Drums bring Nigeria, Korea closer
The deputy director of the Korean Cultural Centre in Lagos, Peter Yoon, said Nigeria and South Korea had much in common when it came to the two countries’ arts and culture sectors.
He applauded the founder and CEO of Drumsview Concept, Isioma Williams, for initiating intercultural drumming classes.
“It is through Williams that we started the partnership two years ago and we are going to tour the country with this drumming,” Yoon told News Agency of Nigeria.
“We do not want our present generation to be a wasted one. That is why we are partnering with Isioma Williams to do this. Our youths should focus their minds and intelligence in areas that they know they have a strength in.”
The Korean Cultural Centre, which will run a janngu drum training workshop from January until May next year, was launched to improve relations between Nigeria and South Korea and to foster cultural exchange between the two countries.
In his address at an event held at the National Theatre in Lagos recently, Williams said drumming was part of Africa’s cultural identity.
“It is the symbol of who we are,” he said. “There is no way an African will hear the drumming sounds of his or her roots and not move or feel at peace. It is also an art form used by many of our modern musicians, like hip hop and other genres, to get unique beats for their music.”
Williams said the drumming initiative could benefit Nigeria economically if well-managed.
“If we properly structure and institutionalize our drumming culture, starting from the woodcarving, skinning, maintenance, selling, usage and exporting. All these are potential units for employment.’’
Williams also spoke about the personal advantages of drumming. “Drumming is a special integral part of royalty in Nigeria and Africa. It is therapeutic as it is medically used to cure some illness. The drum sound helps to improve people’s mental status.
“We equally reduce crime through it by teaching street urchins and those who are interested in learning it and through it they become useful to themselves,” he said.
Williams, who started teaching drumming in 2013, said drummers had become ‘image-makers’ in Nigeria and abroad.
“We travel to Europe and other foreign countries where we try to correct the bad impressions people have about Nigerians,” he said.
“We convince them through our performances that we are not criminals. Drumming sustains our culture and tradition, beautifies and creates relevance to our heritage dances. As it can invoke war, likewise it can create peace,” Williams said.