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The main hall of the Civic Center on Ozumba Mbadiwe was filled to the brim as Del-York Creative Academy, hosted industry executives, alumni and other honourable guests to the Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremony.

The event hall was animated as guests walked in under glistening chandelier lights for the commemoration of the validation of the hard work of the interns that have undergone the Del-York special creative arts training program. On hand to welcome the guests was the Chairman of  Del-York Creative Academy, Mr. Linus Idahosa.

The special guest of honour was the Executive governor of Lagos state, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Other guests in attendance included the U.S. Consul General, Will Stevens; the CEO of the SANDECO Group and his wife, Mr. Vincent and Mrs Chidinma Southey-Effiong; the CEO of Rite Foods and his wife, Mr. and Mrs Saleem Adegunwa; the CEO of Transcorp Plc, Owen Omogiafo; Fmr President of Nigeria Football Federation and member of the FIFA Council, Mr. Amaju Pinnick and the renowned Filmmaker, Mrs Rueme Onosode, Mrs Morayo Adekunle Director, UK Department for International Trade at the British Deputy High Commission.

The hall was exuding an atmosphere of creative excitement as video reels of works by the trainees were shown to appreciative applause by the attendees. The innovative works included * Personal Therapy; *Scarlett; *Karma; *Drive; *Not Today; *Stay and *Never In My Life – a music video. 

The Executive Director and Lead Instructor, Mr. Grant Housley highlighted the journey and growth of the academy and the trajectory of the students as they surge forward to get themselves ready to be pacesetters in the creative industry. He lauded Mr. Linus Idahosa’s efforts at driving creativity in Africa through his many initiatives that would eventually evolve into a global success story. 

A special highlight of the graduation event was when Mr. Linus Idahosa, accompanied on stage by the President of the Screenwriters Guild of Nigeria, Mr. Yinka Ogun and the President of the Directors Guild of Nigeria, Mr. Victor Okhai, presented a special gift to Gov. Sanwo-Olu on behalf of Del-York Creative Academy. Inclusive of a commemorative plaque, there was a special frame-mounted sword representing the governor as a champion of the creative arts. His Excellency the Governor is as such the Knight of the Creative Industry – the one who can be depended on to advocate on behalf of the creative industry.

In his response and acceptance speech, Gov. Sanwo-Olu declared that he was proud and privileged to have been invited to the event and identified as a supporter of the creative industry. He stated that he has, over the years, come to admire and marvel at the knowledge, skill and passion that Mr. Linus has. 

Stating that the important fifth part of his administration’s six pillars is the entertainment/creative industry, he considers Del-York Creative Academy one of the four leading lights in the creative industry in the state that has to be supported. He emphasized that Del-York is the main partner of the Lagos State government in the Lagos Film City project for which 120 hectares of land have been assigned. Lauding Mr. Idahosa for facilitating investment meetings for the project in America, he predicted that the Lagos Film City project is a journey that will birth something phenomenal. He foresees Lagos as a place where creative, innovative minds will thrive. In conclusion, he congratulated Del-York on its illustrious achievements over the years.

The hall took an exciting, vivacious turn when the President of Del-York Creative Academy, Mr. Linus Idahosa was invited to the stage. He was visibly surprised as a gift was presented to him on behalf of the staff and trainees of DCA by Mr. Grant Housley. After giving his appreciation for the gift, he proceeded to make clear that “We do everything to support people who are creative and sometimes we don’t make so much noise about it”. Noting that he wasn’t born with a silver spoon, that he was born in Ajegunle and that everything he has learnt in life was formed as a result of that experience – preparing him for life ahead.  Bemoaning the fact that some people who are sitting in places of authority have lost connection with the ordinary man and woman of the streets and do not understand what they are going through.

Describing DCA as a labour of love, he stressed that the company has always believed in manifesting the spirit of excellence in whatever it sets out to do. Telling the graduating trainees to be ready for the challenges they will be facing as they pursue their dreams, he insisted that the spirit of excellence has to permeate everything they do.  

All that starts well ends well. Thrilling all guests and wrapping the event off in grand style by acknowledging the creativity of the trainees, the video reel titled “Stay” was declared the top winner and awarded with a monetary gift of the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000). 

It sure was a great day for creativity in Lagos!

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