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Ayan-De First also known as Mr. Culture is a proud ambassador of what he represents. No matter where you meet him, you cannot fail to notice his unique standout appearance. His signature style is, dressed in a full traditional Yoruba agbada or buba, shokoto and fila, finished with his talking drum under his arm.

Every October is the celebration of Black History Month. So promoting African culture is a sure fire way of adding to the wide range of activities pencilled down for any event. Mr. Culture is a  proud representation of an aspect of black and African cultural heritage who will definitely be involved in this year's celebration one way or another. Covid or no Covid.

Ayan-De First was born into a family of drummers and performers. Due to ill health he started primary school at the age of 9. However, while recovering at home, he went about entertaining with his father and uncles being just 5 years old. These performances enhanced his talent as a musician but deep down he wanted to be a pharmacist or Medical Doctor as he was a good science student.

It was apparent to his Dad that arts and entertainment were in his genes and so advised him to study contemporary art at Ori Olokun college of arts. He went on to bag a degree in Drama Art, at the African Department of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife Osun State Nigeria. To expand his knowledge in his chosen field, he further studied at the London College of Arts Camberwell and London School of Graphics Elephant and Castle. Ayan-De First had previously had visual arts exhibitions at some West African countries before coming to the UK.

Wondering why Ayan-De First is very keen to promoting his heritage, it was due to an unpleasant experience while busking at a London underground station where he was thrown out. That incident instilled the determination to promote his heritage to as much of the world as possible. Today that determination has paid off.

Versatile Mr Culture has broken records in more ways than one, with his style of entertainment. He is the first African Talking Drummer to perform for Queen Elizabeth 11 and the royal family in 2002, for the Queen's golden jubilee. He has also performed for Prince Charles at St. James's Palace and in Croydon.

Ayan-De First is the first African musician to appear and perform on Channel 4's Come Dine With Me. He constantly performs for dignitaries at different events. He has performed at top venues like The Royal Albert Hall, Nigerian High Commission London, Somerset House, Apothecaries Hall and many more. Some high profile individuals who have been lucky to see  him perform include, Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsallam Abubakar, The Ooni of Ife, The Alaafin of Oyo, The Oba of Lagos, music icon Madonna, Harriet Harman, Sir Richard Branson and many others.

In keeping with promoting his cultural heritage, Ayan-De First has worked with more than 500 community and private schools all across the UK, teaching the next generation how to play the talking drum and also about contemporary African art. He has also featured in some theatre productions like Iyalode of Eti directed by Moji Kareem Elufowoju, Tickets and Ties, and The Secrets of Baba Segi's wives directed by Femi Elufowoju.

 Mr. Culture is the CEO and founder African Cultural Gala Night UK. Oduduwa Talking Drummers, and ADF School of Arts and culture.

Only recently, this award winning cultural icon was honoured with a historical medal to appreciate his hardwork, promoting cultural heritage within the community. He was made Liveryman and Freeman of the city of London.

Ayan-De First. Mr. Culture deserves every accolade and a positive reminder why Black History month should always be celebrated.



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