‘I am a single mother not by choice, wish I was happily married’ – Talking drum goddess Ara narrates

Goddess of the talking drum, Aralola Olumuyiwa Apake, popularly known as, ‘Ara,’ a passionate icon in Nigeria’s burgeoning entertainment industry, was with Titilayo Oyebola Adelagun-Oyinsan & Yomi Owope on #WakeupNigeria on Friday, spoke about her failed marriage and more.

She is quite famous for her dexterity on the talking drum; an instrument otherwise played mainly by men. In a country with strong tradition, Ara, the drummer girl, could pass for the first woman to play the talking drum.

Ara, the first world acclaimed female talking drummer, inspired by her love for African culture and heritage, gave herself very early to an ageless pillar of traditional African orchestra – The African Drum.

She disclosed that it is a multi-track production of indigenous theme spiced with elements of contemporary Nigerian musical artistry; and that her message connects with a range of social realities that defines present day Nigerian society.

In her interaction with the presenters, Ara explained why she did a song for Chief Ebenezar Obey alongside with Tuface Idibia, which was burn out of love and respect she has for him.

Image result for ara talking drummerAra went emotional when asked about the origin of her song ‘IRE’. She said, ”It’s a song I made for my song. I am a single mother not by choice, I had to make the choice. I wanted to live a happy married life but My marriage didn’t work out. So I did the song because I want the best for my son. My son’s future must be protected.

The single mother of one continued by saying: ”We are in a society where people see our culture as barbaric, which is very sad, explaining that it took her 25 years to come up with an album, due to the ill-treatment she got as a girl-child both from her family and her employer, as an artist, which were also life threatening.”

The talking drum, which is unique to the Yoruba people, defines Ara’s artistic presence and premium reign in Nigeria’s entertainment industry; and she has performed locally and internationally, delivering African themes that resonate with Yoruba history and heritage. And she’s so good at it that nobody now talks about the abomination of a woman playing the talking drum, but mainly about her dexterity in handling it.


When asked of feat she would you say she have achieved so far, she said, Reactions I get from women, especially, show that I have made them know that they can do the impossible. Many women believe that only men could play the talking drum, but today it’s not so. As far as I’m concern I’ve given them that power, strength, inner energy and strong bone to do something they never felt they could do.

I believe I have created awareness among the people and as an actress of many years I’ve been very lucky to be scandal free. I have lived a decent life. I’ve been able to show to women and men alike that they don’t have to be wayward. Being an artiste does not give one the license to be wayward or promiscuous. Generally, my music has given women a voice.”


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