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How I will reposition National Troupe–Director



How I will reposition National Troupe–Director

By Deji Abdulwahab

Nigeria National Troupe Artistic Director Ahmed Mohammed said he would reposition the troupe through sustained artist engagement and public-private partnership.

Mohammed, who is also the troop’s general manager, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) in Abuja.

“Over time, the number of artists in the troupe has decreased.

“Basically, we don’t have the dancers. When we look at the troupe, we look at musicians, dancers and we look at people who are able to play.

“It’s because we also put on plays featuring life-changing experiences in Nigeria.

“We look at our own particularities and who will be able to project certain cultures in a very good light.

“We don’t have that kind of team. I think for two or three years we haven’t had this kind of team.

“Now that I’m here, I’m trying to see how I’m going to reposition the troop.

“Part of what we need to do is we are going to do auditions. This hearing could be at the level of the zones in the country.

“From there, we’ll make the best of the best.

“This will give us the kind of artists and models we want and we’ll make sure they have the resources and tools to work with similar costumes,” Mohammed said.

According to him, the troupe also focuses on those already engaged in the theater such as members of state art councils.

“We are going to fish for the talents of these groups. We will camp them and train them. And then we move to play in places where we are asked to go and play.

“We are also looking for partnerships with the private sector and government agencies because they still have commitments and want us to play them.

“We also have a children’s program. One of our goals is to make sure that we are looking for talent in children and to build their capacity in theater so that we can catch them young.

“In other words, we are talking about culture and the need to really prepare our children to understand the way we live.

“Before, we had competitions and the winning schools received prizes.

“I know that after a few years we have not been able to do this due to lack of funds and because some of our employees responsible for these types of engagements have left the service.

“Most of them are civil servants and they are not being replaced. It’s part of what I’m trying to do to make sure we have the right people in the right place to be able to do the right things for us, ”he said.

The director however stressed the need for vehicles that would transport the members of the troop for engagements across the country.

“We don’t even have a vehicle that can transport artists conveniently from point to point.

“When I went to headquarters, I discovered that most of the vehicles were grounded.

“The other vehicles we have were purchased over 15 years ago. Thus, they become almost obsolete.

“It is necessary to have vehicles on the ground to make sure that we can move around comfortably in this country. This is part of our challenges.

“Once again, you know that the National Theater is being renovated. So the National Troupe does not have its own office, we are under the National Theater.

“We now reside in the artists camp which is also not in good condition,” Mohammed said. (NAA)


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