Feehi Is A Master On The Drum
The saying that “what a man can do a woman can do better” has been confirmed in many areas known to be strictly the preserve of men in recent times but not really so in the area of traditional drumming where Vida Shasha Ofoli a.k.a, Feehi has carved a niche for herself.
Women have been known to play the jazz drums but not the traditional drums the way Feehi does it. She is a master drummer and if you know the calibre of people referred to as master drummers then you will have an idea of why Feehi’s exploits in the area of drumming have been raising eyebrows.
Master drummers are those who control the dancing with the message of the drums and are also known to be able to play and teach any other drum in the drum ensemble.
At Abola a suburb of Accra in the Ga Mashie area, Feehi performing with the Sakumo Cultural Band, shocked most onlookers who watched the group perform with her dexterity on the Osraman the type that Nii Ashitey of Wulomei fame used to play.
As if that was not enough, she jumped on the Gome in another song and on the congas in yet another and in each case impressed the crowd with her impressive expertise on the instruments.
Thirty-six year old Vida Shasha Foli at age 6 when other children her age were playing with dolls and enjoying a game of Ampe chose to practice rhythms on milk and Milo tins because she wanted to be a drummer.
Two years later she joined the Ablekuma Cultural group where she sharpened her skills in traditional drum routines dancing and singing and learning all she could from master drummers in the group.
Within a short period, she could play all the drums including the Atsimevu, Atumpam, Fontomfrom and the other supporting drums in most of the traditional dances.
In 1987 she joined the second group of Abladei Band and played with them for a year. She joined the Bukom Ensemble in 2003 until last year January when the Sakumo Cultural Band was formed.
Between 2001 and 2004 she worked with the Adafitwaloi a cultural group training young drummers and dancers in the rudiments of traditional drumming.
According to Feehi, she will be with Sakumo for as long as possible because it is a well focused group which intends to sell Ghana’s rich cultural heritage across the world.
Her advice to young girls who want to follow her footsteps - “It is possible for young girls to drum just like the boys.
In fact they can do anything in the area of the arts that the young boys can do, I only urge them to be dedicated and committed to what they intend to do because it takes hard work to be recognised especially if you are a girl because traditional drumming the way I do it is considered the preserve of men.” She added.
Source: Nii Addokwei Moffatt, Graphic Showbiz