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Cuban band scours Nigeria for its roots

A Cuban band is on a tour of Nigeria in search of its roots.

The Obinna Bata band is an all-female dance band from the Carrebean island-nation of Cuba and was recently hosted by Nigeria’s Minister of Culture and National Orientation, Mr. Edem Duke when the Cuban Ambasador to Nigeria Mr. Hugo Milanes led the band on a courtesy visit.

During the visit, the Minister reiterated the need for nations with closer cultural affinity to strengthen the bonds of relationship among them irrespective of their geographical locations.

Duke, while claiming that the umbilical cord of Cubans is still embedded in the rich and fertile soil of Africa stated that, it is impossible for the mighty oceans of the world to separate the people, and the spirit of the people that continues to cry for each other for nourishment over the centuries.

He said, “Borders are only artificial. The mountains are only artificial. The oceans and the seas that divide us are only artificial. But, the spirit and the voices of our people resonate across continents.”

The minister stated that the music played  by the group, including their instruments cuts across several parts of Nigeria which on the whole highlight a universal connection that is very critical for the promotion of humanity.

He  welcomed the group  to Abuja and urged them including people from all over the world who have their roots in Africa to see the capital not just as a cultural capital for the most populous black nation but the melting pot for all people of African descents.

Earlier, the Cuban Ambassador told the Minister that, culture and tradition are a very important part of the Cuban nation and that the Obinna Bata has a strong affinity to Yoruba land, hence the need for the visit, which he believes would help discover and explore more similarities that would be of mutual benefits to both countries.  He added that, their visit to Osun State has helped dispel a long held myth in Cuba that prevents ladies from playing the bata drum.

Milanes opined that countries that have bilateral relations should meet regularly to showcase areas where they have common ground.

The group had earlier visited Osun and Taraba states and plan to visit at least eight states in the country in its effort at tracing its culture back to its root.

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