By Umoh-Obong Kingsley & Anietie Essia

In a bid to support and promote indigenous talents, Akwa Ibom State Government has reiterated commitment to partner Royal Arts Academy to further boost the entertainment industry in the state.

Speaking at the official launch of Royal Arts Academy, Uyo Campus on Wednesday, Commissioner for Information, Sir. Charles Udoh, reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to walk in tandem in raising the bar for the entertainers as well as encourage indigenous talents in the State.

On his part, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Orman Esin, acknowledged the unprecedented role of entertainment in the country, describing the initiative as a welcome development which will metaphors, give a new phase and chart a new course for the growth and development of entertainment industry in Akwa Ibom State.

In her opening speech, the CEO of Royal Arts Academy, a renowned movie producer, Emem Isong Misodi, shared her over 20 years success story in the movie industry, and named some of her movies to include ‘Edikan’ and ‘Mfana Ibagha’.

She said, “I have used the medium of film to tell our true story that Akwa Ibom children are not born to be house boys and house girls; that our women are strong and hardworking; that we are a hospitable people. My first movie was produced in 1995.

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“Of course, Nollywood has come a long way since 1995. We are now being viewed seriously not just in Nigeria, but across the world. On Netflix, our movies are now streamed side by side Hollywood movies. Our viewership has improved, so has the quality of our movies. In other words, Nollywood is booming.

“I started Royal Arts Academy in Lagos to train a new generation of Nollywood actors, producers, directors, writers. I am proud to say that many of our students in our Lagos campus have gone on to
distinguish themselves in their fields.

“Today, Royal Arts Academy has grown into a unique film school accredited by the Board of Technical Education. This makes it possible for all of our students to get a recognised qualification. That’s why we are here to launch Royal Arts Academy in Uyo, I strongly believe that with this school, Akwa Ibom residents and indigenes now have many more opportunities to move ahead in life.”

The Secretary, Board of Trustees, Inoyo Toro Foundation, Dr George Akpan, represented by Mrs Imo Bassey, commended Royal Arts Academy, especially its founder, Mrs. Emem Isong Misodi, for the initiative in bringing to fruition the first ever film academy in Uyo.

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According to her, the commencement of activities at the Academy is a product of months of planning, consultation and collaboration. “The Inoyo Toro Foundation (ITF), having keyed into the lofty visions of the Academy, is proud to be a part of this epoch making event. 
“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 the mentoring of students in most of the 262 public schools which dot the Akwa Ibom State landscape.

“Our partnership with the 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 our youths, had found a new avenue in providing opportunities within the creative and performing arts industry.”

She congratulated the first set of students and implored them to seize the opportunities offered by the academy by upholding the virtues of hard work and diligence in order to achieve the objectives of the program itself and ensure a suitable opportunity for future students of this Academy.
Mrs Imo reassured that Inoyo Toro Foundation is determined to sustain its collaboration with the Royal Arts Academy, in order to ensure smooth and uninterrupted academic programs.

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Senior Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Dr. Udeme Nnana; Prof. Uwemedimo Atakpo, Mr Okon Esu and Evang. Pat Akpabio also graced the occasion.

Nollywood stars at the event include the immediate past Chairman of the Akwa Ibom chapter of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Mr Emmanuel Owuala aka Emma Solution; Emma Etukudoh aka Emma Nollywood; Moses Armstrong; Moses Eskor and a host of others.

Highpoints of the event were drama presentation by Royal Arts Academy, performance by a popular Akwa Ibom Xylophonist, Udo Mariam, amongst others.

Academic activities have commenced while registration is ongoing for the 3-month certificate programme at Royal Arts Academy, 3, Utang Lane, off Brook Street, Uyo.