Ms Oluwaseun Akinola a middle age woman and a National Diploma (ND) holder in Business Administration is one of the Ondo State cultural troupe drummers who specializes in beating traditional drums. In this interview with MARIA FAMAKINWA, she revealed what drumming does to the soul and she cannot do anything else aside drumming despite her education.
When did you start drumming?
I started drumming since 1994 when I was in primary school.
Did you learn it?
I did not learn it, neither is any of my family members a drummer. My mother, who is a prophetess owned a church where I started practising how to drum as a child. From there, I perfected the art of drumming and developed interest in it.
What is your educational background?
I have ND in Business Administration from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo in the year 2013. But I only went to higher institution to get educated; my interest is majorly to drum. Drumming gives me joy.
Drumming, especially traditional one is majorly known as men’s job, how do you cope among men?
Yes, it is majorly men’s world but I believe that since my gift of drumming is natural, I do not feel threatened to compete with them. afterall, we have women who have succeeded in men’s dominated field. I see the talent as God given one and God has been helping me to cope.
What is the reaction of people when they see you drumming?
People are always surprised seeing me as a woman drumming the traditional drum that is believed to require some tactics with bare hands.
As a married woman, how do you combine the house chores with your work which atimes take you out of the State?
My husband is the understanding type and he is also very proud of me as a drummer, so he does everything possible to stand in the gap whenever my job takes me out of the state.
What are the health challenges involved in drumming?
Like any other job, drumming also have its own challenges like experiencing pains in the joints which may cause malaria for those who are just learning how to beat the drum. But as far as I am concerned, I don’t take any drug whenever I have any joint pain. Since it is a natural gift, it heals my pains rather.
Do you have trainees?
I have young boys and girls who come for training, but I always tell them that it is all about interest. Once the interest is there, under six months, one can perfect the art.
Do you see yourself leaving drumming later to continue your education?
No, drumming gives me joy and I cannot do without drumming in a day. It is my hobby and I believe that it is better for one to keep doing what he/she does so easily that gives him/her joy which is what I am doing. Even when I am sick, once I am able to beat the drum, the sickness disappears without taking any drug. Instead of furthering my education, I want to continue with my hobby and become successful like many other female drummers.
Where do you see yourself in the nearest future?
I want to go into full time ‘theatre and be known worldwide.
What is your advice to other women who want to toe your path?
They should first believe in themselves, have the interest to drum, be humble, consistent and commit it to God’s hand. Doing these will see them through.