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Kudos to Ododo as National theatre gets radio license

By Debo Oladimeji
02 October 2021   |   3:35 am
The General Manager/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Theatre, Prof. Sunday Ododo and the former General Manager of the National Theatre, Prof. Femi Osofisan...

National Theatre, General Manager Prof. Sunday Ododo PHOTO: Twitter

The General Manager/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Theatre, Prof. Sunday Ododo and the former General Manager of the National Theatre, Prof. Femi Osofisan have been commended for their efforts towards the rebirth of the National Theatre.

This is even as Ododo has disclosed that the theatre has secured a license to operate its own radio, adding that presidential approval was being awaited.

Speaking during a programme to mark the 45th Anniversary of the National Theatre and the one-year anniversary of Prof. Ododo in office in Lagos, the President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL), Prof. Duro Oni, said that Osofisan deserves kudos for mobilising the press and other stakeholders to prevent the concessioning of the theatre to private individuals. 

Oni also lauded Ododo for achieving the ongoing renovation of the National Theatre by the Bankers Committee and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“We must give kudos to the media and organisations that fought against the privatisation of the National Theatre.  Osofisan refused to superintend the sale of the National Theatre to business moguls. He said that rather than the government concessioning it, they should give it back to the Lagos State government.

“I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  Ododo is a man of theatre and he understands the theatre and the ideas of running a theatre. To maintain the building and run it is a challenge. Funding is a challenge but it can fund itself if it is in good state and effectively run,” he said.

Presenting a paper on ‘The National Theatre: The Past, Present And the Future’, Prof. Tunji Azeez of the Lagos State University, Ojo, urged the new management of the theatre to sustain the tempo. 

“That is the only way we can leave a legacy.  If you leave an organisation and they don’t miss you there is a problem. We must have iconic productions that people will be remembered. Are you making profit? Are you customer oriented?  If you are not ready people will go to other places.

“It is the ideas and the programmes you have that will bring people here. It depends on what you packaged. In the face of globalisation, you must embrace the internet.  Put the youth on your board. They must have a sense of belonging. The new National Theatre of our dream must not sleep 24 hours. When people bring ideas, give them their commissions.  That will give them incentives.  Let the place be a hub,” he advised.

In his remarks, Ododo also disclosed that he has got the buy-in of sponsors for corporate partnerships for their programmes, which include Talent Hunt Project, Open Theatre Series, Exhibition of Nigeria Royal Regalia, Skill Acquisition Academy, National Festival of Home and Flutes, Durbar Sights and Sound, Cottage Theatre Development Series; Digital Music and Studio Projects and Annul Expo, among others.

“We are in the shadow of the ongoing renovation, revamping and the rehabilitation of the National Theatre. But the new National Theatre is more than the edifice undergoing rehabilitation; the event we have lined up show that it will be a mobile theatre and the ongoing renovation is not a hindrance to our vision because with a Marquee, which we are currently setting up on Entrance “ C” lawn, we are set to continue running our programmes with a Marquee for events as needed while the renovation works are on. You are free to bring your events to the National Theatre again as your success is crucial to the success we envision,” he said.