t was an entertaining and inspiring showcase of culture and creativity, particularly how traditional drums as a musical instrument can celebrate and unify cultures, as Janggu Drum Training Graduation Ceremony took centre stage at the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Secretariat, Lagos.
The Janggu drum is the most representative drum in traditional Korean music. It consists of an hourglass-shaped body with two heads made from animal skin.
The atmosphere was convivial, as guests, including parents and guardians of graduating drummers, artistes and students waited anxiously for the performances.
And when the performances started, the audience was literally transported to South Korea and back to Nigeria in a potpourri of drums ensemble and colourful costumes depicting both cultures – South Korea and Nigeria.
The event is culmination of the Ajegunle axis of the Janngu drums training workshop series initiated and facilitated by notable Nigerian drummer and choreographer, Mr. Isioma Williams, in collaboration with South Korean Cultural Centre in Nigeria.
The workshop was earlier held in Orile Iganmu and Barija areas of Lagos, respectively.
In his opening remark, Mr. Williams explained the idea behind the workshop and how Janggu drums are taught.
According to him, he was inspired by his encounter with this traditional Korean hourglass-shaped drum, in 2013 when he participated in the cultural exchange initiative at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, and upon his return to Nigeria, he decided to share the knowledge with others, giving cultural values both ways.
“This is not just to promote another culture but to understand some of the values attached to some of these traditional drums,’’ he said.
He added, “Drums are therapeutic and you benefit both ways either as the one drumming or the one listening to it.”
The graduation ceremony provided the platform for the Janggu workshop participants – among them, professional dancers – to showcase their skills after weeks-long rigorous training during the workshop. They showed, characteristic finesse, how the Janngu drum can also be adapted to various Nigerian music, including Afro-pop, rap, Fuji, and folksongs.
The children performance featured six boys namely Taiye Oyeleke, Daniel Adesuyi, Goodluck Atela, Emmanuel Sobemi, Jamiu Adio and Mohammed Ganiu.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of special awards to some of the participants for their outstanding performances and in recognition of the efforts during the Janggu drum training workshop. The commendation award was given to Mabel Chuks Okonkwo while the Excellence Award was presented to Nwaneri Barnabas.