Helen O'Grady Drama AcademyHelen O'Grady Drama AcademyHelen O'Grady Drama Academy

Incredible Principal who is developing inspired children

25 January

We spoke to Adila Budullah from the Mauritius Helen O'Grady Drama Academy who has built up an incredible reputation drama education, particularly by implementing the Academy's School programme and developing private studios throughout the island. Children just love the programme and it is evident she trains her teachers to the Academy's highest international level.

Adila is a well-know figure in Mauritius, having developed a name for herself as an expert in public speaking and a mentor for others, particularly women, in her business skills. She is true example of what the Academy skills in confidence and communication skills can help you achieve.  She recently won a top award for her work in the arts in Mauritius. She's also a qualified yoga teacher!

So let's get to know her a little better.

What did you do before you became a Principal of the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?

I was teaching in Lagos.

How did you hear about the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?

I learnt about the classes at the American School in Nigeria.

What made you decide to become a franchisee of the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?

I was moving to Mauritius and took the opportunity to take this unique programme and make it available to students in Mauritius.

What aspects of the Principal training were especially beneficial to you?

Learning and training from the experts themselves. It was very different from what I witnessed when I attended my first session in Lagos. When I went on my training and learnt the basic implementation and techniques and had the opportunity to put it in practice in practical sessions. 

I honestly believe this was the most beneficial to me, having time to practice what was  taught then understanding and making it work where you going to teach it.

When did you start your Academy?


I started advertising as soon as I signed the contract in 2012 while I was teaching in Lagos.

What obstacles have you overcome to start a Helen O'Grady Drama Academy, if any?

Building a team has been my biggest obstacle and overcoming the financial issue of not always having a cash flow because our schools pay at the end of the term.

Can you tell us what some of your achievements have been since starting as a Principal?

I have gotten to know many parents and members of the community. This has given me the opportunity to build strong foundation in what I do. I became an artist and I am registered with the arts and culture in Mauritius since 2013. I did a lot of work in communities and projects to show what we can offer and it helps individuals. I do a lot of public speaking. All my hard work has been followed and watched by peers. 

My greatest achievement was having my efforts and work recognized in Africa as being one of the most influential woman of Africa and Mauritius. 

If you can give a new Principal some words of advice when they start out, what would you suggest?

First do it for the love and passion the rest will come after.

How many people on your staff?


How many children attend each week?

Over 300 students.

What advice would you pass on to a new franchisee as regards to staff?

Keep visits and communication as regular as possible. In our franchise it is important to do social gatherings for teachers to know that they are not alone. Also training is done once a term and have meetings as much as it is required to support your staff.

Why do you believe drama is important for children?

What students learn and gain in drama will benefit them in every aspect for the rest of your lives from being a content individual, articulate communicator and most importantly being happy and confident in who you are by learning more about yourself and what you capable of.

Would you like to mention anything else about your time with the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?

I would like to thank the franchisor who is always there for support. Unity is strength and when there is teamwork and collaboration wonderful things can be achieved. 

For more information about our classes around Africa or to become a franchisee, please go to our website:


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Top quote

"As a toddler Lara was very vocal and loud but during her Grade 1 year we noticed she started to become a bit of an introvert and more shy. We signed her up with Helen O' Grady Drama Academy in the hope that it would help her with her speech as well as aid her in being more self-confident. Although still a little shy, she has blossomed while doing drama. Her speech is clearer and she is learning to expr..."

- Cape Town Parent