By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun says this year’s African Drum Festival will be an improvement on previous editions, with many attractions that will make its memories linger for a long time, while serving as a legacy for the future.
Governor Amosun stated this at a World Press Conference, held at the Banquet Hall, MITROS Residence, Ibara, Abeokuta, to herald the fourth edition of the Festival, with the theme, “Drumming the FUTURE”.
He said some of the innovations that would be incorporated in the festival include; launch of Ogun Adire Logo, with its trade mark, unveiling of the Kuti’s heritage house, round table workshop at Olumo Rock, Train ride, tagged, “Rail, Reading and Ride”, from Iju-Ishaga in Lagos to Lafenwa in Abeokuta and a performance by Seun Kuti, in honour of late Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
Speaking on the sustainability and permanent venue for the festival, the Governor disclosed that his administration had put in place legislations that would ensure continuity of the festival as well as the Amphitheatre that would serve as the festival village, with over 10,000 capacity, located at the Central Business District in the Abeokuta City Centre.
“We will have this edition at the Amphitheatre located at the Central Business District, in Abeokuta City Centre and that would be the festival village. The Drum Festival has come to stay and we have done the needful to ensure that it is sustained”.
Amosun added that the festival would help boost the State’s economy, revive cultural values and advance African heritage, with intellectual inputs from Professor Wole Soyinka, who is the Cultural consultant for the Festival.
In her welcome address, the Chairman, African Drum Festival, Local Organising Committee and Deputy Governor of the State, Chief (Mrs.) Yetunde Onanuga, disclosed that the festival, which would run from April 25 to 27, 2019, would have 23 Troupes from 21 African countries, 26 from Nigeria, 71 independent Troupes, with others from United Kingdom, China, Belgium, Haiti, Germany and France