, Mixta Africa, in another meeting with journalists at its head office in Lagos, announced that it would co-sponsor ‘Wakaa The Musical’ between July 21 and 25 in London’s West End.  The company’s Communications Manager based in Spain, Imma Puche, described the play as an “original African export that tell an African story the African way”.

Puche said, “When Bolanle Auten-Peters Productions approached us about their intention to take ‘Wakaa’ to the global stage, it was easy to connect with the idea because we wanted to support the arts, an industry that has immense potentials.”

Managing Director of Mixta Nigeria, Mr. Kola Ashiru-Balogun, also noted that the company’s involvement in the London tour was aligned with its strategy for the Diaspora market.



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