Ayodele Ganiu is a Talking Drum Artist, Arts Manager and Activist committed to advocating for cultural policy, copyright reforms as well as defending artistic freedom in Africa. He holds a BSc (Hons.) in Finance from University of Lagos, Nigeria (2004). Ayodele is a graduate of the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin-Germany (2009), GoDown Centre’s Cultural Leadership Train-the-Trainer course, Nairobi-Kenya (2012), African Art Institute’s Cultural Entrepreneurship course, Cape Town-South Africa (2015) and University of Hildesheim UNESCO Chair’s Arts Rights Justice Academy, Germany (2018).
He is co-founder of INTRO AFRIKA, where he leads The Talking Drums Ambassadors’ performance tours since 2009. Ayodele is the National Coordinator of Committee for Relevant Art (CORA)/Arterial Network Nigeria. He has coordinated several initiatives aimed at developing the creative industries including the Enterprise Support Programme (ESP) and forums that sustained pressures on Government to approve the new Nigerian Copyright Bill in 2018. Between 2017 and 2018, he was Regional Programme Officer for Africa at FREEMUSE, an international human right organization defending artistic freedom, where he worked as a key member of the research team that produced ”State of Artistic Freedom (SAF) Report 2018” and ”Creativity Wronged: How women’s right to artistic freedom is denied and marginalised”. Ayodele is a Steering Committee member of the African Cultural Policy Network.
Ayodele has coordinated several campaigns that secured freedom for artists persecuted for their works and has provided emergency assistance for artists at risk including arranging legal representation medical treatment and trial observation.