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Artistes on theatre day to deliberate on culture diversity and climate change

By Japhet Alakam
Ahead of this year’s International Theater Day (ITD) which will come up on March 27, National Association of Theater Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Lagos State chapter has unveiled plans for a successful hosting of the event. As usual, the event will be marked in a unique way in Lagos and other states of the federation.

Addressing the press last week in Lagos, the National President of NANTAP, Mr Greg Odutayo revealed that apart from the hosting of the event by the various state chapters, the association will use the 2010 ITD to draw the attention of the government to the plight of theater practitioners in the country as well as help sensitize the members on the need to be part of the forth coming national election.

According to him “ we cannot continue to go on  like this , there is every need for us as a body to contribute to the governance of this great country.” He therefore called on all her members to be actively involved in the electioneering campaign so that credible leaders will be elected in 2011.

Mr Mufu Onifade, the NANTAP president Lagos chapter while reeling out the programmes for this year’s ITD day on behalf of the ITD committee hinted that this year’s ITD celebration will kick off on March 24,2010 with a functional carnival in the mode of an advocacy for a cleaner environment.

The carnival which will involve practitioners and stakeholders  will start off from Maryland at 9.00 am and terminate at the National Theater Iganmu at 12.00 pm. In partnership with LAWMA, LASTMA and Onigbongbo, Surulere and Isolo LCDAs ,the entire length of the highway from Maryland to National theater will be swept thoroughly.

The event according to him continues on March 26 with three major events at the Terra Kulture cultural arts centre in Victoria Island , Lagos. Beginning from 10.00 am in the morning, there will be a seminar on the theme of ITD 2010 tagged; Culture: Cultural Diversity and Climate Change. On this theme, two resource persons , Dr. Muiz Banire, Commissioner of Environment Lagos State and Mr Tade Adekunle, former NANTAP president will take an intellectual approach to the cultural and global issues. The seminar will be held in collaboration with Arterial Networks, a cultural organisation with global focus from South Africa.

Later in the day at 1.00 pm , the 1st NANTAP Lagos’ Exhibition of Memorabilia titled ,Flying Time will be declared opened by the chairman of the occasion, Engineer Yemisi Shyllon, founder of Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF). The exhibition will feature photographs, posters, invites, costumes and properties of various plays performed between the 60’s and 90’s.

And in the evening of the same day, from 4.00 pm, the first segment of the Awards Ceremony will take place at the same venue.

There will also be musical, comedy and drama performances while seven cultural ambassadors will be decorated for their contributions towards the development of theater in the country. Those to be honoured include, Prof. Bayo Oduneye, a foremost theater Director, scholar and former artistic director of National Troupe of Nigeria, Mrs. Motunlayo Funke Sofolowe, writer, editor, actress and arts event manager, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, Lagos State Commissioner for Culture and Home Affairs, Hajia Bola Muse, an avid supporter of NANTAP.

Others are Prof. Bakare Ojo Rasaki, a theater scholar, dancer, choreographer, song composer, drummer, Playwright and presently the director general of Abuja Carnival, Ms. Kemi Koyejo, one of the founding fathers of NANTAP and Mr. Hasib Moukarim, a Lebanese who grew up in Kano and the publisher of Happydays Fotorama, a photo drama magazine.

Finally, following the trend set up by past leadership for the recognition, decoration and celebration of ITD Distinguished personality bestowed on eminent personality that has contributed immensely to the development of arts and culture in Nigeria which saw the body decorating many eminent Nigerians, this year’s ITD distinguished  personality for 2010 will be bestowed on His Royal Majesty, Oba Olusanya Dosunmu, the Olowu of Owu Kingdom and he will be ceremoniously decorated and celebrated on Saturday, March 27 at the National theater Iganmu. The event which will bring to an end the 2010 ITD celebration will begin from 3.00 pm under the chairmanship of Chief Michael Ade Ojo, chairman of Elizade Nigeria Ltd.

His Royal Majesty, Oba Olusanya Dosunmu is a man of many parts, who has contributed immensely to the political and cultural development of the country. He is a culture personified and a custodian of culture and tradition. He will be highly remembered for bringing life to a creative thoughts process through which he became the longest serving producer of the longest running television drama series in Nigeria, The Village Headmaster.


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