Janggu with Papa Takes Bariga Community

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Irantiola, Soyinka and Orimoogunje at the just-concluded LABAF

Yinka Olatunbosun

The Korean Cultural Centre, Nigeria in collaboration with Drumsview Concept organised a special concert for the graduating class of Janggu and Salmunori Drumming Workshop drawn from Bariga last weekend in Lagos. Held at the Seaside cottage, near Unilag Waterfront, the experience was a heart-warming one for parents many of whom had never witnessed such bedazzling phenomenon.

The Founder, Footprints of David, Seun Awobajo recalled how the workshop took-off during the welcome address.Bright Achievers Schools was established by Footprints of David Art Foundation to provide education for children in less privileged communities. The school was the first to have this Janggu workshop instituted for the benefit of the students.

“For six months, they have been undergoing rigorous training. We are the first school to be selected for this training. These children have done a course that is worth N550,000 each. Please, help the children keep this certificate. Don’t laminate it. Scan and save it in your emails,” he said.

The show kicked off with the Fishermen dance performance at the sand-filled stage. The Janggu drums then began, first tentatively and much later, increased in tempo as the boys showcased their skills with vigour and Korean chants.

Later, the girls who had been trained to sight-read the dance notations gave a very impressive tilt to the show as one of them dropped some rap verses on the beat generated by the girls clad in ankara tops and black pair of trousers.

The Head of Programmes for Janggu drumming workshop, Isioma Williams otherwise known as Papa explained the impact that drum education has had on him and how he has transmitted this to others.

“This is about culture. Many people think that promoting culture is fetish. That is not so. In this workshop, drum theory was taught. When I went to a drum residency in Korea, I could not read the drum notations. I had to look for people to teach me. So, when I returned to Nigeria, I decided to teach as many people as possible,” he declared.

In addition to the drums taught, the children learnt the Korean alphabet, two and three-lettered words as well as simple phrases such as greetings, much of which had been lost on the parents who were bemused by the sound of the foreign language.