‘Lack of Sponsorship Killing Theatre’- David Dontoh

Actor, David Dontoh, says theatre in Ghana can stand on its feet again if corporate bodies come on board to support it. According to Dontoh, who is also known as Ghana Man, sponsorship is the main reason theatre is almost dead in Ghana.

“My team and I have been trying to get sponsors for our productions and the response has been very bad. Corporate bodies prefer to sponsor awards ceremonies which are not as important as theatre that helps to promote tourism,” he told Showbiz.

He pointed out that a good theatrical production is a capital intensive venture, taking into consideration costumes, lighting, props, make-up and set design but due to lack of sponsorship to take adequate care of those elements, theatre has become unattractive for potential patrons.

David Dontoh said a consequence of the neglect of theatre is that our entertainers, especially movie actors, will not go far with their chosen professions.

“Most good actors are products from theatre. Like me, I started starring in stage productions four decades ago. The question I have been trying to ask corporate bodies is: Who should groom the movie stars for them to award?

“Nigerian movies are doing well because they invest a lot in theatre which produces good actors but unfortunately, this does not happen in Ghana.  Once theatre is given the needed push, our movie industry will bounce back.

“There is no way a tree can stand if you cut its roots and that is what sponsors have done to our theatre, leading to the collapse of our movie industry,” he added.

However, in an interview with Kwaku Asiedu Korankye, a marketer who specialises in sponsorship for artistic events, the situation is not as David Dontoh presents it.

According to him, a well- packaged product will always attract a sponsor.

“No corporate body will sponsor a product which is not well- packaged because it wants to protect its image,” he said

He explained that most corporate bodies refuse to sponsor events because organisers tell them different stories after they (sponsors) come on board.

“You don’t promise a sponsor ABC and deliver EFG in the end.  The sponsor will definitely not be happy with that and it makes corporate bodies careful of what to sponsor,” the marketer said.

On his part, playwright Latif Abubakar of Globe Productions told Showbiz a sponsor would always invest in a good product depending on how consistently that product has been in existence.

“I believe all a sponsor needs is the numbers, a solid brand, trust and consistency,” Abubakar said.

Meanwhile, David Dontoh has announced he is currently directing a play titled ‘Take Me To The Altar.’

According to him, the play by the late Efo Kodjo Mawugbe is a brilliant piece and he asked everyone to come see it on March 31 and April 2 at the Oxford Street Mall, Osu at 7.00pm each night.