Kenyan musician Tabu Osusa honoured by French government

Musician Tabu Osusa has been awarded the Order of Arts and Letters honour by France.

William Osusa, who is better known in the music circles as Tabu Osusa, has been a key part of the East African music industry. For over three decades now, Tabu has been involved in the music industry as a promoter, producer, composer and band manager. The legendary music producer and researcher has been awarded the Order of Arts and Letters honours.

As it is known in french, the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields. During an event held at the Alliance Française in Nairobi, Tabu was honoured with this award due to his contribution in the Kenyan creative industry. The event was officiated by the Ambassador of France to Kenya, Madame Aline Kuster-Menager.

This isn’t the first international recognition Tabu has received. In 2016, he was nominated as a Five Music Rights Champion by the International Music Council. Tabu co-chairs the steering committee of the ‘Spotlight on Kenyan Music’ project which seeks to discover and promote young talent, performing a blend of African music. The Kenyan government through the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture supports this project.

One of the reasons the the government of France may have an affinity to him because he represented East Africa on the selection panel of the proposed Centre for Black Music during the selection process held in Paris, France.

Osusa is the founder of Ketebul Music, a  music label and a research organization that documents and archives the heritage of East African traditional and contemporary music.

Ketebul has published a book called ‘Shades of Benga: The Story of Popular Music in Kenya (1946-2016)’.



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