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COLLECTIVE VOICES CALLING FOR REASON Adam Neill, Capetown.

When you sell our history, you sell your soul

Professor Wole Soyinka Add my name to the appeal to save the Africa Centre. Ngugi Wa Thiong'o Out of the Africa center in the heart of London has come history. Over the years the center has captured the heartbeat of the continent in the world. Please let it not die Franck Dossa The Africa Centre, the UK's only African Landmark, is a key London 'monument' and a testament to Africa's role in the UK/commonwealth, it's relevance within the multicultural fabric of London, it's economy and its history. Preventing the sale of the Africa Centre is an important cause I proudly support and encourage all to join. Africans, Friends of Africa, Enthusiasts of Culture, the arts and creative industries...Please spread the word Joe Blakeley April 9th 2011 was one of the best nights of my life. Save The Africa Centre! Jane Plastow The African centre is iconic and our only open home from home in central London. I've been using it for 25 years. Surely we can save one small building that represents so much about the deep links between African and the UK. Carolyn Lilly Save the Africa Center. Maryanne Ogbogbo last year the budget was cut for Black History month, now you want to close the Africa centre.
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Anna Kydd This an amazing centre that is so important in terms of highlighting African culture in central London. It would be a great loss to see it go. Paul Richards Community Centres and community meeting places are disappearing at an alarming rate. Where do our young people go to learn from our elders and each other as a rite of passage? If these vital hubs no longer exist then the gulf increases between communities and cohesion amongst people becomes impossible. Save our centres! Angela Harvey Africa centre was always a hub for live artistic exchange; A birth place for artistic expression that has in turn touched hearts globally. Poets like myself have have espoused and played. 'Soul II Soul' UK musical outfit called the Africa Centre the 'centre of the World.' Guy Walding I am a south African and I believe that a building with so much history and that is a part of Africa should be saved Dona Croll The Africa Centre serves as a focal point for all africans and descendants of Africa in the UK and is vital to our cultural and political life here. Rita Monteiro I would like help with some events , Im executive producer, organized some bigger or small events for free. help for the african center! Oge Nwosu Found you in the FT. How extraordinary. Only days ago, knowing nothing of this campaign, I felt a sudden homesickness for the AC of the 80s. Some of the best concerts ever; 'slow food' at Calabash (which won over sceptical friends I dragged from Cambridge;) an education in forbidden aromas.... and a relaxed, fun-filled, knowledge rich encouragement towards pride in my own history. Allowing it to close would be a travesty. Isobel Dixon Once you let go of a prime central property like this, suffused with African history, there will be no retrieving it. Not all the options have been explored yet and the board owes African-interest stakeholders more time and consultation, to prove that all avenues have been investigated in order to save the Africa Centre, which has been put in trust for Africans here. The Olympics of 2012 could provide further opportunity, it would be irresponsible to sell before then, without further debate. Dianne Regisford-Gueye This iconic landmark is testament to the spirit and value of cultural expression. Time is now for all those who have shared in its legacy to breathe new life and reinvigorate cultural expression of the Diaspora in London Deborah Shipley The Africa Centre is a much needed old friend in the heart of London not only to those newly arrived, but to those in need of reconnection with Home. A much cherished and needed platform to celebrate culture from all corners of the continent. Peter Adjaye No SELL OUT! We cannot let you do this to US. AJ Kwame You have no moral right to sell this public space. Your duty is to serve the people not your lawyers. This is a disgrace. We will not rest until you are exposed. David Searle Don't do it!
