SDAF Academy seeks to fund, encourage, build and support art development, quality of life of artists, promote economic growth and development using art tools.
In 2011, SDAF was established in Lagos Nigeria, as an Art Academy with two major classes to train people in acting, and singing for FREE. The aim is to give adequate training to talented individuals who can not afford to get a formal education or training in the arts.
For the first set of students, we had hundreds of talented people who came to be auditioned for spots in the classes. At the end of the audition, 50 people were selected. These amazing people have gone on to have careers as singers, actors and TV hosts.
The second set of students were admitted in 2012. About 30 students were chosen to be trained and they have also graduated and gone on to chase their careers.
The students enjoyed very insightful sessions with major industry players like Van Vicker, Mid-Night Crew, Benneth Ogbeiwi, Daniel Ademinokan, Ufuoma McDermott, Michael Abdul, Pat Uwaje, Nkem, Kate Damasus, Sandra Chime-Age, Essence, Wole Ojo, Liza-C, Kenny Saint Brown, Keirah Hewatch, Ita Hosaife, Tim Godfrey, Okey Uzoeshe, Mofe Duncan, etc.
My name is Stan Nze. I am an actor. I hail from Anambra state. A graduate of Computer science from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. I also attended the Stella Damasus Arts foundation where I got acting training. As a result of the seed sown in me by Stella Damasus, The Kids Can Act Project; a platform where kids between the ages of 8 and 13 are trained and projected, was born. I also run a management company for kid actors. Since my training, I have been in over 15 projects, some of which are; Tinsel,
The Benjamins, Murder at Prime Suite, Yes I don't, The Johnsons, Father Muonso and most recently, Bad Drop.
My name is Ayomipo Oyenuga. I'm an actor, a presenter, a designer (House of Florence) and also a makeup artist. I started acting professionally shortly after I attended the Stella Damasus Arts
Foundation where I trained to be a professional actor.
I have always loved to act because it comes naturally to me, but I just didn't want to jump into it. So I decided to take the opportunity of being properly trained when it came.
I must say the training made me a brand new person and a better actor.
So far, I have worked on MTN Project Fame West Africa 2010, 2011 as an Assistant Makeup Artist and I was also featured in the following movies and TV Series: Squatterz, Bella'sPlace, A mile from home, Lekki Wives, A touch of magic(stage), Keboti, Trulis. I am also a presenter for a show called ‘Top Ten Yoruba Movies’ on TVC in Nigeria.
I am very grateful to Stella Damasus and the Stella Damasus Arts Foundation for being a place where I could not only grow my skills but also grow as an individual
Hi, my name is Raheem Ibrahim Ayuba, I’m from Edo State and I am based in Lagos Nigeria. I’m an artist and also a basketball player.
My stage name is Raheem, I love singing and I know that singing is a part of me. So I started looking for a place where I could improve my singing skills and discovered the Stella Damasus Arts Foundation (SDAF) where I went for vocal training. Before the training began, we went for a series of Audition with hundreds of people
that came from different parts of the country. Thankfully I was among those who made it to the foundation to study music for six (6) months. What makes it so interesting is that everything is free in SDAF, the books, pens, uniforms etc, even learning is free! Most of us had our transportation covered by the foundation.
Before I got into SDAF I really didn't know much about singing but when I got in, they started teaching us things like voice control, mic control, breath control, songwriting, how to score songs, stage performance and everything we needed to know. We also had top Nigerian musicians like Mr. Ben from MTN project fame, who made the singing class so interesting. We recorded in the studio and performed live on stage as a part of our training.
With all the training I received, I can now write good songs, perform up to ten (10) songs with a live band nonstop. I am a better singer and a great stage performer who has had the opportunity to perform on the same stage with top Nigerian artists like 2face Idibia, Wizkid, MI, Psquare, Femi Kuti and many others.
I have also emerged winner of the Samsung singing competitions twice, taking home the grand prize as well as winning a lot of gifts from other singing competitions. I released my debut album a few years ago.
I want to say a very big thank you to Stella Damasus for all she has been doing for the youth and I am so proud to be an Ambassador of the Stella Damasus Arts Foundation.
The Stella Damasus Arts Foundation is not just a place for singing alone but a home for Entertainers.
I am Sabbado Ogbonna, from Imo state and I love singing.
I started singing when I was six (6) in my local church choir and presently I've been to several music competitions. I got to hear about the Stella Damasus Arts Foundation on Twitter, I followed it up because I was really looking for a great opportunity like this to showcase my God-given talent.
I left Port Harcourt and moved to Lagos even when I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I had to face reality.
Going through the academy was not easy, and no-one said it was going to be but it was worth it. In the academy we were taught how to write our own songs, vocal control, how to manage the stage and so much more. We had lectures with Industry Professionals such as UNCLE BEN from MTN Project Fame, PATRICIA KING from Midnight Crew and many other seasoned professionals.
Due to my training at the academy, I got the opportunity to perform on the same stage with some popular artists such as P SQUARE, 2FACE, MO'CHEDDAH. I went for another music competition (APRILTUNES) and I emerged as one of the top 5 singers. Right now, I am just concentrating on working very hard to make all my dreams come true by releasing my album.
All thanks to Stella Damasus for bringing out the best in me, and for touching so many lives with her kind gestures, making us believe in ourselves, giving us hope, putting smiles on our faces. I will be forever grateful to her, God bless Stella Damasus.
Hey, I'm Olivia Amadi. I am a Model & Actor.
I currently live in Ghana but before I left my home country Nigeria, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Stella Damasus Arts Foundation. I came to the school to train to be an actor but left with the confidence to pursue my deepest desire, modeling.
Stella Damasus was the first person who saw talent in me and pushed me to pursue it. The reason I discovered my inner self and career, even when I didn't have enough resources to see
myself through (she supported me with transport fare almost every day just to make sure I made it to class) was because of her faith in me. I never understood why she chose me, out of all the people in our school, until I realized that she supported each student in areas where they needed help. I initially enjoyed it when I thought I was the special one but it made me even happier to see that we were all special to her.
As if all this wasn't enough, she was the first person to make me a 'Boss' with my own office where people referred to me as 'Ma'. I became the assistant vice principal at the Stella Damasus Arts Foundation a year after I graduated.
Attending The Stella Damasus Arts Foundation has really helped me a lot, especially with my confidence as a woman and an actor. Thank you for the girl pep talks we had from time to time.
Stella Damasus is a rare and true gem.