Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti has been honoured with a commemorative plaque in London.
Earlier this year Clash noted the paucity of representative by British heritage organisations of Black history, and pointed out a few examples.
Pleasingly, Fela Kuti has been honoured with a new plaque, and it’s fantastic to see some progress on this issue.
The installation is part of the Black Plaque Project, which will see 30 plaques honouring key Black figures around the city.
A plaque for Trinity Laban alumni Fela Kuti was unveiled earlier today – November 20th – a temporary memorial at the conservatoire’s Faculty of Music at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
Dele Sosimi was at the installation, alongside Trinity Laban’s Director of Music Havilland Willshire, Founder and Producer of Black Culture 365 Juliet Jackman, and Nubian Jak Founder Dr Jak Beula.
Fela Kuti’s son Femi sent a message of thanks, alongside grandson Made Kuti – like his grandfather, Made Kuti is also a Trinity Laban alum, having graduated in 2018.
Dele Sosimi comments…
“Words fail me. I am buzzing, I am glowing, I am so proud. It’s a lovely thing… I feel like the plaque represents my joy and pride.”
“Fela was a live and let live guy, he had so much love and respect for art. He was a true artist. He always said to me ‘it’s all about holding down the groove’ so as his rhythm pianist, I always held the groove. Right from day one, I was hooked. I teach afrobeat here at Trinity Laban, so to see this here, now – hopefully it will encourage more students to participate in afrobeat and spread the horizon of up and coming musicians.”