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David Martin When I lived in London 1998-2001, I spent many wonderful Friday nights there, with live bands hosted by the Limpopo Club. Chimwemwe Ajassi This Building is 'listed' rich in cultural heritage and Africa in London! Selling it would kill alot of African spirits Sharon Anteson The closure of this centre could be detrimental to African youth in the UK. This centre provides valuable information to the youth and is also a place where African can go and enjoy a taste of Africa. Lela Kogbara We the undersigned should take some responsibility for the situation now faced by the trustees of the Africa Centre. I add my name to this in the hope that we will now take some concrete personal responsibility for keeping it open and not just expel hot air. Amatoritsero Ede The Africa Center is one of the cultural landmarks of black London, supporting the emergence of award winning writers like Ben Okri. The center has contributed to the reputation of London, like Paris in the 19th century, as a global "cultural capital" in the 20th Janie Butler I was a frequent visitor to the amazing music and dance events at the Africa Centre in the 1980s. I also collaborated with its education section, promoting development education in London schools. It is an outrage to hear that the Africa Centre's trustees have been wheeling and dealing with property developers instead of supporting its membership. The trustees have a duty to develop, promote and sustain this important resource for the community it serves. Adesose and Ayo Wallace This is an important foundation for our community to grow, over the years it has helped many from the continent as well as the diaspora to achieve in this country. A regular meeting place for us to meet, share and network with many great minds and if closed it will be a real blow. Diane Meyer The frica Centre has been a wonderful cultural hub for people from the African diaspora and beyond. Over the years has provided many beautiful memories and been a home away from home for so many. It would be a big cultural shame to lose this amazing centre. Meral Hussein-Ece OBE I first visited the Africa Centre in 1983. It is an important venue which in promoting all African culture, was ahead of the curve. It is quite wrong to close it down. Tyrone McKay Higher Heights supports this cause! Maurice Rose Isn't the British Africa Centre a part of British History, English History, and London's Cultural History? Why isn't the Africa Centre designated as a National Landmark by the Mayor of London? Who is the Member of Parliament for that Constituency? What are they doing about the historical significance of institutions such as the Africa Centre (would they do this if this were a Muslim Mosque we were talking about)? Polly Richards To lose the Africa Centre would be a tragedy indeed. Please reconsider this plan and explore all other options.

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Christine Ayorinde The Africa Centre has been a focal point, providing inspiration and a haven for many people, both African and non-African. We need to protest against the increasing alienation of central London and preserve community spaces like this. Jamal Bilal This is place is an institute we need to safe it people! Bilen Shifferaw this is sad that centre has done a great job of holding cultural events, shows, talks a real community centre....serves a need for the people and is needed by the people francoise robertson please keep this very important centre open. PLEASE KEEP THIS IMPORTANT CENTRE OPEN. Harold Ndlovu In particular, this centre has played a vital part as a meeting place for Zimbabweans in their fight for freedom as well as in their social events. I urge that every effort be made to keep it ARTHUR TORRINGTON THIS AFRICAN VENUE SHOULD NEVER BE SOLD Yousif and Katherine Mukhayer As owners of a successful former Sudanese restaurant in London - The Mandola - it was very heart warming to hear other people saying that they had approached the African Centre with other cultural and commercial ventures. We lend our support and hope to be involved in any scheme that would benefit the African Centre and help maintain its continuity. Akinyemi Onigbinde It is our Heritage, please do not sell it Thank you Errol Thompson The Africa Centre should of never been allowed to get into the state that it is in, the centre should be a hive for creativity, unity and forward vision. IT can be again with the right spirit of international unity and true brother and sisterhood, cultural international modernistic thinking is the way forward. I propose a monthly fundraising musical exercise for the centre where I will provide all my events management skills to develop a cultural evening. If Bob Geldof can do it we can too Modupeola Oyewola This centre should be preserved for the next generation of African's living in the UK. A Morgan The Africa centre and its location in king street is crucial to the african diaspora in the UK and to those visiting from abroad. It has a history and emphasis should be on how to improve the centre for present and future use. Rovianne Matovu Im appalled that this is threatened. It is pathetic that we, as a continent, cannot govern ourselves properly and sustain this historic site in the heart of London. Cyrille Cartier Please renounce the sale of Africa Centre and listen to the voices of the people who have signed their name against lack of transparency, against privatization of a communal good and for democratic process. Ahmed Elzobier The African Centre is not for sale, this iconic place is priceless.

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Ian Tranter The Africa centre , with its excellent location, has been a constant in my life for years. LM SHOCKED THAT YOU DECIDE TO SELL IT WITHOUT CLEAR PUBLIC CONSULTATION. Jessica Lauren The Africa Centre is a wonderful building with an important history that should be a hub for culture and community of the African diaspora from the UK and elsewhere. A way must be found to preserve it. Ngoma Bishop I would be happy to help organize or participate in fundraising events. Helen Hintjens What can be achieved by not having an Africa Centre except further alienation? There is much to be gained by having one. Mballu N'Jai Please Please rethink this decision the Africa Centre at 38 King Street has for generations been a significant part of my familys life. It was a refuge for those first settlers in the 50s and 60s and was a pivotal source of education and enjoyment for us growing up here in the 80s. We had never visited our homelands but The Africa Centre felt like a piece of home we felt safe there, we were inspired there. Times have changed and the Africa Centre at 38 King Street can continue to be Miriam Williams I have visited The Africa Centre on a number of occasions and I have also taken part in workshops. This is a valuable asset to the community as a whole. We need more facilities with an educational focus and we shouldn't be trying to close them down or sell them off. This facility is priceless!!!!!!! BARBARA NUNOO I have had the pleasure of being in the Africa Centre, and its great educational and also a meeting point for so many people. I hope that it stays open and not sold as it holds a lot of history. Frances Witt Please find a way to keep the Africa Centre open. It is such an important place for people interested in Africa, and in the heart of London.

