By Moses Omorogieva
Some fun seekers at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, on Sunday complained about the dearth of organised programmes at the complex for the Yuletide season.
The fun seekers in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) lamented that there were no events such as film shows, musical events and fun activities including train rides for children among others at the complex.
They described their experience at this year’s Christmas celebration at the national theatre as the worst.
Mrs Egoro Olabisi, a civil servant, who was at complex with her five children, said that the children were not happy because there were no activities contrary to their expectations.
“Nothing is fascinating here. We left home thinking we may watch films, musical events, but the place is so scanty compared to some years back.
‘’Years back, the national theatre was the dream of every child and fun seekers, not now; and it’s so sad,” she said.
One of the Olabisi children, Daniel, told NAN that he had been looking forward to see some fascinating arts and sculptures of different ethnic groups, musical event, films among others.
Daniel also rued the absence of the tallest Christmas tree that used to be erected at the entrance C of the national theatre by one of the multinational beverage companies during the Yuletide several years ago.
The teenager said that as a child, he always looked forward to visiting the national theatre to see the Christmas tree and participate in the fun activities organised at the complex during the season.
Another fun seeker, Miss Margaret Akoh, while lamenting the inadequate activities at the complex, said she had planned to watch a film or musical event.
“Then, we usually come here to have fun during festive periods. We always catch fun seeing the artists around the complex,” Akoh said.
Mr Daniel Israel, a driver, who came with his two friends, appealed to government and events promoters to make the complex fun seekers’ delight.
“We are not happy because this not what we were expecting to see here,” he said.
A 63-year-old photographer, Mr Godwin Kencho, who claimed to have been operating at the complex for about 20 years, lamented low patronage due to lack of activities.
“This is not how Christmas used to be here at the theatre. Many people have no money to come out. COVID-19 too may have contributed. I have been operating here for more than 20 years, this is the worst year.
“Apart from Christmas, other religious celebrations this year was also like this. Years back when we used to have tallest Christmas tree here, I used to make up to N50, 000 daily, but now I hardly make up to N5000,” he said.
A horseman, Mr Daniel Aniga, said many fun seekers were not coming unlike before, which has affected his horse riding business.
Aniga said that hitherto, he used to have more that 100 persons riding horse daily on Christmas and Boxing days, with each rider paying N500.
According to him, in the last three days, I am yet to have 50 persons patronize my business.
Also, Mrs Elizabeth James, a carbonated beverage vendor, said that sales had been poor.
She said that before the Yuletide, she was sold six crates of carbonated drinks daily and sold same number of crates in the past three days of the Christmas celebrations.
NAN reports that the stalls built at the national theatre for fun seekers at ‘’a be igi” (under the three) were virtually empty without the characteristic music blaring from loud speakers, or itinerant musical artistes serenading patrons. (NAN)