Activities to herald the maiden edition of ‘The Drum Festival’ a.k.a. Ayan-Agalu Festival is in top gear. According to Prince Segun Akanni, the convener of the drums event, one of the core mandates of his media outfit, The Drum Online Media Inc, publishers of The Drum Online magazine, is to constantly celebrate the values of the African traditions as well as its cultural rebirth and promotion.
Akanni stated that his media organization is well prepared to showcase one of Africa’s and Nigeria’s most prestigious cultural festivals, the drums event, designed to hold annually from next year.
“The history of the Ayan-Agalu Festival is as extremely fascinating as that of any other drum festivals staged across the globe. With a plethora of healing, educative, entertaining and prosperous cultural festivals, the Yoruba race is, undoubtedly, one of the most endowed races replete with rich and prestigious traditions and cultures in the world today,” Akanni noted, adding “hence, our media company was specifically established in 2015 in Nigeria with the mandate to disseminate factual news items, advertorials and products branding online, including the mandate to strategically recognize and promote African and Nigeria’s cultural heritage on both national and global scenes in a number of interesting and articulated dimensions.”
A number of exciting activities have been penciled down to celebrate the July festival. These include street-wide procession across Toronto and Mississauga; lecture to be delivered by a Professor Emeritus, His Royal Majesty Oba (Prof.) Adekunle Adeogun Okunoye, Eburu Of Iba, on the theme; Theme: “Rejigging Yoruba Cultural Heritage as Catalyst for ‘National Unity, Progress and Development -The Ayangalu Example-‘; arts exhibition, beauty pageant, drum competition, presentation of awards of excellence to selected awardees, presentation of prizes and cultural gifts, and lots of other side attractions.
According to Akanni, the event, which will hold on Friday 28th of July, 2023 at Fuzion Banquet Hall, 1300 Britannia Road E, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada at 8pm, has received the endorsement of His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja III).
In order to make the event epoch-making and memorable, important dignitaries from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic and Canada as well as cultural enthusiasts and drum aficionados from other parts of the world are expected to attend. The role call include traditional rulers and culture custodians from across the globe, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau; Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford; Canadian Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie; Minister of Canadian Heritage; Nigerian government officials; Canadian members of parliament; Mayor of Toronto; Mayor Of Brampton; Mayor of Mississauga; UNESCO, Canada Council for the Arts; Canadian National Arts Centre; Department of Canadian Heritage, among several other dignitaries from different walks of life.
Noting the relevance of the drums in Yoruba culture and heritage, Akanni said Ayangalu was a great deity that cannot be forgotten and whose drumming prowess and legacy deserve to be preserved.
“The origin of Ayan Agalu dates back to ages when the Yoruba primogeniture, Oduduwa, descended from the earth to Ile-Ife. Ayangalu was said to have descended next to Oduduwa at a historic place called Atiba and this obviously accounts for why Atiba remains the hub of traditional drummers in Ile Ife, the Yoruba ancestral home, till date,” Akanni elucidates.