Eight (8) air conditioners have been procured for the National Theatre by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to address the persisted ventilation needs of the facility. 

Joy FM's entertainment journalist Kwame Dadzie, who paid a visit to the National Theatre on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 reports that eight (8) pairs of 10 horse power air conditioners (16 pieces) have been provided to the performance centre.

According to Enock Quaye, the Accountant and Acting Estate Officer at the National Theatre, the eight (8) pairs of the ACs cost approximately GH₵800,000.

He told that these ACs will be installed in the coming weeks to give patrons of the theatre a more comfortable experience.

This comes six months after the carpets at the National Theatre were also replaced.

The AC system at the National Theatre has become a matter of concern to many entertainment people as they continuously complain about the unbearable heat they experience when they attend programmes.

In March 2018, after several complaints by some media people and entertainment critics, four (4) movable ACs were purchased to augment the malfunctioning central AC system of the National Theatre.

The authorities of the theatre received more flak even after they had rented extra ACs to beef up what had been purchased. This was because the problem still persisted.

What's wrong with the Central AC system of the National Theatre?

In November 2021, Welbeck Tamakloe, a former Estate Officer of the National Theatre, explained that it was a big challenge to repair broken parts of their AC system because the facility is old-fashioned. This, he explained, had reduced the working capacity of the central AC system as compared to when it was installed in 1992.

“At the time it was established it was a system that was running, and it is almost 30 years now. Now, it is outmoded, and it is difficult to get the parts on the market if you want to do any replacement or change anything,” he said.

Some concerns raised about the state of the National Theatre

Creatives like the late Nana Kwame Ampadu, Fiifi Coleman, Chief Moomen and Kojo Antwi, and others have expressed their dissatisfaction with the National Theatre and its operations.

On May 18, 2017, at the National Theatre, the late highlife legend Nana Kwame Ampadu berated authorities of the theatre for the heat in the auditorium during a freestyle performance at the MTN Heroes of Change programme.

During the performance, while singing ‘Te W’anim,’ he said: “you are here enjoying the show but see how you are fanning yourself due to the unbearable heat. Tell the authorities responsible to fix the air cons.”

A similar thing happened at Becca’s anniversary concert. After the concert held on 21st October 2018, some patrons including artiste manager Nana Poku Ashis took to Facebook to recount how they got literally burnt in the auditorium.

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.

"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.

A few months ago, music maestro, Kojo Antwi, while revealing the secret behind why he stopped hosting his annual December 24 concerts at the National Theatre, 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.

About the National Theatre

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.

National Theatre of Ghana

The theatre has a building area of 11,896 square metres (128,050 square feet) and is sited near the junction of Independence Avenue and Liberia Road. The building has complicated construction moulding and novel exterior features.

It houses the three resident companies of the National Dance Company, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the National Theatre Players.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.