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It’s a new dawn for Nigeria Theatre industry as Lagos state government ceded Glover Memorial Hall to Lufodo Productions; a theatre and film producing company founded by the living legends and couple in Nigeria’s performing arts, Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva to manage.

The Nigeria Theatre Industry despite the economic value and flourishing of its sister arm (cinema industry) in recent times which is worth between $10 billion and $11 billion has been existing in the former shadow of itself as a result of neglect.

Due to this long years of neglect, Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest economy, is no longer considered as the destination of choice for the various important entertainments, events and concerts being hosted in Africa, instead, countries such as Rwanda (Kigali Arena- the largest indoor arena in East Africa) and Ghana are usually the preferred.

However, the giant stride taken by the Bankers Committee of Nigeria in 2021 to encourage the development of the creative talents of young Nigerians and the restoration and refurbishment of the upgrade of the National Theatre to the aesthetics level of the 21st century, through The Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) is a huge intervention for Theatre industry and the entire entertainment industry.

Also, the recent concession of the iconic Glover Memorial Hall to a private body is another landmark effort geared towards resurging the cultural industry. Built in 1887, the Glover Memorial Hall (GMH) erected in memory of Captain John Glover; Governor of Lagos 1864-1872 is a heritage building for theatre and performing arts in Lagos. Glover died in 1885, after which prominent Lagosians fundraised the same year to build the Glover Memorial Hall as a spot for the social and political life of Lagos.

Glover Memorial Hall is an ancient historical landmark within the state, and one of the oldest theatre halls in Lagos. It is very well known for hosting plays, concerts and other performances.

The first film in Nigeria was screened at the GMH in 1903, under the invitation of the foremost nationalist, Sir Herbert Macaulay.

Notable theatre artistes such as Kola Ogunmola, Oyin Adejobi, Herbert Ogunde, etc. also premiered their productions there. It was the venue for the infamous play Yoruba Ronu by Ogunde, from which the Western Region Premiere, Obafemi Awolowo, walked out, after which it was banned by the government in 1978. The film Kongi’s Harvest by Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, had its major screening there in 1970. GMH hosted the W.E.B Dubois lecture, Duke Ellington and other jazz greats. It was ‘the spot’ when it came to drama, dance, theatre, music, recitals and other elite gatherings in Lagos.

The hall has great cultural and historical significance in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole, and is well worth visiting. Located in the Marina area of Lagos Island, the iconic Glover Memorial Hall continues to be a beacon of the local culture and tradition of Nigeria.

Lufodo Productions in partnership with Ciuci Consulting – a leading consulting and operations management firm will be managing GMH for the next 5 years. This partnership will have both Joke Silva and Ifeoma Monye as co-CEOs with the former overseeing artistic direction while the latter handles operations.

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Photo Credit: Google.

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