African Drum Festival opens in Abeokuta
The third edition of African Drum Festival has kicked off with 20 states, 40 African countries, Haiti, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago participating.
The festival started in Abeokuta in Ogun state in South West Nigeria on Thursday.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said who opened the festival disclosed that Nigeria was planning to incorporate the African Drum Festival into the national calendar of festivals.
The drum festival, an annual event organised by the Ogun government, started in 2016 solely as a Nigerian affair.
However, the festival was expanded in its second edition in 2017 to draw participants from other African and foreign countries.
Mohammed also pledged support of the federal government for the festival, saying that all national media platforms would be made available to create awareness for it.
Muhammed, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the ceremony, noted that the festival had continued to grow better with each edition.
The drum festival keys into the objective of turning the creative industry into a thriving industry, one that provides jobs and promotes the economy, he said.
”I will also appeal to the corporate world to partner with Ogun and support this festival by providing the much needed resources to ensure its sustainance.
”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.’’
Some of the royal fathers who attended the programme emphasised the importance of drum in the African culture.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi noted that drum serves as a veritable instrument of inspiration, mentoring and motivation particularly in the Yoruba culture.
The Nobel Laurette, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who is the consultant to the Ogun government on the festival, is expected to lead legends in a ” Drum Walk” from Kuto to the Olumo rock in Abeokuta.
He is also expected to co-ordinate an international conference with the theme: “Drum for Advancement”.