Newcastle-based NGO to partner Nollywood in boosting talent growth


Jennifer Orji, the Executive Director of Holding Hands, a Newcastle-based NGO, has promised to partner with Nollywood creative industry experts to advance the growth of young talents.

This is contained in a statement by the organisation on Monday, in view of the preparation to inaugurate its maiden: “Performing Art with Industry Expert” programme initiative, in cooperation with Uche Odoputa, a seasoned Nollywood actor.

According to Orji, the initiative,  which is a culture-based organisation, will provide young talents in Newcastle a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the world of Nollywood, in the area of performing arts, drama, family comedy, and language exchange.

“It is huge to have Uche on board because he has a lot to offer that people would benefit from. For Uche, the essence lies in contributing to and being appreciated by the black community.

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“It is a way of giving back (to the community) that transcends mere entertainment.

(M) Jennifer Orji, Executive Director of Holding Hands. Newcastle-based organisation to partner with Nollywood in advancing talent growth.

“The eight-week programme slated to commence in January 2024, will focus on imparting cultural knowledge to the younger generation.

“The initiative serves as a cultural beacon, projecting Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and values.

“It underlines the urgency of preserving cultural legacies. Life is meaningless without culture, which is why we all need culture to shape our lives,” she said.

Uche Odoputa, Nollywood actor.

The executive director reiterated the need for year-round recognition of black identity, saying that the importance of teaching Nigerian languages and promoting awareness about history, culture, and tradition could not be overemphasized.

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She noted that the organisation has actively engaged with the black community in the bid to introduce educational programmes that will ensure the younger generation embraces its roots.

“Simultaneously, our organisation is dedicated to ensuring that new migrants, including Nigerians, benefit from government-sponsored courses in the UK, aiming to provide courses free of charge.

“As we continue to bridge gaps and promote unity, this initiative exemplifies how the fusion of language, drama, and community engagement can be a powerful catalyst for positive change.

“The journey towards a more inclusive and culturally enriched society has found a passionate ally in Holding Hands, as Nollywood takes centre stage in Newcastle,” Orji said.

She acknowledged Nollywood’s impact on cultural ere-orientation and its status as the world’s second-largest film industry by volume.

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She described Nollywood as not just a source of entertainment, but also “a cultural ambassador for Nigeria”.

Orji said the programme provided an opportunity for young people to build an acting career with Northeast role-play production.

“This initiative not only emphasises the paramount importance of cultural awareness but also strives to make it a fun and engaging experience for the younger generation.

“The significance of these training programmes extends beyond cultural appreciation; it encompasses fostering diversity and inclusion.

“The Newcastle-based Holding Hands organisation aims to bring the lively essence of Nollywood – Nigeria’s renowned film industry – to the heart of the UK in a ground-breaking move, ” she added.

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