NIGERIAN cultural Icon Ayan De First has been made a Liveryman of the City of London in recognition of his services to the community and following his performances for the Lord Mayor of London in what is a major boost for the contributions of the UK diaspora to the country’s entertainment industry.
Highly revered among Nigerians in the UK, Ayan De First is a celebrity Talking drummer who performs at both African and multi-cultural events across the UK and Europe who have appeared in all British national newspapers and on all British Television channels. He also teaches Nigerian and African culture, works within educational sectors, offering drumming lessons to willing pupils as well as showing them how to play cultural instruments.
Last year, Ayan De First performed at the City of London’s annual banquet for the second time 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.
Now a Freeman of the City who has become a liveryman, Ayan De First has been officially enclothed, with a livery gown placed on him at the Apothecaries hall and court of the Lord Mayor of London. Like every other liveryman Ayan De First will now be eligible to wear his medal, vote in the annual election of the Lord Mayor of London, the sheriffs and 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. Some still exercise powers of regulation, inspection and enforcement, while others are awarding bodies for professional qualifications.