Entertainment | Lifestyle | Music

Call for Yoruba music, culture renaissance at Goldberg forum

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Senior Brand Manager, Regional Mainstream, Nigerian Breweries Plc Funso Ayeni (left); Marketing Director, Franco Maria Maggi; Wura 1 of 2016 Goldberg Fuji T’o Bam, Tope Ajani and Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager and Stout Brands, ; Emmanuel Agu at the Grand Finale of the 2016 Fuji T’o Bam
Senior Brand Manager, Regional Mainstream, Nigerian Breweries Plc Funso Ayeni (left); Marketing Director, Franco Maria Maggi; Wura 1 of 2016 Goldberg Fuji T’o Bam, Tope Ajani and Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager and Stout Brands, ; Emmanuel Agu at the Grand Finale of the 2016 Fuji T’o Bam

With the recently held traditional drumming contest organised as part of activities to kick off the Goldberg Excellency Tour in Abeokuta, it’s obvious that the brand is indeed enjoying an excellent love affair in the region, as a result of its association with the rich culture of the Yoruba people.

Staged at the Cultural Centre Ibadan, the grand finale of the drumming contest saw Otapo Bata Drummers from Abeokuta emerge winners and went home with the coveted prize of N250, 000. Ayanwale Drummers clinched the second position with N150, 000 cash prize, while Omo Aribido Drummers claimed the third spot with N100, 000 cash prize. Meanwhile, the remaining two finalists, Ayandare Drummers and Paramount Band, were not left out, as they both went home with N50,000 each.

The traditional drummers contest kicked off with a procession through the major streets of Abeokuta and attracted a huge turnout of residents, who were delighted by performances from drummers, praise singers and native dancers. And to a large extent, the procession helped to pull crowd to the main venue where the battle of drums was staged. Similar event will be staged in five more cities in the Southwest, including Ilorin, Ado Ekiti, Ikare Akoko, Ile Ife and Benin City.

As a unifying factor, promoters of businesses and great brands have used culture extensively to appeal to the hearts of targeted consumers. Aside from celebrating human values and heritage, sponsorship of cultural activities tend to create emotional connection between brands and the people. From all indication, Goldberg seems to have identified this as a means to celebrate and respect the culture of its target audience. Through this same vehicle, it has continued to show respect for royalty through sponsorship of cultural events and visitations to palaces in the region to pay homage.

As at the last count, the brand has associated with not less than five of such events in Nigeria. However, its annual sponsorship of the popular of Osun Osogbo and Ojude Oba Festival in Ijebu Ode appears to be the most celebrated. Other notable ones are Oranyan Festival and Udiroko Festival in Ile Ife and Ado Ekiti respectively.

Festivals apart, the brand has also been involved in other musical platforms such as the Goldberg Fuji t’o Bam initiative, which brings to life the twin socio-cultural tradition of companionship and celebration. Designed for the propagation of the Fuji music genre, the initiative readily identifies and celebrates the rich musical tradition that sustains the cultural values of the people in the region. The platform, which has seen four editions already, has led to the discovery of budding Fuji talents and artistes. No doubt, the initiative has in no small way helped in burnishing talents and contributing ideas to the development of Fuji music and the culture of the Yoruba people.

However, in a bid to deepen it’s support for the culture and tradition of the Yoruba people, the brand recently gathered lovers and enthusiasts of Fuji music for the first of its kind Fuji Roundtable, a forum organised for intellectual discussions on how to take the genre of music to the next level.

In his welcome address at the event, which was held in Lagos, Corporate Media and Brand PR Manager of Nigerian Breweries Patrick Olowokere, disclosed that at Nigerian Breweries,informed that the brand does not take for granted the socio-cultural life of its host communities anywhere it operates.

“We respect people’s cultures and values. Our gathering here today is a testament of our resolute determination to contribute to the socio-cultural development of the people in the western part of our nation,” he said.

In his keynote address at the Fuji Roundtable, Olawale Obadeyi, a Fuji analyst, traced the origin of this genre of music to the period when Were, the local brand of music was in vogue among the Muslim faithful. He identified Fuji music as a unifying force that easily bonds Yorubas together, adding, “Goldberg had appropriated Fuji music as a veritable platform through which cultural values could be used to validate the essence of Yorubas living in the region and beyond.”

No doubt, Fuji music exerts a strong influence on the social life of the Yorubas. Through the music, foreigners can easily feel and connect with the culture of the Yoruba people. The influence that the music exerts on the social life of the Yorubas is therefore very strong irrespective of their locations.

In recent time, promoters of Yoruba culture are contending with challenges of losing their heritage to foreign imitations. To this end, scholars in Yoruba culture and arts have orgnised various fora to pass a message on the need for Yorubas to think deeply and look back to protect their heritage.

In Yoruba, respect particularly is seen as a renowned phenomenon that easily shows humility and the relationship between elders and the younger ones; it’s a culture that the Yoruba people take pride in. It remains an important aspect of the Yoruba custom that has been passed down to every generation, as it is an epitome of peace and orderliness, which we take very seriously.

As a result of Goldberg’s cultural affinity with the people of South West Nigeria and the loyalty of consumers there, the brand has inculcated visitation of royal palaces into its programmes in the region as a sign of respect to the throne; prostrating for the king is usually a part of the visit. No doubt, this has continued to strengthen the bond that has developed over the years between the brand and its consumers in the region.

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