From ruins to riches: Revamping Nigeria’s National Theatre
Nigeria's National Theatre. Source: Stears Business

Continuity is not something Nigeria does well.

Our issues with the construction and management of infrastructure—from buildings to railways—often boils down to continuity in governance and maintenance. 

Such is the case with the National Arts Theatre. An elegant structure that was built with an excellent outlook for the creative industries but depreciated over time because it was neglected. 
 

The National Arts Theatre

The year was 1977. Nigeria hosted other countries to participate in a month-long pan-African event—comparable to the Olympic games that involve thousands of athletes from international countries. Though this was not a competition, but a celebration involving thousands of creatives honouring culture, heritage, and decolonisation. 

The event was called the Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ‘77). The Pan-African World Festival of Black Arts was being held for the second time on the continent, involving indigenes and Africans in the diaspora. 

The first version of the festival took place

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Fisayo Okare

Fisayo Okare

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