Local and Foreign Tourists have described Africa Drums Festival as first global melody hub with colourful display of the African cultural heritage, values and traditions as over 50 drum and dance troops across the African continent converged on Ogun State, Nigeria to celebrate the first ever Drums Festival.
The festival according to the host Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun who declared the it open at June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, the state received commendations during the maiden edition tagged “the Nigerian Drums Festival” in 2016 which led to broadening the scope to accommodate participants from other African countries and beyond.
Governor Amosun noted that the Festival tagged “Reviving our Culture in Drums” apart from showcasing the richness and depth of Nigerian culture to the world, was capable of promoting the African unity as well as increasing the socio-economic status of the people.
Governor Amosun stated that culture and tourism are potential tools to diversifying the economy from oil dependency, disclosed that the festival would be a yearly event as the state government had written to the Federal ministry of information and culture to endorse 20 – 22 April of every year as days set aside for the hosting of African Drums Festival in the State.
His counterpart from Bayelsa State, Mr Seriake Dickson, commended Senator Amosun for using the festival as avenue to foster unity among the people, noting that drum is central to all African Culture.
On his part, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, represented by the Artistic Director for National Troupe, Comrade Tar Ukoh, commended the Ogun State government for preserving African culture, saying drums out of all musical instruments are used as means of communication.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo unanimously agreed that drums are integral part of Yoruba and African culture as they are used as means of communication, entertainment, warning and education amongst others.
The monarchs while commending the State government for the initiative, added that Yoruba culture teaches moral values needed for development, calling on the Federal and State governments to explore the rich indigenous culture in order to promote tourism in the country.