NIGERIAN cultural Icon Ayan De First has been made a Liveryman of the City of London. The honour was accorded the popular Talking Drums Artist in recognition of his services to the community and following his performances for the Lord Mayor of London.
Ayan De First performs at both African and multi-cultural events such as weddings and birthdays across the UK and Europe, and has appeared in most major British newspapers and Television channels.
He also teaches Nigerian and African culture in school and community centres offering drumming lessons to willing pupils as well as teaching them how to play native African instruments.
Ayan De First has twice performed at the City of London’s annual banquet where he delighted the crowd with his wonderful display of Nigerian and African music. In appreciation of his contribution, the Lord Mayor of London William Russell, decided to make Ayan De First a Liveryman of the city.
This honour now makes Ayan De First a Freeman of the City of London. He has been officially enclothed with a livery gown which was placed on him at the Apothecaries hall and court of the Lord Mayor of London.
As a liveryman Ayan De First is entitled to wear his medal, vote in the annual election of the Lord Mayor of London, the sheriffs and participate in various other City civic offices, including the Ale Conners and Bridge Masters.
Ayan De First said: “This is not only a great honour and privilege for me as a diasporan and a Pan-African but a recognition of the immense contribution of African culture to the economic life of the City of London. I hope this honour will spur on a lot of our young people to take up the promotion of Nigerian and African culture.
“Given the current climate in which we are, whereby there is a growing appreciation of black culture and the need for more integration, culture is something we need to look at as a means of bridging the divide between communities. Every society has its own culture and it would help if we all took it upon ourselves to learn about other cultures as a means of appreciating one another.”
Most livery companies still maintain contacts with their original trade, craft or professional roles. They also exercise powers of regulation, inspection and enforcement, while others take on the roles of awarding bodies for professional qualifications.