By Anirudh Singh
A focus on service, an eye for change, a leap of faith, and the resounding music of drums was all it took to bring alive the sleepy hamlet of Keta in Ghana. Indeed this is how the story of a simple Ghana drum brought about transformation to people of Ghana.
With humble beginnings, the drums project began as a pioneer initiative by the Art of Living teachers together with Nazih Mustafa, a local in Ghana. Music, in form of beats of the local drums opened their eyes to an idea. To instil a sense of enthusiasm, revival of pride in their local culture and also to provide employment, they saw a great opportunity in encouraging the people to start making drums for sale. The African drum has been a key instrument of the native music, and a hallmark of the local heritage. It looks a lot like an Indian Tabla only that it tapers towards the bottom and is played kept in standing position.
The project took off at to a flying start at the Art Centre in nearby Accra. Starting with just a handful of people, the project became so popular that soon more than 100-150 local artisans came together to make drums for sale. Revenues soon started pouring in, and the locals could not help but beam with joy and pride.
To add to the glory, the same drums would now be showcased and played by an African drumming contingent at the forthcoming World Culture festival in Berlin. The event will celebrate 30 years of Service and Smiles by the Art of Living. These drums would bear the logo of the World Culture Festival and would later be sold as souvenirs at the event. Could there be a more apt way to bring Ghana to the world’s limelight?