The 2010 edition of the Ayan Agalu Soungobi Foundation’s Talking Drum Festival will hold from May 31 to June 4 at Oduduwa Hall, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State. President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi, will be the special guest of honour at the grand finale on June 3 while the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Adegboyega Dosunmu, is the expected guest speaker. The festival will feature an art exhibition, art of drum workshop, Ayan Agalu Soungobi veneration, ijala ode Hunters’ night and gelede night. Other activities are drum speaks, man chants, royal feet spinning and marathon drum carnival. The drum carnival will start on May 31 in cities across the South West and climax at the grand finale at the Obafemi Awolowo University. Project director of the foundation, Morakinyo Daramola, disclosed that telecoms company, MTN, Skye Bank and Nigeria Distilleries are supporting the festival while the Obafemi Awolowo University is collaborating with it. And as preparations for the festival intensify, the Akinrun of Ikirun in Osun State, Olayiwola Olawale Adedeji, has pledged support to the organisers. The traditional ruler made the pledge when officials of the festival paid a courtesy visit to his palace at Ikirun, recently. He praised the Ayan Agalu Soungobi Foundation for its effort at reviving a major Yoruba culture. “With the Talking Drum festival, many people, especially Yoruba people, will be taken back to the years gone by when we (could) use the drum to communicate in different ways. It is unfortunate that a lot of Yoruba people are fast losing their culture, while opting for a foreign one and this should not be so,” he said. Speaking further, the king noted that it is sad that some Yoruba families no longer encourage their children to speak the Yoruba language. He said such parents are not helping the children imbibe the rich Yoruba way of life. He urged other organisations to start promoting all aspects of Yoruba culture including language and dress culture, amongst others. Daramola disclosed that the festival will kick-off at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi III with a recital by up to 50 drummers.
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