Deborah Dee KEEP THE AFRICA CENTRE - This Centre has been a key resource of information for the black community for a long as I can remember. Lauren Pett PLease keep the Africa Centre open - admittedly I have taken it for granted but I am a supporter - what you do there is important Lawrance Phillips The Africa Centre is a critical part of London's cultural heritage and vital for the African and African Caribbean Diaspora www.aacdd.org Dean Flight SAVE IT ,DONT WANT TO LOSE IT I MEET MY WIFE THERE ADE ABDUL RAHEEM Please don't tamper with these centers, for the sake of unborn generations in Africa. Amanda Beckles The Africa Centre has faithfully served many in the African diaspora, students of africa and introduced curious passers by to the diversity and richness of the African
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continent. In short the Africa Centre is unique and makes a value ble contribution to London life. Caroldeane Ferguson By these developments they are abusing the land and people. They come and create issues which are negative and problems that affect the people's way of life. They build walls that cuts of a village's natural water supply and then give them a tap which they control. It really is a disgrace to the human race Benji Samuels We should do what we can to save this icon, it played a big part in building foundation for people of Africa and African heritage here in Britain. It was a central point where descendants of Africa in the diasporas meet with their brother and sisters from the continent. For many who were born here in the west, particularly from the Caribbean this place stood out as a place of learning their heritage, cultures and people of Africa. We should do our best to keep as heritage for generation to come Conrad Taylor I know of several African people's organisations which I feel would consider using the Africa Centre for functions if the facilities were brought up to date. And might sponsorship be found? Stephen E. O. Ogbonmwan What we have as Africans we should hold and seek modernisation elsewhere. Why not take a cue from the British Government who list old buildings and prevent selling, demolition or alteration. The 'African Centre' is part of the African Culture in the UK and our culture form part of our roots. Our culture is our life, we should preserve it. The African Centre is a reference point in African UK history as many noteworthy Africans have passed through it. Why sell a Historical Monument? SEO Tina Ajuonuma As a young person of African discent, I am extremely dissapointed to hear of the current plans to sell the Africa Centre. For me and other young Africans in the UK and worldwide, the Africa Centre at 38 King Street is an essential link to the African struggles and achievements of the past and a necessary platform from which we as the next generation hope to build upon and better those achievements for the benefit of the continent. Trustees, please do not deny us this opportunity. nkolika obianyo Africa should develop a sense of history. Certain things are kept because of what they remind us not necessarily for their monetary or material value. Please reconsider and keep the centre. Malvina APARICIO I entirely agree with the text of the letter; I've been a visitor to the Africa Centre every time I went to London, now I will sorely miss the opportunity to buy books, eat African food and attend events. I am a catholic too, and I think the original purpose of the donation should be upheld or...the building be handed back to the original owners suzanne Nti My parents enjoyed the facilities and UK owes it to Africa to support this building for international cultural development reasons. After all they took much gold as UK does not have any gold reserves. Anniwaa Buachie The African Centre is a monument in british history. It holds so many years of development, from the time when Africans were auctioned in the main room, slaves to colonial britain, to a cultural hub for all types of people to explore and experiment. I have always know about the African Centre an often visited it's premises in my childhood, it is the only place
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within London, which I feel offers black people regardless of cultural heritage the opportunity to know of their presence in London Anthony Ofoegbu African culture is immense and diverse and a definite asset to the essence of multi-culture in the UK. The Africa Centre has managed to portray Africa's assets in culture and understanding over the years and should be protected as a lighthouse for the beneficial reasons that England has undoubtedly enjoyed since it's conception. It should tower or at least stand shoulder to shoulder with how the public view the Royal Opera House next door. stephanie akinyelure There are limited buildings organisations that exist that reflect African heritage/culture in the UK. This building not only needs to be saved, it should be preserved. The African slaves were the ones that built most of the great Buildings in the UK, but there is nothing left to reflect this. Eugene Ankomah simply a great cause. I feel all should join in to support, by any means necessary! Kashka Ray Do not close the Africa