Steel Pans


Ellie Lake tells us about Wahda and the steel pans:

“Wahda has been playing steel pans in Cardiff since 1991. He graduated from Merton College in St Lucia and has passed on his love of steel pan music to new generations, including his children.

He has been the steel pan arranger for the Eisteddfod and the MAS carnival, and steel pan director for SWICA. He teaches steel pan workshops at Fitzalan High School and Roath Park Primary School.”

Close up photograph of hands playing steel drums.

Wahda tells us about playing the steel pans:

“I was born in St Lucia in the West Indies. Growing up I became interested in playing steel pans. I used to run away from home to practise, I fell in love with the sound! I had friends here and my brother lived in London, so I came to Britain for a while. One Saturday I came to Cardiff to visit. I fell in love with Cardiff and the following Saturday I was living in Cardiff!”

“I got a job at Fitzalan school, teaching steel pans and drums. Now I move around the schools and I teach over 200 kids in a week. People say I brought steel pans to Wales. But there were West Indians here before me playing, but amongst themselves only. I wanted it to be in schools, with children. My pupils come from all backgrounds, Somali, Indian, West Indian, Welsh, everyone. We have won at National and Urdd Eisteddfods!”

Wahda playing the steel pans.

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