The National Executive Council of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), the foremost Association in the Cultural sector in Nigeria led by its President Gregory Odutayo in collaboration with the Abuja Chapter led by Chris Paul Otaigbe is set to commemorate the International Theatre Day 2012 in a grand style in the federal capital territory, Abuja.

The annual International Theatre Day (ITD) which is celebrated every March 27th all over the world, was initiated by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) in Paris, France, under the auspices of UNESCO for the celebration of Theatre Arts and its relevance in positive Global Development. It is a day set aside to call attention to the plights of Theatre Artistes worldwide and for generating advocacy and support for the theatre.

In a press release by OZIOMA GODWIN OKOLI, NANTAP’s Director of Publicity, activities lined up for the 50th edition celebration includes a keynote lecture “Nigerian Theatre: To be or not to be” to be delivered by Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).

Discussants on the topic include Culture & Theatre bigwigs like Dotun Osunsanya, Tunji Fatilewa, Denja Abdulahi, Dan Omatsola, Tony Shittu and AGN Abuja Chairman – Agility Nwaora. The Keynote lecture holds at the Cyprian Ekwensi Centre for Arts & Culture, Area 10, Garki Abuja at 9.00AM. Special Guests of Honour at the lecture will be Mr. George Ufot of the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation and Mrs. Nana Tsokwa, Director Abuja Arts & Culture.

NANTAP will also be celebrating its National Distinguished International Theatre Day Personality for 2012 in the person of Senator Suleiman Asonya Adokwe, a distinguished senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria representing Nassarawa state. Senator Adokwe was a former Deputy Director of culture, Artistic Director and Head of performing arts department in Plateau state. In the cause of his service, he wrote and or directed The Bumper Harvest, 1978 Plateau State entry for the National Festival of Arts and Culture, held in Lagos. Free Mandela (1986) Fund raising Drama in aid for anti-Apartheid fund, Plateau State Chapter, produced the Jarawa dance group in London and Geneva in 1988 for West Africa festival Village project, The Regent of Anah in 1992, A historical play which was Plateau State entry for the National festival of arts and culture held in Abuja. In 1993, he also directed “Tawanda”, a dance drama, cultural co-operation between Ferdelos of Switzerland and artists from France, Zimbabwe and Nigeria in Zurich. He also directed and produced the Jarawa dance group at the African festival of music in Congo in 1996. Senator Adokwe is currently Vice Chairman Senate services.

Also to be honoured as a Cultural Ambassador for NANTAP and the cultural sector in Nigeria is Hon. Rotimi Makinde, a veteran Theatre practitioner and member of the 7th Federal House of Representatives, representing Ife, Osun State. Hon Makinde who served the NNPC for over 20 years before retiring has about thirteen (13) films to his credit and had participated in over 200 films. Some of his films include the “Ojo Eye”, “Enikan O Laiye” “Eniyan Lo Buruju”, “Olorun O Sebi”, “Aso Iyi” amongst several others. Hon. Rotimi Makinde is the Deputy Chairman House Committee on Human Rights as well as Member House Committee on Culture, Art and -Tourism.

More so, to be honoured as Cultural Ambassador is Mrs. Mosunsola Nkanga. A veteran artiste and masters degree holder in labour & Industrial Relations. Mosunmola started her acting career in 1985 as Sidi in the Popular Village Headmaster where she acted both as Counselor Balogun’s niece and Sisi Clara’s apprentice; She also featured in Third Eye, a detective programme alongside veteran actor Uncle Olu Jacobs (MFR). Mosunsola also acted in Palace in the 90s as Mama Saro alongside Yomi Obileye and Liz Benson. Her other acting credits include Genius, The Honourables, Ripples, Checkmate, Dishonoured, Schemes, Ayooporo, Valley Between, Kamson & Neighbour to mention but a few.

The Awards Night, which is strictly by invitation, promises to be a night of glitz and glamour, holds at the Rockview Hotel Wuse II Abuja under the distinguished Chairmanship of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Executive Chairman, Daar Communications plc. Chief Host will be the Honourable Minister for Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke.

It promises to be a spectacular event… Naija get ready!

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