By Saibakumo A. Eniyeketen
Yes, we are proud Ayakoromo people with undiluted excellent Mein Culture. This weekend (Friday 5th June, 2020), we are going to our dear home to give a befitting passage rite to one of our heroes, MR. OYABEBEFA AKARAMA (ALIAS AWOROMO). Never in the history of Western Ijaw or Ijaw land we had gotten a charming drummer who was not a trained percussionist but was naturally endowed and gifted with the art of all sorts of traditional drumming including Akwaye, Opu-ozi, Amgbara drums etc freely with his stylish acoustic displays at masquerade festivals, marriages and burials during social functions.
Yes, he was simply like Akin, the itinerant “The Drummer Boy” of the 1960s by “Cyprian Akwensi” who transversed lands for the entertainment and pleasure of mankind yet denied of true happiness at the end. We agree you never died an accomplished man. We, the younger generation relish your acrobatic displays of your drumsticks with skill and agility. Sometimes, you threw your drumsticks to the air, dive them back, communicate with the dancers and the masquerades with mystic and prophetic exaltation as KING ROBERT EBIZIMOR, the greatest musical messenger ever in Ijaw land who held his dancers with awesome obsession in his lifetime with his overwhelming musical tone and was admired by the young and the old. You were the greatest drummer ever in Ijaw land. Unbelievably, sometimes you played your drums with one hand. At rare occasions you backed your drums but still maintained the consistency and communicative vibrancy with your hands behind you for the dancers. You were more of an entertainer than the dancers.
The last time I saw you was at Ayakoromo in 2017, I was so depressed. You looked famished and frail in health. You told me you had relocated to your maternal home, Obotebe. I was simply frustrated and helpless. I assure you today, your legacy will remain in Ayakoromo. Adieu, my master-drummer, your name is written in gold in Ijaw land. Generations shall hear about you.
Today, you have joined your ancestors like Pa Naseimokumo Abalewe (“ALIAS OZIBRAGBOLO”) of Ebeingbene/Oforukpo in Ayakoromo Federated Community. Pa Naseimokumo Abalewe, a drummer-maestro whose absence at Ayakoromo Annual Festival makes it incomplete. He had no choice than to relocate to Ayakoromo main town till the end of the festival. King-Drummer Aworowo, we are proud you in Ayakoromo Federated Community, Ngbilebiri-Mein Kingdom, Western Ijaw and the Ijaw Nation.
This is our story, GOODBYE AWOROWO THE-GREAT, YOU MADE US PROUD.
SAIBAKUMO, AHMED ENIYEKETON