Janggu Drums Rocked Ajegunle


Yinka Olatunbosun

Janggu drums, with roots in South Korea, have become a toast of young drummers in Lagos with an on-going series of training facilitated by seasoned theatre artist, Isioma Williams. In collaboration with the South Korean Cultural Centre, the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Secretariat was the destination of invited guests and parents of some of the participating students who were honoured with the Janggu Drum Training Graduation Ceremony on September 30, 2019.

Certainly, drums have a unique way of commanding attention. The food vendors and hawkers milling around the premises took to the windows to watch the rhythmic sounds of the drums which had been taught and learnt at Orile Iganmu, Barija and now Ajegunle.

Williams explained why and how Janggu drums are taught in his introductory remarks at the well-coordinated ceremony.

“I am willing to play all the traditional drums from all over the world. This is not just to promote another culture but to understand some of the values attached to some of these traditional drums,’’ he said.

What stood these drummers out was the use of drum score by the participants. The young drummers were trained to sight read the drum beats and perform simultaneously. To heighten the auditory pleasure, some Nigerian traditional drums were infused with Janggu during the performance to make the audience feel the bi-cultural relationship.

“Drums are therapeutic and you benefit both ways either as the one drumming or the one listening to it,’’ Williams observed.

The children performance featured six boys namely Taiye Oyeleke, Daniel Adesuyi, Goodluck Atela, Emmanuel Sobemi, Jamiu Adio and Mohammed Ganiu.

Special awards were given in recognition of the efforts of some of the participants during the Janggu drum training. The commendation award was given to Mabel Chuks Okonkwo while the Excellence Award was presented to Nwaneri Barnabas.