The group from Oyo State in Nigeria weaved the talking drum into their hair. What happened at the 2018 African Drum Festival? Fun, excitement wonderful cultural displays etc. All these and more happened at the 2018 African drum festival. I missed the 2017 edition but made a decision to be at the 2018 edition (19th-21st April) especially when I saw the title-“Drumming for Advancement”. One thing that needs to be understood concerning drums is that to the African man, a drum is not just an entertainment tool. It’s a signal for many things depending on what sound it gives when the drummer beats it. It can be used to signal the gathering of youths and elders, signal the start of a war, send a message across several villages, announce a celebration etc. This was not going to be an Ogun State affair but a festival of International proportion especially with the first African Nobel laureate Prof WOLE SOYINKA in charge proceedings.Prof. Wole SoyinkaI went straight to the festival grounds at June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta on D day, only to meet a small crowd of people registering, some just coming in etc. Arrival of “Sangbeto” the traditional voodoo guardians of the night in the Yoruba religion of Benin and Togo.I felt disappointed. Then it occurred to me that in my rush, I didn’t look at the program schedule to guide my movement. A symposium was being held at another location and there wasn’t going to be any activity at the June 12 stadium till evening. Ovyay, isn’t finding this amusing at all. Always read the program. (Photo credit – Guzeart Photos)My disappointment was further worsened when a friend who was supposed to hang around with me sent a message that he wouldn’t be joining me until later in the evening. So what do I do? I took some casual shots just to console myself, sat around for a while but had to leave when the people cleaning and sweeping the arena started their work. Anyway, I returned to the stadium by 4 pm and of course from afar off I could hear sounds telling me action had started. Passion, energy driving the action.So who was at the festival ? People came from all over Africa and the diaspora to enjoy this international festival. The Herbert Ogunde dance troupe was also there.When your heart is in it, it will show on your face.Gracefulness mixed with joy.Now, I will not be able to give you a “blow by blow” account on how everything went but just save to say that the Ogun State Government/Governor IBIKUNLE AMOSUN should be applauded for organizing this festival. His Excellency, Gov. IBIKUNLE AMOSUNThat the governor ignored the lift on day 2 and raced all the way up Olumo rock in his Àgbàdá and down again so impressed me. He is a bundle of good health and energy. Kudos Sir.Traditional rulers from the West and beyond also graced the occasion. Rulers such as the Alake of Egbaland, Ooni of Ife, Aláàfin of Oyo, Obong of Calabar, Akarigbo of Remo land and many others too numerous to mention. ( Please, I have not listed the names according to any protocol. Kindly pardon me).If you love colors and costumes this was the place to be. If you love photography don’t miss the 2019 edition. On this one, I shot over 25gig of Raw files.The lady below was spectacular in her drumming. She reminded me of Ara.Then the man with the snake.His name is Lukman, a magician of Yoruba origin. He kept five live snakes in his trousers and later put them in his mouth, wrapped them around his neck etc.The performance of this kids put tears on my eyes. They were so good in their dance drama. Beautiful cuties.For me, this man (picture below) was a colossus amongst all the performer’s. He exhibited energy, passion, joy, love etc. And he kept that pipe in his mouth to distinguish him from the crowd and add colour to his “stuff”. I looked for him after the program and congratulated him for a wonderful performance. Now I am not saying others didn’t do well, but this man knows his craft.After the three day event, I left Abeokuta making a mental note of not missing next year’s event God willing.I also made new friends too such as @thefisayo a fellow blogger whose advice gave me the final push to start this blog.Kudos also to my new friends at KUTA Nigeria ( an NGO/Art community in Ogun State) where I attended a writing class taught by Blogger/Writer Yinka Elujoba. I must not forget @funmiajala (www.funmiajala.com) who reminded me of the festival date for this year etc.If you are a tourist to Africa even Nigeria, please don’t miss the drum festival next year. Ogun state does not have security issues, the people are courteous and if you come please don’t miss the “ofada rice” (local rice with very spicy stew) which is a well known Yoruba specialty.Most of the big guns of Nollywood were also there and it will be difficult to post all their pictures. Saka gave the speech on behalf of the Nollywood group and of course, was his usual funny self. Olu Jacob, Papa Ajasco etc were present too.Conclusion It’s time to go.Kudos to the Ogun State government for organizing this festival for the third year running. My only fear is, “will the next administration continue this festival”? That is a question that only time and Providence can answer. The economy of the state and nation will benefit immensely if this festival is allowed to continue. Just observing around the festival grounds I can just imagine the amount of business that was transacted during the three days of the festival.I think the advertising needs to be improved so as to attract more foreigners even international tourists.Security was top notch througho ut the duration of the festival.If you are planning to attend the next edition especially for photography reasons come with a least a zoom lens may be a 55-300mm range or even a 400mm. Make up your mind also on which to pursue. Photography or videography. And if you can, pursue the two. Good luck as it can get a bit confusing and exciting in deciding which to do when the action starts.I urge International tourists not to miss the 2019 edition as Africa is not only all about Safaris alone. We are rich in culture, have great landscapes etc. However, book your hotel accommodation in advance to avoid the rush as most hotels especially around the stadium were fully booked. You may reach out to Irinajo_ng (www.irinajo.ng) to help you with your trip organization.That’s all folks. See you at the 2019 drum festival where I would be expecting you to join us as we sing-”Mayo mayo mayo o,Lori Olumo.Mayo mayo mayo o,Lori Olumo”.If you enjoyed reading this please I urge you to take time to comment in the comment section below. kindly subscribe to this Blog too if you haven’t and help re-share this blog post on other platforms too.Thank you for your time.


