A former Master Drummer General of Nigeria, Hunga Hunpe, on Thursday, sensationally revealed that he abandoned dancing and drumming to become cobbler because his people had no value for it.
Hunpe narrated his captivating story at an event marking the 2021 World Dance Day organized by Emajo Africa Arts Initiative (EAAI) in Badagry, Lagos State, with the theme: “Purpose of Dance, The Socio-Economic and Cultural Relevance”.
“I came back to Badagry after working for my country as a drummer, visiting over 30 countries, only to discover that nobody have value for dancing and drumming, he recalls.
“When I realised that nobody have value for culture, I said to myself, I am not going to stand on drumming and dancing; I became a shoemaker to feed my family. Honestly, it pains me sometimes that I came from Badagry; so, I wrote a play titled: ‘Badagry My Country’, a total dance drama. I still believe that one day, I will present the play, because I know we have talents in Badagry,” he said.
Hunpe told how he became the Master Drummer General of Nigeria. “We were invited to Ososa in Ogun for a contest under the leadership of Hubert Ogungbe, who was the leader of the National Troupe to select the best drummer. We were 150 contesters with different drums, but thank God, I won at the end of the day”. He said there were lots of talents in Badagry but nobody was ready to invest in dancing.
In his remarks, Opeyemi Oke, Director-General, Badagry Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (BACCIMA), lamented that the country was losing its arts, culture and dance to the Western World due to the fact that we could not preserve them.
He said Badagry was long overdue to have a talent development centre, urging the local government to build one for the future of youths in the area.
The Baale of Topo Island, Badagry, Chief Oluwadami Avoseh, blamed the elders in Badagry for being responsible for the decline in culture because of their religion.
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