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Move to the drum’s rhythm

EMILY NORMAN

If you’re someone who denies having a sense of rhythm, you might be convinced otherwise later this month.

West African drumming and dance teacher Koffie Fugah has his sights set on Carterton on September 22, and says he wants “the whole of Wairarapa to be ready” for him.

Fugah, born in a village called Abor in Ghana, has taught drumming and dance for 15 years.

Now based in Dunedin, he travels around New Zealand teaching people the rhythm of the drum, and his culture – “like why we play this rhythm, and why we do this dance, and all the history that goes with it.”

His workshop at Carterton School Hall will be his first in Wairarapa.

West African drumming and dance teacher Koffie Fugah says everyone has rhythm. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
West African drumming and dance teacher Koffie Fugah says everyone has rhythm. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

“I want the whole of Wairarapa to be ready for me,” he said.

“Youth, adults, kids, everyone should come in and experience the power of West African music.

“It is so majestic and it does a lot of things to the body and the brain.”

He said rhythm was “fundamental to how the brain works” and that “good rhythm promotes good health both physically and mentally, leading to longer, happier lives”.

The focus for these workshops will be technique and all the different parts that make African rhythms “groovy and contagious”.

Fugah said students would be introduced to African instruments and would have the opportunity to explore their own style and musical creativity in a relaxed and fun environment.

He said he loved teaching in New Zealand because it was a “multi-cultural country where it welcomes all nationalities and it gives me the chance to share my culture with the people of New Zealand”.

“I like people who say they have no rhythm.

“Everyone has rhythm in him or her.

“Everything we do in this life is rhythm.

“When we walk, it is full of rhythm, so we’ve all got rhythm.”

His workshop will start at 6.30pm on Friday September 22 at the Carterton School Hall.

It is $30, and $5 for drum hire.

To reserve a place, contact Fugah on [email protected]

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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