centre build more !! Ibrahim Waziri Save the African Centre. The pillar of British Afro-Caribbean pride must live on. SHANGO BAKU We have a duty to maintain institutions and venues of cultural importance to African, African-Caribbean people and their descendents - as well as the wider public in Britain, particularly at this time of major world changes affecting us all in the global community. This duty is solemn, crucial, and non-negotiable. David Mbiyu Save our Centre. celia wood so many good memories of political debate, good food and Guinness and African music have happened at the Africa Centre that can't be recreated elsewhere in London. If this is about the price of real estate then some one should be ashamed and stopped. Marie Lamensch The Africa Center is crucial for anyone interested in the continent. As an MA student I value its work and vibrant programs. Halting the sale is therefore crucial. It is also a shame that this has all happened in secrecy, without consulting the members. We all value the work of the center and its importance for the African community and others like me who understand that this is indeed Africa's moment. Afghanistan and Iraq are not the only international issues. Focus on Africa Philip Weiss Working with African artists on a daily basis our organisation would strongly encourage the trustees to save the centre and find more imaginative ways of fund raising for a diasporic centre that had brought the community together in central London for so many years. It has been the centre for London meetings around liberation struggles and remains the heart of the community. It needs to have and deserves a better public profile and strong benefactors and commercial sponsorship to survive. Linda Hathaway Yet another institution for the chop. What a shame. Shaun Ames this makes me mad
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Imane Campbell we the black peoples of the world in order to effect unity, solidarity, freedom, liberty and self-determination, to secure justice and maintain our integrity as black people. why haven't we got any stocks in the UK belonging to the black peoples of England. what about our heritage Graham Silbiger I have attended many events at this unique resource and excellent venue over the last 25 years. chocolate lion what is the real reason for closing down this place. carmen jackson the Africa centre was a very important place throughout my youth and i believe strongly that my experiences there and the wider perspective on life and culture that education afforded me have helped to shape the person I am today, it is so important that the Africa center stays where it is, right in the heart of London where it can attract the widest possible audience, of people like me who just wandered in one day, and then carried on returning for over 20 years! Joe Cang Keep the centre IN the centre! Juliet Segayi The actions of the board are an insult to the Africa Centre's legacy and people like myself who visit the Africa centre regularly and love it!! Crispin Robinson The Africa Centre cannot be sold-off. It is an incredible and under-used resource for all Diasporic Africans in London and the UK. I hope that this campaign results in the saving of the building and galvanises a re-visioning of what the Africa Centre can be for the future. I hope to see a Pan-African centre of cultural and educational events and a hub of all things Diasporic in London. The board must listen to the will of the members and abandon its disastrous plans forthwith. Trevor Hurd Some great memories of musical events held at this venue & address... wonderful atmosphere, & the shop & resource centre were very interesting places to visit when I was a student ... to important to become just another office or Covent Garden address. Andrew Clarke If the Africa Centre goes then the building will probably be snapped up by a corporate retail outlet and I don't think Covent Garden needs another one of those. What it (and London) needs are places that promote and support art, culture and mutual understanding. Long live the Africa Centre. Jemima Whyatt Save The Africa Centre in Kings Street! Such a great central position by Covent Garden, and an inspiring venue ! It inspired me as a student from around1988 on and I am sad to hear that it may be lost .Good Luck with this campaign! Emma Fifield This building is only being sold to fill it with designer shops and make money! all connections to the African community in London will be lost forever! Alain Hardwicke Kassi Do not do this

