Nigeria: National Theatre holds commendation service for late GM

A commendation service wad held on Wednesday for the late General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, National Theatre, Dr Stella Oyedepo, to kick-start her funeral rites.

Mrs Oyedepo died on April 22, in an auto crash on the Shagamu/Benin expressway.

Sunday Baba, the Acting General Manager, National Theatre, said that it was sad for him and the entire staff to refer to Oyedepo as `late’.

He said, “We were like family. The brief period she was with us, I always joked with her; even before she went on that fateful trip, I did that but I never knew that would be the very last time.

“When I heard the news of her demise, I cried like a baby; it was shocking but it is one of the things of the world.

“I thank everyone that has come out to honour her; she was a great woman; she worked tirelessly to see the National Theatre come alive again,’’ he said.

Abiodun Abe, Chief Executive Officer, Business Development and Events Management, National Theatre, said that the late GM came in 2018 when the National Theatre was not functioning, “but her coming gave us respite’’.

“With her, we experienced peace both inside and outside. She wanted the National Theatre to bubble again; I feel pained with her death; a lot of us feel empty.

“She was a woman of peace, justice and love; she was a very nice person; we wanted to increase our rent to generate more money but she refused.’’

Abe recalled that the late Oyedepo was a down-to-earth person, because in 1992, when the National Theatre had a theatre festival, she led her theater group from Ilorin to Lagos.

“She decided to sleep with her artistes in the theatre hall, instead of going to a hotel, even as a chief executive officer of her group.

“When salaries are paid; she will not touch her own salary when she was with us until the casual workers are paid,’’ he said.

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