Africa Oyé chairman recognised in New Year Honours list

Gad Kuju backstage at Africa Oyé with fellow board member, Stuart Borthwick
AFRICA Oyé chairman of trustees has been recognised in the New Year Honours list with a British Empire Medal (BEM).

Born in London in 1965, Gad Kuju now lives in New Brighton and has been honoured for his services to diversity, multiculturalism and Africa Oyé.

Gad grew up in East Yorkshire before moving to Merseyside in 1988 and started his work in the local arts sector in the 1990s as a founder member of the RBP - a production company set up to provide a platform for arts in Wirral, while also working as an intern at MIDA (Moving Image Development Agency).

He was also part of a group of campaigners who lobbied Wirral Council for an arts venue in the area – thus resulting in the creation of the Pacific Road arts and cultural venue in Birkenhead.

Gad also worked on the New Brighton Rhythm and Blues Festival for several years as an event project co-ordinator before joining the team at Africa Oyé.

Talking about the honour, Gad said: “I’m overwhelmed and delighted by the BEM award. 

“I would like to thank all my colleagues past and present who have made this possible.

“In particular the team and the board at Africa Oyé who have managed to keep the festival free for one and all.”

The honour comes as preparations begin for Africa Oyé’s 27th festival of African and Caribbean music and culture.

Oyé’s artistic director Paul Duhaney said: “I’ve known Gad for twenty years and have had the pleasure of working with him as Oyé grew into something we could never had forseen.

“It’s brilliant to see him recognised with such a prestigious award.

“Everyone at Oyé wishes Gad many congratulations and would like to thank him for his years of service and dedication to the organisation.”

Dates for this year’s Africa Oyé celebrations are set to be announced later this month. 

For more information about Africa Oyé please visit


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