The day started like every other normal day. Music classes were going on. Dancers either in their classes or choreographing and learning new dance routines, with music from boom boxes in the background, when a call came through on the office phone. It was a pleasant female voice laced with a lovely foreign accent. She was calling from the BBC World News Channel asking if they could come to do a story on SPAN. Of course, we said, Yes…absolutely!
For us at SPAN, there was a feeling of excitement and more importantly, it made us realize that while we are busy doing what we know how to do, creating a platform where talents in music, dance, drama, spoken word, visual arts e.t.c can be grown, and nurtured, the world was watching and taking note. It gave us a sense of fulfillment.
A day was fixed for the BBC World News crew to come film the classes we offer and also interview SPAN founder, Mrs. Boulos on how this amazing vision started. They were to film her class as she teaches Ballet.
And so the day came, and at 9.10am, arriving slightly late due to traffic, but in good spirits with an exciting voice to match was a lovely looking lady wearing a yellow sundress, all smiles. It was Lerato Mbele, the fabulous presenter of ‘Africa Business Report’ on the BBC World News Channel with a 2-man crew.
They were given a tour of the community centre which houses SPAN’s Academy of Dance and the Academy of Music. They excitedly set up, eager to see the kind of performances they will be filming. Because of the time allotted, they could only take the full ballet class with Mrs Boulos and a 1 minute Naija Urban dance routine. Lerato suggested that since ballet is going to be indoors, if the Naija Urban dance performance could be filmed outside on the streets would be fantastic, and we ended up doing just that.
So once, everything was planned, the actual interview and filming was easy and fun, despite some ‘electricity hiccups’ and clearing the streets to film the dance performance.
Mrs Boulos, as usual, was a delight during her interview, and it was inspiring watching her tell the SPAN story again.
2 hours later,the BBC crew, satisfied with their footage. Lerato, who was so excited about the SPAN vision, said she was going to tell her Nigerian friends to assist in the cause to build a world class Performing Arts Center where dreams are created and realized. In her words “The SPAN story is so beautiful and easy to tell, I can almost breathe the passion of what you do here ”
And so amidst plenty goodbyes and waves, the crew left.
3 days later, our story was aired, both online and on BBC World News Channel .
This is just the beginning.