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Florian Westphal The Africa Centre is a unique forum in the heart of London. It probably does more to than most media to counter stereotypes about Africa by informing and entertaining Londoners and tourists alike. When I lived in London I was a frequent visitor, checking out new books, attending events, doing Swahili classes and sometimes just popping in to check what was going on. It must stay where it is. Good luck with the campaign. Danny Rogers Please respect the dignity, affinity, cultural and historical ties Africans and friends of the continent attach to this building. Afterwards, money is not everything . Let the democratic will of a minority be upheld!! jamika cothrine The Africa Centre has always been a safe haven, a place were people can meet share ideas, put on community and socially important events (including music and art)... it would be a tragedy to see it close. Jane Kelly Back to signature list I have vivid memories of attending musical events at the Africa Centre in the 1980s. It has played a role in the integration of all different nationalities, especially those from the African continent, into the cultural life of London. Its future needs to be decided democratically. Daniela Rosselson De Armas I have very many fond memories of gigs at the Africa Centre, gigs that I played in and went to see; it is an important part of London's History and should continue to be the "Africa Centre" there is no where else like it in central London Elelta Demissie Tafesse please save the centre. tell us what we can do to save it. Just dont turn it into an apple store! Lamin Afriyie I give up on this government. I give up. Serena Hall This place was integral in my youth, and helped me to discover my culture. To sell it would mean the loss of an important cultural meeting places for all Maureen B Duggan The Africa Centre is one way to show friendship to Africans in Britain which is not tainted to politics or proselytism. Reece Hayes Decisions should never be made against the wishes of the people. I am a young man who is starting up my own community projects as I realised there isn't much for Africans and those of African decent. The trend seems to be, 2 will close and 1 will open, and this trend will not bring positive change! Meral Hussein-Ece OBE I first visited the Africa Centre in 1983. It is an important venue which in promoting all African culture, was ahead of the curve. It is quite wrong to close it down. JoAnn McGregor The Africa centre has been a valuable place of sociability, connection to and knowledge about the continent. That role is as important as ever - please give it a future. Annie Alexander Shame on you. Marika Sherwood I just dont want to believe this. How any trustee could contemplate selling the Centre is beyond comprehension. No trustee or trustees have the right to do this. And have these not-trustable trustees announced how much money they are getting and what will be done with it? Anew building purchased elsewhere in Central London? Or would it go in their pockets?
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Froeks Kamminga Let the Africa Centre remain and be what it was meant to be! Vincent Gasana As I understand it the trustees believe that it would be better to sell and buy somewhere bigger. It seems to me that they are missing a trick. Firstly, it is makes a huge difference being so central, secondly, it is possible to keep the central position, and have a satellite centre elsewhere. There are many in the community willing help with this, why not open up the conversation. Sebilio Uribe The Africa Centre has been an addition to the cultural attraction that Central London provides. It is a lighthouse for positive projects and contributes to the reason London is a leading city in the World. Do not shut it down! Sanjit Chudha Today, more than ever, with Africa's renaissance and the UKs reluctance to engage with the Commonwealth Nations,the Africa Centre is needed. The richness, diversity and intelligence of Africa's cultural outputs should have a showcase here in London. After all, where London leads, others follow. Asbury Mparutsa Trustees have some responsibility to justify their actions, even when so much around us is changing. John Reeves I have been attending cultural events at the Africa Centre since 1992 and ask you to reconsider your decision to close and sell a building which was "perpetuity to the people of Africa" and enjoyed by so many more of us over the years. I am sure there are plenty of patrons and supporters who will assist in reinvigorating building usage, if you would only consult them properly. Hilton Mendelsohn So many charitable organisations struggle to get property let alone a prestigious, centrally located property like the centre. Selling this asset would be a travesty and a step backwards for Africans in the UK Bart Wolffe a Zimbabwean author, playright, actor and director, many a time I have found the centre a place for collaboration and meeting with artists and performers when in London. It was a quiet heart where the ground was familiar for us. Please do not let it go! Lee Jasper I fully support this campaign. The centre must not be sold off for private development. I am sure that with the right management the centre can thrive and I would be happy to be part of any team/campaign that has this as its objective. Please dont sell of one of our few remaining community asset. Hugh Corder In the current times, when Africa needs all the understanding it can muster, closing this space in the heart of a great city and accessible to millions of visitors to London, would be an inexcusable tragedy. It was a great meeting place in the past, and there's no reason why it could not continue to be such. sarah kilalea Dont close this amazing place!!! Kanja Sesay Save the Centre, it is vital to Africans like myself and thousands of others.

