“The woman powering Nigeria’s theater industry”. These are the words used by CNN to capture the industriousness of Bolanle Austen-Peters – one of Nigeria’s foremost icons in the theater industry.
The world of art and theatre has been blessed with people whose marks have shaped, strengthened, and molded the industry. One of such persons is Bolanle Austen-Peters, whose consistent effort to showcase the rich Nigerian culture to the world has inspired many and left many proud.
This award-winning National treasure is a firm believer in hard work and she gives all of herself in creating perfection. Her ability to produce several plays and movies that are both locally and internationally recognized shows her capability to work with, manage, and lead people from all backgrounds.
Early Life And Education
Bolanle has always been ambitious even before her dive into the world of arts and theatre. Her background in Law and numerous employments in the United Nations is proof of her resourcefulness.
She was born in 1969, February 4th to SAN Emmanuel Afe Babalola, in whose firm she began her law career. After bagging her Law degree at the University of Lagos, she moved on to the London School of Economics and Political Science where she got her Master’s degree. And after years of practicing law, both in the father’s law firm and in the United Nations, she took the theatre world by storm.
Bolanle Austen-Peters, regardless of her love for Law and serving humanity, was also very passionate about Art and the various ways the Nigerian culture is expressed through it. This passion prompted her to found Terra Kulture – a recreational and educational organization with the sole purpose of sharing Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage with the entire world.
She started Terrakulture in 2003 and has used its platform to positively showcase not just her own brilliance and creative genius, but to showcase, promote and share Nigeria’s arts, food, languages, and culture with foreigners.
Bolanle is an Art collector, and in effect, she has used Terra Kulture as a museum that houses the works of several visual artists.
Bolanle Austen-Peters (BAP) Productions
After managing Terra Culture successfully for 10 years, Bolanle founded BAP productions in 2013. Her production company has blessed us with 3 movies and well over 6 staged plays. There are more movies and plays cooking, and being the phenomenal storyteller that she is, we can only expect flawlessness and excellence.
BAP Productions has produced movies and plays that have received international acclaim from big names like CNN, BBC, and Sky News. Her production company is the channel through which Bolanle has told and is still telling stories from Nigeria to everyone who will listen.
Some of her productions include the movies “93 Days” and “Bling Lagosians”, both of which can be streamed on Netflix. Some of her staged plays which has also received accolades are “Saro the Musical”, “Fela and The Kalakuta Queens musical”, Moremi the Musical”, amongst others.
Bolanle Austen-Peters is a lot of things, and being a wife and a mother is amongst that list. As a loving wife and wonderful mother, she has the full support of her family who has been her driving force and source of strength.
Through her interviews, we have been able to see how easy-going she is. When asked what the important thing in life was for her, her response was “…peace. Experiencing the different people at Terra Kulture. And introducing new productions to my cast and crew is just as gratifying”. Her response only shows how much she lives and breathes theatre.