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 Nigerian born Professor and The General Manager/CEO the Nigeria National Theatre receives the prestigious Who’sWho Africa Award

He is recognized for his extraordinary leadership and commitment to creating a more open and promising world for all.

Selected each year since 2015 by the Time Africa Magazine, the award, comprised of diverse honorees from across the African Continent, sought to document the lives and accomplishments of the Africa’s most prominent, renowned. The Who’sWho Africa honored and generated public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of thousands of African working professionals worldwide.

For Ododo, he is recognized for his extraordinary leadership and commitment to creating a more open and promising world for all. Prof. Ododo, also known as SEO, is a towering figure in the intellectual and cultural landscape of Nigeria. As the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Theatre, he has left an indelible mark on literature, theatre, and academia. Born into the Ebira ancestry of Okene in Kogi State, Nigeria, Ododo is the visionary guiding the birth of the modern National Theatre in Nigeria, a testament to his prowess as a negotiator who can attract funding. However, his achievements extend far beyond the boardroom.

As a Professor of Performance Aesthetics, Practice, and TheatreTechnology at the University of Maiduguri, Ododo’s scholarly contributions are remarkable. He boasts a prolific career spanning three decades, during which he has excelled as a literary technician, performance aesthetician, theatre technologist, creative economist, screenwriter, playwright, and poet. His body of work includes over a hundred publications in prestigious journals and specialist books worldwide, attesting to the depth of his scholarship. However, beyond academia, Ododo is a seasoned director and actor with an impeccable reputation. His contributions to the growth of literature and theatre in Nigeria through his involvement in the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA), where he served as President and Vice President, are monumental.

Ododo’s influence transcends national borders, as he is an active member of numerous international associations, including the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and the International Organization of Scenographers, Technicians, and Architects of Theatre (OISTAT). His remarkable achievements have earned him eight prestigious fellowship awards, including the Fellow Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (fsonta), Fellow Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (FNIPR), Fellow College of Research Scholars and Administrators (FCRSA), Fellow African Academic Network (FAAN), Fellow Association of Nigerian Authors (FANA), Fellow Society of Nigerian Artists (FSNA), Fellow of Theatre Arts (FTA) and Fellow Nigerian Academy of Letters (FNAL). His play “Hard Choice” won the ANA Drama Prize in 2012.

A defining feature of Ododo’s character is his commitment to mentorship and his compassionate, selfless nature. He readily lends his ear and assistance to those in need and possesses an extraordinary ability to transform vision into reality. His courage and fearlessness in pursuing his goals are inspirational, and his sense of collegiality has endeared him to colleagues and peers worldwide.

In August 2020, then-President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Prof. Ododo as the General Manager/CEO of the National Theatre. He has initiated extensive reforms and restoration efforts, transforming the National Theatre physically and financially. His achievements include staff training, the annual National Theatre Festival of Unity, revenue growth despite challenges, and the catalysis of renovation efforts through an MoU. Additionally, Ododo has introduced ground-breaking initiatives, such as the Play Reading experience at the National Theatre. The Play Reading has been taken beyond Lagos, giving the National Theatre wheels to travel beyond the physical site in Lagos. He established the National Theatre Monograph Series to document theatre knowledge and innovations in Nigeria. This yearly compendium is being digitalised for easy access to scholars and all those who seek such knowledge. In all these endeavours, Prof. Sunday Enessi Ododo’s unwavering commitment to mentorship, his compassionate nature, and his extraordinary achievements continue to leave an indelible mark on Nigeria’s cultural and intellectual landscape. Only recently a monumental over 800 page festchrisft, titled One Tree a Forest was published in his honour to commemorate his sixtieth birthday. His creative, intellectual and developmental outreach are enormous and compelling.

Excerpt from Time Africa Magazine

See Honourable Minister’s keynote Speech on – National Theatre of Festival Unity 2023 (4th Edition)

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