|Born||4 February 1969|
|Alma mater||International School Ibadan|
University of Lagos
London School of Economics
|Parent(s)||Father-Chief Afe Babalola |
Mother-Grace Adebisi Babalola
Bolanle Austen-Peters otherwise known as BAP, is a Nigerian businesswoman, lawyer, award-winning film and theatre director. She is the founder and Managing Director of Terra Kulture, the foremost Nigerian arts and culture centre located in Lagos, Nigeria.
She is the "Mother" of Nigerian modern stage theatre through the birth of musicals. BOLANLE AUSTEN-PETERS is the Chief Executive and Resident Director of Terra Kulture Arena and BAP Productions. She has built an enviable reputation for herself in the Nigerian theater and film circuit with such massive Box Office pieces as 'Saro The Musical', 'Wakaa The Musical', 'Moremi The Musical', 'Fela and the Kalakuta Queens and most recently 'Fela's Republic and The Kalakuta Queens' apart from her successful forays into film with '93 Days' and 'Bling Lagosians'.
Early life and education
Austen-Peters was born on 4 February 1969. She is the daughter of Chief Afe Babalola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. She attended the Command Secondary School Ibadan, the International School Ibadan and the University of Lagos for her undergraduate studies and earned a master's degree in International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Bolanle Austen-Peters began her career in her father's law firm before working with the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Switzerland. She later moved to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the United Nations Development Program.
In 2003, she founded Terra Kulture. Terra Kulture Arts and Studios Limited is an educational and recreational organization set up to promote the richness and diversity of Nigerian languages, arts and culture. Terra Kulture is also the first privately owned ultra modern theatre in Nigeria. The company has gone to create jobs for many Nigerian artists, some who have become major Nigerian stars and leading industry practitioners. In addition, Terra Kulture opened its doors to theatre companies in need of performance space. As a result, theatre productions witnessed a remarkable growth in Nigeria. The company also promotes culture through its Nigerian restaurant, and bookstore, which provides language classes in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa, as well monthly book readings of famous Nigerian and African works. Terra Kulture has gone on to organize over 300 art exhibitions, 135 plays, 65 book readings and over 100,000 individual adults and children, as well as school trips, have attended its language classes. As a major tourist destination in lagos, Terra kulture receives over 100,000 visitors and tourists annually.
In 2013, Austen-Peters established her own production company called Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions (BAP). The company entered the Nigerian theatre industry with its first production, SARO the Musical. The production attracted critical reviews and accolades from the BBC and Sky News. In December 2014 and April 2015, BAP Productions performed SARO the Musical at the renowned Muson Centre. The Musical became the first Nigerian musical to be performed at London's West End and Shaw Theatre. The production performed at the London West End at the Shaw Theatre. In December 2015, BAP Productions performed its second production, Wakaa the Musical. The show toured Lagos and was performed in London's West End from 21 to 25 July 2016. In December 2017, Bolanle Austen-Peters brought to life and directed the legendary Fela and The Kalakuta Queens musical. This globally acclaimed musical has gone on to become the biggest out of West Africa having had over 120,000 people watch it. and being shown in Lagos, Cairo and down south in Pretoria between 2017 and 2020. The musical is based on the real-life story of the legendary Nigerian music icon and activist, Fela Kuti and the women who stood by him. Bolanle Austen-Peters also directed in 2018, Moremi the Musical which tells the story of the 12th century Yoruba legend Queen who liberated the people of Ife from the grasp of their enemies. Her direction of Moremi the Musical, received critical reviews and accolades from Professor Wole Soyinka describing its as; "a theatrical Landmark in Nigeria's theatre history".
In 2015, BAP commenced production of the film 93 Days (2016), a feature film on the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria which premiered on 13 September 2016 in Lagos. It was selected for premiering and viewing at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Chicago Film Festival, the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, the Johannesburg Film Festival, the Africa Film Festival in Cologne/Germany, and nominated for a RapidLion Award. It also received the highest nominations in the 2017 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, a total of thirteen nominations, receiving an award for best lighting designer. 93 days was nominated in 7 categories for the 2017 African Movie Academy Awards, which was the highest nominated film in 2017 AMAA.
In 2019, BAP Productions released The Bling Lagosians, a movie about the lifestyle of the high class of Lagos, which became the one of the highest grossing Nollywood films in history. Furthermore, Austen-Peters worked as a Consultant to the Ford Foundation Lagos and helped raise millions of dollars for the Museum through Arts and Business Council.
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- "'93 Days' And '76' Lead The AMVCA 2017 Nominations – 'A Trip To Jamaica' Shows Up Too".
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