The Board Chairman of the National Theatre, Nana Fredua-Agyeman Ofori-Atta, has acknowledged the facility’s current state as a significant concern for the board and management. He indicated that actions are being taken to raise funds for its much-needed refurbishment.
This admission follows a protest staged by workers expressing discontent over delayed promotions and the deteriorating condition of the theatre. Addressing the media at a press conference, he detailed management’s measures to secure funds for the crucial refurbishment project.
Expressing dissatisfaction with media reports alleging mismanagement by the Executive Director, as claimed by protesting workers, Atta emphasized the board’s commitment to addressing these concerns but urged the media to be circumspect.
The National Theatre, once a symbol of cultural glory, now stands in a state of despair. Broken chairs in the auditorium and malfunctioning air conditioners paint a grim picture. Workers describe the facility as a challenging and unsafe working environment, labelling it a “death trap.”
The aggrieved staff also highlighted issues of stagnant promotions spanning over a decade and outstanding allowances. In addition, there is a collective call for the removal of the Executive Director, citing mandatory retirement as the grounds for this demand.
Responding to these concerns, the board chairman revealed the intention to retain the current Executive Director on contract while actively searching for a replacement. This move, he claims, aligns with the National Theatre’s best interests, taking into account the difficult circumstances it’s currently in.
“The deterioration didn’t start this year. It didn’t start last year. It’s been there long ago. In that period, proper infrastructure maintenance has been done, I think twice. So that’s a problem, and you know you can’t use GH¢500,000 to maintain this place,” he stressed.
He further added that “what we needed is funding, and it’s not as simple as that. We need to go through the system and budget for it.” As the theatre grapples with internal challenges, the commitment to securing its future remains at the forefront of the board’s agenda, he added. The managers of the facility have come under intense criticism for not doing much to renovate the facility.
By: Fred Duhoe