For Jaangu Drum’s First Quarter, It’s a Wrap

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Makoko-Bariga neighbourhood of Lagos is known for its proximity to the waterfront, higher institutions of learning and lately, talents in performing arts. In January 2018, Jaangu with Papa Project was launched in the community and many new drummers were bred.

Jaangu is a Korean drum; it is not affordable for many of these participants. Each Jaangu drum costs £500. For this reason, the Korean Cultural Centre provided no fewer than 11 Jaangu drums for this drum workshop that was wrapped up in April.

The graduation ceremony was held last week along St. Finbarrs College Road in a venue that was modified for performance. Adire and Ankara fabrics were used as backdrop for the First Quarter Jaangu/Samunori Graduation class in performance. The workshop was facilitated by the master choreographer and drummer, Isioma Williams also known as Papa. He is a product of the Korean cultural exchange programme. Founder, Crown Troupe, Segun Adefila who is the director of the Jaangu Bariga School Project was trained by Papa and in his opening remarks, he described Bariga as one of the biggest academic communities in Nigeria, adding that it was important to bring art to the fore.

“Art is the biggest tool for intervention,” Adefila said. “Art is not for lazy people. We should use the art to educate our children. Education and literacy are two different things. We need more of education. We are losing artists to other commercial pursuits. Parents should encourage children to pursue arts.”

The Excellence Award was given to 9-year old John Lakutu for exceptional performance while Adebayo Gboyega Promise received a Commendation Award. The completion award was given to other members of the class namely Omoyele Oluwaseyi, Solomon Emmanuel, Adedoyin Olumide, Okundaye Adebowale, Ezekiel Abolade Gboyega, Ogbere Victor Ayanfeoluwa, Okani Miracle and Taiwo Elijah.

The awards were presented by the President, Dance Guild of Nigeria, Dayo Liadi who also learnt Jaangu in Korea.
“It is not easy for a typical Nigerian to understand this drum language since we have our own,” Liadi said. “What Papa has done with it is to transit from the basic to make a statement. Drumming is not really my thing but I learnt to dance to Jaangu drum.”

For the Samulnori class, four instruments are essential. They are Bamboo mallet, Ging, Jaangu and boom. In the end, Chidera Promise Nwobodo received the award for Perfect Attendance while Jewoola Feranmi, the Samulnori class captain was given the Excellence Award. The Completion Award was also presented to them as well as others in the class namely Oluwasoja Sam, Esther Uwenwojobi, Femi Adebayo Isreal, Adewale Ayodeji, Bode Oyewole Daniel, Ridwan Adisa and Awobajo Oluwaseun Olumide.

The comic relief for the day was from “Keggu” drum class who used yellow jerrycans in place of Jaangu drums to perform the same drum routine as Jaangu drummers but making chants in between the beats about snakes swallowing money and other matters in the polity.