Mrs Modinat Oyeyemi was born over four decades ago into a family of drummers in Iwo, Osun State. While her mates were into different vocations, she was understudying her drummer father after whom she later took and earned a celebrity status in Iwo and its environs. She is not unaware of what the male-dominated society says about her, regarding her drumming career. She is more strengthened adding spices to social functions. In an interview by TUNDE BUSARI, she bares her mind on her driving force in that odd vocation. Excerpts
How are you doing, madam?
I am fine, very fine, sir. Thank you, sir.
Since when have you been in this vocation?
Can I even call drumming a vocation? It is a trade which I inherited from my father, who was a known drummer in our hometown.
Where is your hometown?
We are from Iwo. Ile Onilu, Kajola is our family compound in Iwo. It is a popular compound because of our trade. If you enter Iwo anytime and ask of Ile Onilu, you won’t have any problem to access the compound. We are known in the town only for drumming. Our name has even said it all.
How has the trade been, in terms of reward?
We have every cause to thank God because we are able to attract patronage from different places apart from my hometown. That is why you met me here in Kuta. I go to everywhere to perform.
Don’t you think that you look odd with drum when you should be into other things your female folk do?
This is my own trade. I don’t need to join the crowd. Don’t forget I said it is hereditary. What we call blood is difficult to explain. I am into it and not doing badly. That is enough for me.
What is your husband attitude to your trade?
He is okay with it in as much as it does not disturb my responsibilities as his wife.
Is he also a drummer?
No. He is not.
What does he do for a living?
He is into cocoa.
Is he a cocoa merchant?
Yes, trades in cocoa.
Do you have apprentices?
Yes, I train some male.
Can you then say drumming is profitable to you?
I can say it is profitable, to a large extent. I have no reason to regret it. We go to functions, play and get appreciated with money. That I am promoting heritage of my father and Yoruba culture, as a whole, make me proud anytime I perform. I don’t see myself as a woman when I get to function. I perform as male would do. You must have observed this to come and meet me. I thank God for how far he has taken me.
Are you aware that more female are coming into drumming?
I am aware and very happy, meaning that it is no longer being dominated by male. We are also proving a point that we are equally gifted. It is my joy that ladies, those who are even educated, are coming into it. It is good.