Michael Jackson's family to set up performing arts school in Nigeria

The family of late king of pop, Michael Jackson, is planning to establish a school of performing arts in Lagos, Nigeria. The news was delivered by Jermaine Jackson, elder brother to Michael.

Jermaine Jackson, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state. Photo: Facebook
Jermaine Jackson, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state. Photo: Facebook

Jackson revealed this in when he stopped over at the office of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos. Commissioner Steve Ayorinde, who in the past worked as a music journalist, was on hand to receive the American artist, along with Ademola Abass, a special assistant to the state government. Ayorinde spoke about the importance of Lagos state to Nigeria, commenting on the state’s creation a half-century ago.

“Lagos State is the oldest State Nigeria now as it has been indivisible,” he said. “Other states have had states created out of them. Lagos State being the most populated and prosperous in Nigeria, we thought it deserves celebration and we are starting a yearlong celebration from May 29.”

Jackson had arrived Lagos as part of  a tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Jacksons onstage, with a look to investing some of what has been learned into the Nigerian music entertainment scene. “There is a lot of great talents here,” he said, “and we want to use our 50 years of experience in being in the business to teach the arts. We want to construct the Jackson Academy Performing Art School here.”

He continued: “It will have a curriculum and also will teach music, directing, film, lightening, producing, dancing and so on. We want to get the talents here ready for the global market. I do believe that the drums and the beat started from here.”

Jackson also spoke about a recent visit to China. “I like coming here because I have a lot of questions. I was just in China and I learnt that the first dynasty that started in China came from Africa here and I had a professor in China to tell me this. That made me very proud and the world needs to know this because in our history books in America because they don’t put this there. They don’t want us to know this but when you travel and you have the opportunity to see things for yourself, you will realize that the history books were written by someone else and it is their version and it is their interpretation of what happened which is usually not the truth.”

Jackson’s meeting with the commissioner coincided with the International Jazz Day, and he was invited to a session of jazz hosted by the state’s government. “We welcome the idea that the golden tour of the Jackson in Africa starts from Nigeria and Lagos,” said Ayorinde, “We encourage the organiser of the tour. The Jacksons at 50 and Lagos at 50, we welcome collaboration.”

"It's 50 years for us," said Jackson in a television interview. "And it is 50 years for Lagos to be recognised as a state. With that been said 50, 50 equals a hundred...so there's gonna be a hundred percent of success of good things!"



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