33 Comments

Princess lulu · June 23, 2018 at 5:23 am

I’m so going there please when is the next one

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 5:26 am

    Next year I think about April. I will confirm to U when the official date is announced.

Keji · June 23, 2018 at 5:38 am

I’m a proud daughter of Egba land. The culture is so rich. Our Adire is the best. The ofada rice with fried spicy stew, ilafun, that is white casava flour and ewedu elegusi is second to none. Wara made from cow milk is a total delight. I can go on and on. We are wonderful and friendly. Next year by God’s grace, I’ll be there. Nice pictures. Beautiful narrative. God keep and preserve us till then.

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 5:42 am

    Amen. I will confirm the date to you when it’s out.

Esu Reuben · June 23, 2018 at 5:39 am

I don’t know if I should say that am jealous but I know that jealousy is not the word, yes I’m unhappy with myself reason being that I missed the show but no I won’t miss next year’s own not after I’m seeing your astounding and fascinating shots kai mbanu I won’t miss next year.

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Ha watch out Ogun State. Reubenography don vex. 😂😂😂. I understand . Your jealousy is positive. I know the feeling. We are hitting there together next year by Gods grace. Amen.

Tunde Akinseye · June 23, 2018 at 5:50 am

Nigeria has a rich culture. We have not done enough to advertise our culture to the world. I am a proud Nigerian and our culture. Nigeria is really blessed in all ramifications. As God gives grace I’ll attend the next one next year. Daddy kudos to you for the expose.

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 6:12 am

    No wahala. Thanks for commenting. I hope the relevant authorities will take Tourism serious in this country.

Adekunle Folorunso · June 23, 2018 at 6:56 am

There is no hiding the fact that Nigeria is culturally rich & traditionally endowed. Hopefully we would have good leaders that will harness these and make fatherland great again. Well done MOG, Happy exploration Sir.

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Thanks Pst Mode. There is so much beauty in this country. Too many revenue points are not harnessed at all. God will help us.

Adekunle · June 23, 2018 at 7:05 am

Great! Bit you did not mention my name that trouble you a lot by asking questions showing you something from my shoots.
Well am proud to be a son of the land, we are known for the best in all things.
Alafin commented and commended the Gov. Senator Ibikunle Amosun for this great move which suppose to be from Oyo state, for they are know for the profession.
Thanks to Ooni of I’ve, iku baba yeye, ojaja …. Together our culture will be promoted. Mine writeup is coming soon just to finish my site to.

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 7:34 am

    I apologize my beloved. We were many so to make it easy I just streamlined everything. Thanks so much for your comments. You are highly appreciated.

Jemimah · June 23, 2018 at 7:59 am

Wonderful display of our cultural heritage in Nigeria

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Yes O Jemimah. Thanks for your comments.

Femi Julius · June 23, 2018 at 8:07 am

Nice writeup…..Nice pics too. Remember Globat mud School pics.. I know I can catch you here faster….

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Haha Femo, don’t worry. I understand. I will do it this evening.

Melodious Melody · June 23, 2018 at 9:21 am

Nigeria is a blessed nation with very rich diverse cultures no doubt. It was obviously a lot of fun. I used to be a good drummer, so this is game for me.
Thanks for sharing the beautiful experience. God bless you.

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks so much ma Tsunamee. Maybe you will join us next year there by God’s grace. Maybe twinee will book his vacation for that time too and we can now have a Mini pafun reunion😂😂😂😂

FUNMI AJALA · June 23, 2018 at 9:26 am

Kudos!!! Sir, nice pictures and write up.
Looking forward to the next edition by God’s grace.

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks my beloved Sis. We will not ABK big time next year by God’s grace.

Ovis · June 23, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Okay Now I Want To Be A Drummer😁😁

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    If d great tamborinist agrees, en U can be a drummer😜😜😜

Miss Champagne B · June 23, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Your pictures are beautifully done! But sidenote, social media could help with the marketing for this project and irs pretty cheap too!

    Ovyay · June 23, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks so much Miss Champagne S. How do I DM u

Esse · June 24, 2018 at 6:03 am

Lovely poem sir, indeed u have reminded me of my school days of the novel’s “the gods are not to be blamed” reading mood actives . thanks for sharing.

    Ovyay · June 25, 2018 at 5:23 am

    Thank you Sis Esse

Carol Efoghe · June 25, 2018 at 8:50 am

WOW!!!! Amazing Pics Ovyay, You Know I Love All Your Pics, Amazing Colours, I Love African Culture, I Loved Goong To Nigeria 🇳🇬 To Visit My Efoghe Family, Everywhere I Went I was Welcomed By Every1 I Met, Children Where Bowing To Me, I Was So Overwhelmed, Happy Smiling People Love You All 😘😘😘

    Ovyay · June 25, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Thanks ma🙏🙏🙏 So happy to see your comments. Thanks for subscribing too . ❤️🌼🌻🌺🥀

Emmanuel · June 29, 2018 at 4:59 pm

I will attend the next one…so lovely

    Ovyay · June 30, 2018 at 6:28 am

    God will help. No problem

PennyEmmy · July 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm

As a Nigerian I already understand the importance of drums (and reading the program). This was such a lovely read, greatly enjoyed it!

    Ovyay · July 1, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Thanks so much for taking time to comment. It was a great time out there. Hope you will be able to attend the next year version.

    Ovyay · July 1, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks so much for commenting. I hope you will be able to attend next year’s program. We had a great time out there.

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