Nigerian govt to add drum festival to national calendar

African Drum Festival in Abeokuta
Gov. Ibikunle Amosun playing a drum at the African Drum Festival in Abeokuta

The federal government has disclosed plans to incorporate the African Drum Festival into the national calendar of festivals, adding that all national media platforms would be made available to create awareness for it.

President Muhammed Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this while speaking Thursday night at the opening ceremony of the 3rd edition of African Drum Festival in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

He noted that the festival had continued to grow better with each edition, stating further that, the drum festival keyed into the objective of turning the creative industry into a thriving industry that provides jobs and promotes the economy.

“The drum festival keys into our objective of turning the creative industry into a thriving industry, one that provides jobs and promotes the economy. I will also appeal to the corporate world to partner with Ogun State and support this festival by providing the much needed resources to ensure its sustenance,” he said.

“This festival is important to Africa because it provides us an avenue to showcase our rich cultural heritage as well as an opportunity to preserve the culture for the future heritage,” Mr Mohammed added.

Also speaking, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, noted that the drum serves as a veritable instrument of inspiration, mentoring and motivation, particularly in the Yoruba culture.

Wole Soyinka, who is the consultant to the Ogun State Government on the festival, is expected to lead legends in a ” Drum Walk” from Kuto to the Olumo rock in Abeokuta and also expected to co-ordinate an international conference with the theme: “Drum for Advancement”.

The third edition, which began on Thursday, is an annual event organized by the Ogun State Government which started in 2016.

It drew participants from 20 states and 40 African countries as well as other foreign countries including Haiti, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago.

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