World Theatre Day 2021 Celebration Speech by NANTAP President

Like the blink of an eye, another twelve months have roled by. A year like none in living memory. A year that brought the world to its knees with so much death, misery and pain. A year that highlighted the courage of the human race to unite against a common enemy, in this case, the covid-19 pandemic.

That we are here today to mark World Theatre Day, 2021 calls for celebration.

As we celebrate we must remember all those who have lost the battle of life and celebrate the many front line workers who have given their all for our safety and a return of our world to its “real” normal.

The last year has shown there is no better time than now for us to turn our practice into the theatre of social and economic relevance.

Our stories must therefore continue to reflect and highlight the values that bind us together as a unique nation. We must continue to challenge and address issues of bad governance, insecurity, kidnapping and bloodletting confronting us.

Our theatre and it’s practitioners must as a matter of urgency commit to the building of sustainable communities across the nation using our craft

As creatives, we can only attain the capacity of our collective potentials when government not merely acknowledges the sector’s social and economical relevance to our development, but goes on to invest in its development

Even as we acknowledge and appreciate the many intervention and developmental committees set up my government at Federal and State levels, the time has come for less talk and more action.

We therefore call upon government to release without delay the pandemic intervention fund meant for the creative industry as it has done to other sectors of the economy.

Government must be seen to apply the same standards to all sectors of the economy impacted by the pandemic.

Such government intervention will further grow and advance the business of the theatre. Theatre remains a global business with capacity to create employment, attract infrastructural
development, help grow tourism as well as take many Nigerians off the streets.

As an association, we shall continue to explore partnerships both at government and institutional levels through engagements that grow the sector via policies, and investment.

As story tellers and custodians of our culture, we shall continue to tell the stories of our great past and greater present with a view to creating a better tomorrow.

Finally, as we
celebrate, we cannot but acknowledge the practitioners, patrons and friends who have kept faith with us.

Your trust and support has encouraged us to carry on and keep the creative process fire burning.

Welcome to another World Theatre Day, welcome to our celebration.

Let the show continue.

Israel Eboh fta

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