From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
No fewer than 20 drumming troupes from 10 African countries as well as 12 states within Nigeria are expected participate in the African Drums Festival 2017, to be hosted by Ogun State.
The festival, scheduled to commence April 20 and end on Saturday, April 22, will also be attended by troupes from the United States of America (USA), Cuba and Haiti.
Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the festival and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, made this known at the press conference and unveiling of the festival logo, organised to herald the event, held at the Banquet Hall, June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, on Tuesday.
Adeoluwa, who described the drum festival as first of its kind in the annals of Africa, said the festival would boast of quality participation, presentation and competition, among the participating troupes.
He added that the 2017 edition has been expanded to accommodate troupes from private and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), while renowned drummers like Alao Adewole, Ojubanire and Aderoju of late Ayinla Omowura, Haruna Ishola and Sikiru Ayinde, respectively, will be part of the event. The troupe of late Hubert Ogunde from Ososa in Ogun State will also perform at the festival.
Adeoluwa, however, disclosed that the state has secured a partnership with international institutes such as Goethe Institute and others, to make the event a success.
Meanwhile, he said the state has taken legal steps to patent and ensure that the world tallest drum was invented and located in Ogun State.
In his remark, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, said the festival would promote unity and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the African continent.
Represented by his deputy, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, Governor Amosun, noted, “the unique aspect of the festival was the unveiling of the world tallest drum. It received greater acceptance, and it has opened doors from our brothers and sisters from other African countries. It is one way of promoting unity in the continent”.