In a significant move within the Art, Culture, and Creative Economy Sector, President Bola Tinubu has announced the appointment of 11 new Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), with Tola Akerele taking the helm as the Director General of the National Theatre. 

Tola Akerele assumes this pivotal role succeeding Prof Sunday. E. Ododo, the former DG who held the position since 2020. The announcement of these appointments was conveyed through a statement released by Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s Spokesperson on Media and Publicity, on Friday in Abuja.   


Tola Akerele is an accomplished and award-winning interior designer, who seamlessly blends her interests in African arts and culture with a distinguished career that spans over two decades.  

Holding a degree in Economics and Politics (BSc.) from Bristol University and a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, she embarked on a journey in Investment Banking, contributing her expertise to renowned institutions such as Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and BNP Paribas before returning to Nigeria in 2003.  

  • Akerele studied interior design at the Parson School of Design in New York, as well as the KLC School of Design in London and founded iDESIGN Art to help consumers discover and purchase high-quality, affordable art 
  • Having served as the Vice President of the Interior Designers Association of Nigeria (IDAN) since January 2019, her strategic leadership was previously showcased during her tenure as the Secretary-General from March 2017 to December 2019.  

Her visionary approach played a pivotal role in propelling the organization’s growth and development.  

Beyond her significant contributions to design leadership, Tola is the Owner of Bogobiri House and iDESIGN, a venture founded in November 2003.  

Over time, Akerele’s Bogobiri House has transformed from a small Afrocentric boutique hotel into a lively cultural hub. It now stands as a special gathering place for Nigerian art, music, food, film, and theatre.


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