Why Kojo Antwi has stopped holding shows at National Theatre

Kojo Antwi

Kojo Antwi is the latest to give scathing feedback on the state of the National Theatre of Ghana.

The musician, in a recent interview with Onua TV, has revealed the secret behind why he stopped hosting his annual December 24 concerts at the National Theatre.

The ‘Amirika’ singer cited as reasons, poor maintenance culture of the National Theatre and lack of the right resources at the venue to aid his creative stage ideas.

“The place has fallen short of a theatre, maintaining the place has become difficult for those who are handling the theatre and as an artist, I don’t belong to a hall,” Kojo said.

“As an artiste, sometimes you become half full of a glass, sometimes, you get to the top of the glass, and sometimes when your ideas get wider, you outgrow the container. And I got to that point where I felt that the place wasn’t helping me.

“I did so many avant-garde things but an artiste doesn’t belong to a hall. I realised that the place wasn’t helping me so I had to move,” he further noted.

The management of the National Theatre has been under flak over what has been described as unfavourable conditions at the facility.

Some have complained the air-conditioning system at the theatre does not function to the optimum capacity. Others have cited unavailability of a stand-by generator, among others as issues that need critical attention.

On October 1, 2023, Dr. Mensa Otabil, the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church, in his address during the Experience Conference 2023 at the Maker’s House Chapel, described the National Theatre as being “under severe malnourishment”.

Otabil made the comment while complimenting Dr. Michael Boadi Nyamekye, the Founder of Maker’s House Chapel, for putting up state-of-the-art auditoriums.

“Many times, when we see God use a person like Dr. Boadi Nyamekye here, and you see him and see the amazing work that God has done with him,” he said.

“In this church on this campus, you have one of the most beautiful church campuses anywhere this is, this is a high-class place,” he added.

Making reference to the National Theatre, he mentioned how difficult it would be for the government to put up a structure the Maker’s House Chapel’s.

The National Theater (1992) in Accra was a gift to Ghana by the People’s Republic of China.

“This is how even government of Ghana will struggle to build this and I am not in any way insulting the Government of Ghana. I’m just speaking like Jesus Christ… Let the facts be the facts. Because you know, our National Theatre which is under severe malnourishment was built by the Chinese and dashed to us,” he said.

Other creatives who have raised concerns about the state of the theatre are the late Nana Kwame Ampadu, Fiifi Coleman, and Chief Moomen.

The National Theatre, opened in 1992, was built by the Chinese and offered as a gift to Ghana. The theatre is governed by the National Theatre Law 1991, PNDC Law 259.

It provides a multi-functional venue for concerts, dance, drama and musical performances, screenplays, exhibitions and special events.

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