● Have you seen in motion pictures or read in books about messages being sent through the jungles by being beaten out on drums? Does this system really work? Can messages be accurately conveyed by varying the beat and tone?
During December 1970 a large international assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses was held in Lagos, Nigeria. One morning a special program was put on for the benefit of visiting delegates from North America and Europe. The history of Jehovah’s witnesses in Nigeria was discussed. Also the audience was treated to a demonstration of “talking drums.”
A drummer came forward. One Witness whispered to him the message he should give. The message was then tapped out on the drum three times. The audience was asked, “Can any Yoruba person in the audience understand that message?” A hand went up immediately and the message was given in the Yoruba language and translated into English: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.” (Matt. 6:9) What applause there was! Again, another message was tapped out. A different Yoruba person in the audience immediately understood it: “Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing.” (Ps. 23:1) Those two demonstrations left no doubt in the minds of all in attendance that Yoruba drums can really “talk.”