Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has concluded plans to draw the who-is-who in the drumming world to the ancient Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun Sate, for the third African Drum Festival, which holds from April 19 to April 22, 2018.
Soyinka, who is the consultant to the Ogun State government on the festival, disclosed that the theme for this year’s edition of the event was ‘Drums for Advancement’.
The legendary author and poet, who was represented by the former Arts Editor of The Guardian newspapers, Jahman Anikulapo, said the four-day event would feature conference and lectures on drumming and exhibition of art gurus.
The Art exhibition is scheduled to hold at the Olumo Rock, while a “Walk For Drum” will start from the Cultural Centre at Kuto to the Olumo Rock at Itoku area in Abeokuta.
Soyinka disclosed that drum veterans from Ogun State and other parts of the country and countries like Ghana would be among the resource persons.
The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, explained that the festival was organised to reawaken and revive Africa’s dying culture, which he said predated Western civilisation.
“We have noted that our culture is dying and we need to revive it. Drums and drumming are important features of the African culture that cuts across the strata of the continent.
“There is nowhere that you don’t have one type of drum or the other, and if we are to revive our ideals and ideas as a continent, we must start with a culture that cuts across, which is drumming,” the governor said.
Amosun disclosed that about 70 private cultural groups, as well as countries that include Haiti, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago would also participate at the festival.
He expressed the state government’s determination to nurture the festival to maturity, so that subsequent governments would preserve it’s legacies with a view to making it the flagship for cultural activities in the state and the country at large.
The state government said it was committed to organizing the festival in Ogun State annually on every third week of April.