In Abeokuta, upbeat groove with Pasuma, 9ice
The 2019 edition of the African Drum Festival has come and gone but its memory will linger for a while as participants have continued to savour the mind blowing performances.
An initiative of the Ogun State government, the festival has been on since 2016. Originally dubbed as the Nigerian Drum Festival, it was rechristened African Drums Festival following the participation of other African countries such as Benin Republic, Ivory Coast, Uganda, DR Congo and a host of others.
With this year’s theme as ‘Drumming the Future’ with a view to looking at the potential socio-economic contribution of drumming to the future of Africa, the host governor and convener of the festival, Senator Ibikunle Amosun stated that for development to be meaningful, the potentialities of culture to spur social and economic emancipation and empowerment of the people must be emphasized.
The Egbedere Band comprising young boys and girls within the age bracket of 12, set the ball rolling at the concert. With their drums and xylophone from which they gave scintillating sounds, they performed the cover of Teni the Entertainer’s hit song Case, which drew applause from the crowd.
While the band played, the song’s chorus reverberated from the audience as they sang, “my papa no be Dangote or Adeleke but we go dey okay yeah”.
The performance of Moyo Black, a troupe from Ivory Coast was exceptional. The beats synchronised with the crowd as they sang along.
Showing the crowd their superb knowledge of Nigerian music, they played the Abami Eda’s (Fela Anikulapo Kuti) evergreen song Lady. They achieved this feat by combining the beats of drums with the amazing sound of a saxophone. The audience appreciated their efforts by singing along the refrain “She go say I be lady oh”.
Fuji artiste, Wasiu Alabi popularly known as Pasuma Wonder reeled out his hit songs to the delight of members of the audience who danced and sang along at the same time. In no particular order, he sang songs from different albums — So Far So Good, Sabaka, Ability and many others.
Showing his dexterity in churning out music, he composed and sang a medley in honour of the lead sponsor organisation, International Breweries via one of its brand, Trophy while on stage.
The beer brand organised a music concert, which was headlined by two music greats from the Southwest region, Pasuma and 9ice, whose genres resonate with the culture of the Ogun people.
Using the unique qualities of beer brand, Pasuma produced an exciting medley that made the crowd rumble and call out his name at intervals. Highpoint of his performance was when he asked the audience questions around lager and rewarded those who got answers right with cash gifts.
It was a different ball game when the audience heard the word line Ile’timo, as they gave a loud roar knowing the Gongo Aso crooner, 9ice was next on stage. The line is part of the intro in one of the singer’s hit song, Street Credibility, in which he featured 2face.
His performance was filled with energy as he took the audience through memory lane with hits from his first and second album, reeling out songs like Party Rider, Gonga Aso, Gbamu Gbamu, No Be Mistake, Photocopy among others that got the audience dancing into the night .
According to the Marketing Director, International Breweries, Tolulope Adedeji, the African Drum Festival is an exceptional opportunity for Trophy to connect with consumers.
“We decided to partner with the state government to help it exceed the successes recorded the previous year and from the turnout this year that objective was achieved. We initiated this concert within the festival to give the fun loving attendees a double dose of excitement and a memorable event that is associated with only Trophy,” she said.
The Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, International Breweries, Otunba Michael Daramola remarked, “The African Drum Festival is a cultural showpiece which demonstrates our uniqueness, attributes, our rich culture and tradition of the black people.
“Trophy is a beer that is closely linked with culture and a brand that believes in celebrating life and always rising to the occasion to make connections and bring people together. We are so honoured to be part of this international epoch-making event,” he said.