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Entertainment of Wednesday, 1 January 2020


Francis Nutakor: The oxygen behind comedy events

Francis Nutakor (Oxygyn) is a production manager Francis Nutakor (Oxygyn) is a production manager

“He is a guy who gets things done, you just don’t know how he does or make it, but he will make it happen at all cost. There are couple of productions that I get worried as in if we will be able to get full house so I will approach him and ask ‘Francis are we going to get full audience?’ Then he will reply and say ‘don’t worry they will come’”.

The words of Jeneral Ntatia, a renowned stage comic actor who has worked with Francis Nutakor for years.

Known among his peers as ‘Oxygyn’, Francis Nutakor, a young spirited Ghanaian has found love in theatre production and has supervised the successful execution of many different tasks while remaining behind the scenes.

In 2019 alone, he coordinated about ten productions including ‘3 Idiots and a Wiseman’, ‘Man in The Dark’, ‘Accra We Dey’, ‘P over D’, ‘Adam in Court’, ‘Gana 4 Sale’, ‘Let There Be Light’, ‘Voices in My Head’ and ‘Romanus Incomplete 2’ and the successes were evident in the thousands of people who thronged the event venues and left highly satisfied.

“Francis reads the system before dating a show he is working on,” says stage actor Clemento Suarez. “He will check if no show clashes with his. And if a show does, he will weigh the possibilities of that show taking away his audience. Francis listens and learns. He seeks for advice from experts before carrying out any public material business. He works within time. Fast paced.”

The positive results of his works has earned him many accolades and respect among his peers as Foster Romanus, another outstanding stage actor and stand-up comedian describes him as, “out of the world, one of the most focused, hardworking, tough-skinned individuals.”

Oxygyn's job as a production manager, comes with so much pressure but he is able to soak it no matter how challenging it is, says Romanus.

“He will give his all. What I like about him is his loyalty, dedication and passion. He is one person you can trust any day. He will not take your money just because he wants to work. He will tell you his reputation is at stake. That is the man Oxygyn! Every show I have seen him being a part of has been super successful because he has both conventional and unconventional ways of doing his stuff.”

‘Francis Nutakor, the son of Mr. Nutakor’ like he always trumpets, owes everything to God and the unflinching support from people who believe in him.

“It's God,” he says.

“There’s good planning with a solid team that understands the work. They are very committed. The support from friends and families has been helpful. With our consistency, people are believing in what we do and we keep researching, most importantly,” he adds.

A product of the University of Ghana who majored in Theatre Management, he says his dream was shaped during his days at Ghana’s premier university. He recounts how a radio show hosted by Abrantepa on campus-based Radio Univers guided his path when he ventured into event organization.

“It's was big for me… I used to listen and try not to make some of the mistakes he talked about during his analysis of events. It was my best and favorite program. It helped me a lot when I was organizing events for Elizabeth Frances Sey and Alexander Adum Kwapong Halls those days,” he says, adding that the impact his course of study has had on him cannot be over-emphasized.

“Planning, marketing, sales, coordination, project management, sponsorship and all other skills relating to organization were acquired in the classroom.”

Managing stage productions at the level Oxygyn does especially with most of the best acts involved, comes with many challenges including conflicts between the acts and the production manager, but that has never degenerated to affect the quality of production with Oxygyn involved.

Such issues are always amicably resolved.

“We have had our bad moments but we always get along as family and put the interests of Ghanaian entertainment first,” says Jeneral Ntatia.

Having enjoyed working with Oxygyn for years, Ntatia and Clemento Suarez sum up their impressions about the man with the Midas touch in a sentence each.

While Ntatia posits that Oxygyn “has a magic when it comes to production management”, Suarez is of the greatest conviction that the youngster is “the best and only Theatre Consultant in the country.”

For Romanus, words aren't enough to describe Oxygyn's commitment and quality delivery when it comes to stage productions in the country.