The Cradle

Footprints of David (FOD) started as a community Art project at Arobadade streets in the heart of Bariga on the 30th December 2005, led by the impeccable theatre practitioner – Seun Awobajo. Initially, children in the streets gathered to watch an adult clandestine theatre group perform, which the founder once belonged to. After such outings, some of them came together to replicate such dynamic Art practiced by the older thespians, creating improvised rhythm with buckets as the local drums and available sticks; broken bottles as an accompanying instrument aided with empty tins of milk in creating an atmosphere of sounds similar to what they had seen and mastered. To the founder, this development was an eye-opener to kick-start a performance Arts facility that will inspire excellence and promote good conduct amongst the Children who are daily surrounded by an increasingly disturbing menace of thuggery and other vicious activities that the Bariga area has been known for. He hoped, that they who would later grow to right these myriad of wrongs, as well as giving the juvenile minds a chance at expressing their inner strength and vivacity through the systematic arrangements of drumming, dancing, acting and other sundry capacity building platforms.

This dream was not take forever to manifest, as the FOOTPRINTS OF DAVID began to live out the true meaning of its existence, which is to use African Arts and culture as a tool for positive change in the society. The first step in this stride was the admittance of children from depraved homes with an initial number of 4 children on its roll, ranging between ages 6 -16. This staggering number has increased exponentially, and still counting. With about seventy-nine children members’ education, feeding and accommodation being taken care of by the Foundation through proceeds from performances, contracted works, donations and sponsorships by individual ‘friends and fans’ of FOD. Secondly, it is no gainsaying the fact that FOD is arguably one of the leading Children theatre groups on the continent as every performance has been reputed to be in a class of its own. This feat has been achieved ultimately by the collective force of self-determination, resilience and tenacity displayed by the children on and off the stage.

Over the years, FOOTPRINTS OF DAVID has stuck to the plan! It has constantly been in the business of inventing and re-inventing new techniques that will further grow the consciousness of the world as to how the ARTS in particular and African culture are generally perceived. This distinctive efforts, however, has established the Academy as a unique entity from other contemporaries as it continually strive not only to give children of the downtrodden the rarest opportunity of exploring the world with creativity but essentially to imbibe a sense of patriotism, dose of goodwill and forthright discipline which is in line with the goals establishing Footprints of David as an Art Academy in 2005 that is to better their lots through the teaching and training of performance of African Art .

Shooting for the star! The foundation has established an Art academy that has successfully helped to discover and trained the children as amazing performance acts which has earned for itself a growing profile of acclaim within the Arts/ Cultural space in the country with each performance heralded by standing ovation. As the good book says, ‘Seeth a man diligent in his business, he shall stand before Kings not mere men’ same can be said of Footprints of David Art Academy for its decades long consistency on the scene with its attendant recognition that has in turn earned them the credibility of gracing major events’ across the length and breadth of the country with their usual jaw-dropping performances.

It is true the saying that one’s background should not keep one’s back to the ground. The amazing ensemble that makes up the FOOTPRINTS OF DAVID has exemplified this fact in more ways than one. Some of the children who come from poverty-stricken homes that cannot afford them the essential needs of life have become celebrated icons of the stage, both home and abroad. This asserts that anything great is possible for the man who dreams with his eyes opened.

What seems to be an experimental theatre group has grown in leaps and bounds, attracting in its humble folds the high and mighty of the society. The Board of Trustees consists of a league of eggheads such as: Professor Oluwole Akinkoyi Soyinka- Africa’s first Noble Laureate; Sir. Peter Badejo (MBE); Mr. Iruoje John; Dr. Christian Emeka (a medical consultant); Mrs. Francesca Emanuel (CON); Barrister Ayo Naiju; Mrs Gbemisola Alli; Mr. Kingsley Nmecha; Mr. Seun and Mrs. Damilola Awobajo. The Grand Patrons are: His Imperial Majesty, Oba Babatunde Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II: Ooni of Ife; His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode: Governor of Lagos state and Pa. Segun Sofowote including Mama Funke Sofowote as the Matron.