Nigerian drummer nurtures children to preserve use of local instruments

By Seun Sanni

LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigerian artist Adebayo Ayodeji is targeting children to play traditional instruments like drums, which he worries could become extinct and erase an important aspect of the culture in Africa’s most populous country.

In the megacity of Lagos, parents bring children to his twice-a-month drumming workshops to learn how to play drums and understand their traditional significance.

In Nigeria, the drum is not only a musical instrument, but is also used in ceremonial events and rituals like communicating with deities and summoning meetings in villages.

“We are using this to revive our cultural values,” Ayodeji said, noting that most children had not seen the drums before.

“They’ve not played it before and this is an opportunity to introduce them to it, so we are using it to at least do a kind of evangelism – evangelism of art,” Ayodeji said.

(Reporting by Seun Sanni; Writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Richard Chang)