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National Theatre in Enduring Optimism

By Debo Oladimeji
13 January 2022   |   2:43 am
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) will not leave any stone unturned in providing an enabling environment

Scene from Strings, one of the plays performed during the festival

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) will not leave any stone unturned in providing an enabling environment for creative entrepreneurs to thrive, blossom and attain full potential.

The minister spoke at the opening of the Second National Theatre Festival of Unity (NATFU) held in Lagos, recently.

Mohammed, who was represented by Head of Department, Cultural Industries and Heritage, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs. Rose Kwarsen, said that when completed, the facility would be one of the enduring legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister disclosed that the festival’s theme, Enduring Optimism, was apt at this time when fatalities of COVID -19 and its attendant mutations have greatly impacted the global economy.

He said that in keeping hope alive, perseverance and optimism are necessary ingredients everybody needs to forge ahead.

“A festival that celebrates life, builds bridges of unity, promotes peace and harmony as well as rekindles hope of the people, is not only laudable but should be supported.”

He also commended the leadership of Prof. Sunday Enessi Ododo for the zeal and tenacity to continue organising this festival in spite of the no budgetary provision for two years running.

“This is an eloquent testament of creative leadership at work,” he said.

The General Manager/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Theatre, Ododo, said the quest to preserve, promote and present the cultural heritage of Nigeria and to identify and hone talents has led the facility to acquire a radio broadcast licence from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and is on the verge of getting a television licence to help in the broadcast of arts and cultural events, contents such as documentaries and feature films.

“The import of this is that we have the radio licence for audio while the process of getting a TV licence, which is more suitable for visuals, has reached an advanced stage,” he said.

Ododo also stated that the National Theatre Monograph Series was ready and would be released to the public soon.

According to him, “that will help in documenting our cultural heritage in prints. We are indeed leaving no stone unturned in our quest to fulfilling our mandate.”

He said that by hosting “our own annual festival, we are in essence going back to the basics. This is because the National Theatre was home to FESTAC; Festival of Unity is true, a revival of the spirits of that festival-FESTAC. NATFU is for all Nigerians, good people of the universe. We are set to make our country proud once again through her creative ingenuity.”