The Goldberg cultural contest in Abeokuta, Ogun State among local drummers, praise singers and dancers which ended on 18 February saw Otapo Bata Drummers the overall winner of the competition which involved five top performers at the final stage with a cash prize of two hundred and fifty thousand naira (N250,000).
The second position went to Ayanwale Drummers while Omo Aribido Drummers clinched the third position with cash prizes of one hundred and fifty thousand naira (N150,000) and one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) respectively; while
Ayandare Drummers and Paramount Band that were among the five top finalists got cash prizes of fifty thousand naira (N50,000) each.
It was a keenly contested competition of drummers, praise singers and dancers among 12 groups that were involved in the audition process at the Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, with selected five for the final stage after at a contest with lots of people in attendance.
Among the 12 contestants for the competition were Otapo Bata Drummers, Ayanwale, Omo Aribido, Omo Makinde, Ayandare, Ogungbayi, Asore, Paramount Band, Bata Batik, Ayokorode, among others.
The contest which began on 17 February, started with a procession through major streets of Abeokuta by drummers, praise singers and dancers showcasing their talents in both old and contemporary Yoruba songs with various talking drums as well traditional instruments.
The people of Abeokuta were thrown into excitement as the cultural contest organised by Goldberg Larger Beer also known as ‘Your Excellency’ was seen as a mark of respect for the culture of the people of Ogun State and the South West in general. The audiences at the event commended Goldberg for the vital role it has played in promoting talent and the rich cultural values of the people of the South West.
Hours before the commencement of the contest, the people of Abeokuta trooped en masse to the venue of the event to show their support for their groups, chanting slogans and dancing to rhythms of popular songs. The huge turnout shows the people’s high regard for their cultural norms and values.
Speaking at the event, the senior brand manager, Regional Mainstream Brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Funso Ayeni, stated that Goldberg Excellent tour would be taken to five other cities after that of Abeokuta, in line with the brand’s 3-point agenda of culture, respect and tradition, and that other cities include Ilorin, Ado Ekiti, Ikare Akoko, Ile Ife and the ancient city of Benin in Edo State.
He said the event in Abeokuta was aimed at promoting local talent, as the competition would bring out the best skills from the performers who would see the contest as an opportunity to show cultural skills over others.
‘As a brand, Goldberg also known as ‘Your Excellency’ ensures that it identifies with cultural values of the people of Ogun State, a situation that would resonates the brand’s 3-point agenda and which would also be replicated in other locations,’ Ayeni affirmed.
While commenting on their victory, the leader of Otapo Bata Drummers, the group with the first prize, Mr. Afolabi Mufutau, said it is a thing of joy to see his group clinching on to the first prize. He said it was the work of God, though they have been engaged in series of trainings in the past.
He explained that the instruments which gave them the victory were Omele abo, omele meta and the Bata Iyalu talking drums.
Also, the leader of Omo Aribido Drummers, Mr. Aribido Oluwafemi, commended Goldberg for putting the intiative together, adding that it is an act that should be emulated by others. He also attributed his group’s victory to God and the routine training embarked upon.
Mufutau added that although modern musical instruments are taking over the musical landscape, the place of the talking drum can never be downplayed. It is unique in its production and sound, which connotes so much to those that deeply understand the Yoruba language and cultural heritage.
‘The drum is called the talking drum because it can imitate the lines speech of a spoken language especially Yoruba,’ he stated.