NTN advocates drama in schools to boost productivity

“No matter how bad we think the country is, it will be better, because there is no country better than ours."

National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN)

The National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN)  has urged relevant authorities to encourage drama in schools, to boost creativity and promote cultural values.

The Artistic Director of the Troupe, Ahmed Mohammed, gave the advice on  Sunday in Abuja.

He said that the encouragement of drama in primary and secondary schools would help the pupil/students to  discover their talent, as well as knowing their cultural values.

According to him,  part of the mandates was to encourage and promote creativity, the main reason why troupes  established Student Creation Workshop.

He added that the workshop was set up for the engagement of students in junior secondary and primary schools to showcase their talents.

Mohammed added that the idea was to bring them to the National Theatre, provide them with the equipment to make sure they knew how to use theatre.

“During the trainings, students present drama and music, using themes such as peace, love, unity that are relevant to Nigeria.

“Today we have 10 creative sections in the country, unlike some years back when it was happening only in Lagos. Then, it was only children from Lagos that were benefiting from it.

“But, when I was appointed in 2021, I shifted the trail to Bauchi State in the North East Region, where we spent about one month engaging schools in the state.

“From there, we moved to Abeokuta, and this year we came to the Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp in kuchingoro in Abuja,” he said.

Mohammed said the main purpose was  to ensure that cultural values that appeared so dearly to the society were now impacted into the children through drama as the future leaders.

Mohammed further said that in every function of the troupe, it made sure they touched the lives of children and changed their narratives.

He added that such was done in regard to the way they thought about their country and the way they should co-habit with others.

He further explained that in doing such, they would have good sense of belonging in their country,

“No matter how bad we think the country is, it will be better, because there is no country better than ours.

“Our progression should be geared towards national aspirations, which is our main key.

“This means, talking about oneness,  we need to bring unity in diversity, the love for our country as well as being your brother’s and sister’s keeper.

“That is exactly what our culture teaches us; we are expected to put it into consideration at every point of our endeavour,’’ he said.

He further said that the idea of Town and Gown had helped them in moving theatre from National Troupe to tertiary institutions,  where they supported theatre and performing art by students relevant to national aspirations.

He added that the students who wrote the drama narrated exactly the situation within their schools and what others were doing.

“In the drama, they promised not to go back to what they used to do again, because they find out that the future will not be good until they improve the academic standard.

“Town and Gown had helped in making sure that they impacted knowledge into the students even outside the university setting.

“We also support youths that are creative in music; any time we have a major project, we do not only engage our staff alone into our own production, rather we engage those creative youths.

“They will impact in what we do; we pay them handsomely in order for them to support their family and careers.

“As a government agency, private individuals and institute also benefit from National Troupe, and this year we are going to work with the Theatre Art Department of University of Jos,’’ he  added.