Ayan de First, is a socio, cultural and entertainments Icon within the Nigerian and African community in the UK. More or less, a human landmark, Ayan is one of the personalities that need no introduction as he is very well known and even if you have not met him, you sure would have heard of him.
Ayan De First is the CEO Oduduwa Talking Drummers Limited, Cultural Heritage Showcase and ADF School of Arts and Culture.
He was born to a family of Drummers in Osun State, Nigerian and started his career as an apprentice by performing with his dad and uncles at the early age of five.
In school, he excelled in the science subjects and his early ambition was to become a medical Doctor/Pharmacist. But he was distracted by his passion for drumming. Which prompted him to study Arts and Design in compatibility with his talent.
He graduated from the College of Art & Design in the African studies department of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
Upon arrival in the UK, he attended and gained Diplomas and Certificates from Stockport College Cheshire, Camberwell College of Arts and London college of Printing.
Ayan De First had exhibited his Artworks and performed at different venues across West Africa and before being brought to the UK by a Performing Arts organisation on a work permit as a performing/visual artist in 1992.
Since then Ayan De First has worked in over 500 community and private schools within the UK He also works with Boroughs in the UK on different cultural projects – all with overwhelming feedback.
He began performing in London by busking at underground stations as a result of dire financial hardship before he was subsequently invited to perform for the Labour Party UK in London.
Following that, his reputation as an African Cultural Performer took off and he has since performed for high profile dignitaries such as Sir Richard Branson, Lord Mayor of London, Former Nigeria president Rtd General Abu Bakar, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles (Duchess Of Cornwall). former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam and many more
Ayan De First has appeared on all major British television channels and on CNN and has been featured in many British and Nigerian national and local newspapers and Magazines.
He set the record to be the first African Talking Drummer to perform for Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family at Buckingham Palace London.
He is also the first African performer to entertain guests on Channel 4 programme called ”Come Dine With Me”.
He performs at many London Traditional Nigerian Engagements and Weddings and at many Corporate Events.
With his unrelenting passion for African Culture & Heritage he recently founded a Global event called ”Ayan De First Cultural Heritage Showcase”.
He has won several Awards , certificates and medals in recognition of his great talent and passion including Gathering of Africas Best (GAB Awards) and Diamond Global Special Recognition Awards to mention only a couple.
Google/YouTube: Ayan De First tells more.
Originally published in my column “London Digest” – City People Magazine