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Meeting President Macron excites Ara Thunder


President Macron (left) and Ara Thunder / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ludovic MARIN

Though President Macron’s state visit to Nigeria has come and gone, for seasoned female talking drummer, engaging the French president in a talking drum session during his visit to the New Africa Shrine, was a memorable moment.

On the day of the visit, President Macron chose to spend the night in the iconic New Afrika Shrine, the home of legendary Afrobeat king, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It was a well spent night and a historic one for that matter, seeing the president of one of Europe’s largest economy at play and enjoying a glorious moment, mingling with a crowd of some renowned Nigerians from the business, art and culture.

A night of colourful and rich display of Nigerian music, one of the special groups that entertained on that night was Atunda Entertainment, with its three talented musical stars, Anu the Lady Ekwe, Olo Omidan Bata and Ara Thunder. The three female performers, who are proficient in men dominated percussions (ekwe, talking drum and bata drum), entertained the French president with their sonorous voices and dexterity on their respectively coveted instruments.


Atunda, being a star grooming platform, usually brainstorm and create meaningful and memorable presentations specifically tailored for each event, on this day, decided that a very iconic cultural gift for the president will be very appropriate. So, the event featured a presentation of the drum with a specially created music composition that will make it easy for a first time talking drummer like President Macron to flow with; he did excellently well. However, it was the sheer show of high artistic prowess, calmness and intelligence by Ara Thunder in presenting the drum to President Macron that stole the night and made headlines across the world.

She ceased the right moment to stepped down from the stage, with all eyes and the cameras focused on her and danced through the audience to where President Macron was seated, sandwiched between Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and other officials, to present her talking drum to the president, who was so delighted by this kind gesture by the starlet.

The cultural night saw President Macron officially launching African Cultural Season, which will take place in France in 2020 and hopefully, Ara Thunder and Atunda Entertainment, would play a role in this defining historical showpiece between Europe and Africa and this is because they on the night played themselves to prominence by seizing the moment.

Looking back on this day, Ara Thunder described it as the most ecstatic moment of her life. To her, it’s as a big boost for her career, as she has since then been receiving accolades and overtures from many people and organisations, thereby increasing her rating in the musical circuit.

She is, however, grateful to the Lagos State government and Trace TV for the opportunity and privilege to have been selected as one of the artistes for the night and also to her star building platform, Atunda Entertainment, under which tutelage she has been over the last four years.

The drummer, who has to her credit two singles, Fimisile and Boju Boju, has over the years featured in concert within and outside the shores of Nigeria alongside her Atunda Entertainment platform. Presently, she plays her wares alongside Anu, the lady Ekwe and Olo Omidan bata on Thursday nights, at Landmark Leisure, Landmark Towers, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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