USA, 12 countries expected as Ogun hosts African drums festival

The United States of America (USA) and 12 other countries from different parts of the world will be participating in this year’s edition of Drums Festival to be hosted by the Ogun State government.

The maiden edition held same time last year was tagged “Nigerian Drums Festival” has metamorphosed into African Drums Festival due to its acceptance by other African countries, so as to showcase the rich cultural heritage of each of the countries.

Stating this on Tuesday was the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, at a press conference heralding the three-day event slated to commence from Thursday 20th through to Saturday 22nd of April, at the open ground, Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.

He recalled that the maiden edition witnessed the unveiling of the World Tallest Drum, which had in attendance, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, and other dignitaries from different parts of Africa.

Adeoluwa, who is the chairman, Local Organising Committee explained that troupes from USA, Cuba, Haiti and 10 African countries with no fewer than 20 drumming troupes will be in attendance.

The SSG added that local drummers like Alao Adewole and Aderoju Onilu  of late Haruna Ishola, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and Ayinla Omowura and troupes of the doyen of theatre, late Hubert Ogunde will also feature at the festival.

He described the festival as more traditional and cultural and that the concept is symbolic and eternal.

Adeoluwa said that a sum less than N50 million would be expended on the festival, adding that the state government is partnering with international institutes, including Goethe Institute in ensuring the success of the festival.

He said, “This drum festival is our initiative in Ogun State. We are building on the successes recorded last year. The state is pained that the Eyo Festival which originated from Iperu-Remo, is now synonymous with Lagos, now. We are taking over the ownership of this festival and we are impressed by the high level interest of the countries that have indicated interest to be here.

“We are working on the patent of registering the tallest drum in the Guiness Book of Records. We are doing this to preserve our legacies and put the state on the world map. Many tourists are expected in the state and the festival will bring benefit to our people.”

The state commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Chief Muyiwa Oladipo, said that the standard recorded in the last edition would be improved upon at this year’s festival.

The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in his remarks, said the state is proud to showcase the display of different drums, dances and performances from different parts of Africa.

Amosun, represented by his deputy, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, unveiled the new logo for the festival.