African Drums Festival will this evening kick off in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital were troupes from United State of America, Cuba, Haiti and no fewer than 10 African countries are expected to participate.
The festival which started last year with the name, Nigerian Drums Festival, was repackaged to involve the whole of African continent.
In his remark while unveiling the festival’s logo on Tuesday at the June 12 Cultural Center, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said the festival would promote unity and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state and African continent.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Yetunde Onanuga, said the unique aspect of the festival was the unveiling of the world tallest drum last year.
Amosun said 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.”
The chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the festival, Taiwo Adeoluwa, while addressing a world press conference said, 20 troupes, which include public and private ones would be coming from the 10 African countries which include Togo, Republic of Benin, Ghana, Congo Brazzaville, and Burkina Faso.
Adeoluwa also said 12 states and many private troupes had indicated interest to participate in the festival.
He said, “The United States of America, Cuba, Haiti and 10 African countries had indicated interest to send troupes to participate in this year’s drums festival.
“Twelve states in the country have also written to us expressing their willingness to participate, while nine others are alo showing interest.”
He said the festival has metamorphosed from being “Nigerian Drums festival to African Drums festival” due to demand from other African countries after the maiden edition held in April last year.
He said, “The African Drums festival is the first of its kind in the annals of Africa.The festival will boast of quality participation, presentation and competition among the participating troupes.
“The 2017 edition has been expanded to accommodate troupes from private and Non- Governmental Organisations while renowned drummers like Alao Adewole, Ojubanire and Aderoju of late Ayinla Omowura, Haruna Ishola and Sikiru Ayinde groups respectively, will be part of the event.
Adeoluwa, however, said the state has secured a partnership with international institutes such as Goethe Institut, French Cultural Centre and others, to make the event a success.