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Brian Alcorn As one with a deep root in Africa's soil and a huge heart for its people and culture, I believe it would be a failure and disappointment for the Africa Centre to close. All the hard work it has done over the past 40 years would have been wasted. This is a worrying sign that the corruption of Africa that we all know too well has managed to follow its way back to the UK where it is causing secrecy, deception and poor decisions to be made regarding the future of the Africa Centre. Wise up! Lloyd Johnson The Africa centre is an important land make in London adura onashile I grew up going to the nights that were put on at the Africa centre, from live music to club nights to comedy and its demise is a sad and unnecessary waste. Surely it is possible with good programming to restore it to the hub of African activity it used to be? Buildings have history, when they go something goes with them which is why we preserve them and what they stand for, so that each generation never forgets the one before, so that each generation can see the journey of its people. Paul Anderson (MBE) This is so sad and it seems of vital importance that our leaders listen to the calls from within and from those from the outside. H OLABODE OSENIE THE TRUSTEES SHOULD BE TOLD OF AN AFRICAN ADAGE THAT SAYS IF A MAN SELLS HIS PROPERTY CHEAP HE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO BUY IT BACK AT THE SAME PRICE.WE SHOULD BE PROTECTING WHAT WE HAVE LIKE OTHER NATIONS OF THESE WORLD PROTECTING THEIR MESEUMS OF ALL KINDS. OTUNBA H OLABODE OSENIE John Aldridge Hold on. If you are going to sell up, then do it properly at an open meeting. My vote will be against selling, partly, as I have good memories of meetings here in the 60s, including one with the late Eduardo Mondlane who was sadly assassinated soon afterwards, and partly because I believe greater efforts can find a viable future for the centre. For example, Kwame Akuffo's recent African art show was excellent. John Denison I have a number of interests in different African countries and know a number of people in London of African origin. I am very concerned that this sale is proposed without due consultation and appears suspiciously over-hasty. Lawrence Mbugua The Diaspora cannot afford to lose such a central location. We've left the Africa Centre slide into disuse but that is no reason not to get engaged. Better late than never. Melvin Cox The African Connections Research and Education Fund (ACREF) strongly opposes the sale of Africa Centre. Vital institutions in our community must be maintained, supported and expanded. Herty QUAO I think selling the African Centre is not the best option.

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Stephen Rockel When I first arrived in London in 1978 I had a joyous evening at the Africa Centre dancing to Dudu Pukwana, my first exposure to South African live jazz. I have been hooked ever since. This place is central to the postcolonial African experience in the UK, and gave a warm welcome to friends of Africa like myself. Please find a way to keep it open, and revive the great programming that used to exist. Catherine Gegout Please do not destroy history and culture Ghislaine Lydon This was a gift to the African people. There is a saying in French "Donner, c'est donner. Reprendre c'est voler." In other words taking this gift away would constitute theft. Nick James Since the 1980s going to the Africa was a huge highlight for any visit that I made to London. I have loved it and hope that it can be sustained in that location. Joshua adekeye This is an outrage, to say the least, I really hope this helps Diana Jeater The Africa Centre was an essential element in my development as a world expert in Zimbabwean history - and in my recognition that Africans need the resources to become experts in their own history. This is a unique and hallowed space where genuinely free speech nurtured insights and aspirations across generations. We need it now as much, if not more, than ever. And 'We don't mind that the building is a dive - what interests us is if there is a vibe.' Kakra Akuffo Fellow Africans and friends of the Centre, can we not start a campaign to buy this place up ourselves? For once let us put our money into this. It's not always we have to wait for someone to rescue us. Every little helps. Any takers on this? Douglas Johns Once again, we see Trustee's, who are the Servants of those who have put them in place, trying to reverse roles; primarily it would seem, for greed on their part! Now is the time to stop the frankly evil behaviour, that is being perpetrated by a minority of irresponsible people! Oladele Osinuga It would be a travesty and great disservice to Africans in diaspora if the Trustees proceeded to the sale of this iconic building. The profits to be made from such sale should not be made at the expense of what is of benefit to Africans the value of which is immeasurable and unquantifiable. It is in our hearts and the drive for profits shouldn't be used as an excuse to deviate from what the building was initially intended for by its donors. rod Gilmore I spend many happy hours in the Africa centre dancing and socialising. It would be a shame to see those memories torn down! Martin Osengor 38 King's Street, Covent Garden provides a central and strategic location for the African community to meet and interact! The Africa Centre has a high heritage value which ought to be passed down to the younger generation! The board ought to reconsider the sale of this historical site for the benefit the younger African generation! Very little consultation has been carried out to justify the Sale!
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Gavin Durrant It is a unique and wonderful venue with a great history of events and exhibitions. Frederic Mudzingwa This place has been an inspiration for black people and it has symbolised black aspirations for generations. It will be synonymous with destroying those aspirations which have kept black people going. It will be a traverse of justice. Jessica Thomas What you must understand is that the importance of a building is not the construction itself, but the cohesion it promotes inside. The Africa Centre has been an integral part of the community for nearly 50 years, how can that presence be ignored? The longer people continue to undertake decisions focused entirely on money, the slower society will develop.

Leonard Harding The Africa Centre is a cultural Hub and for many Africans and other nationalities alike a symbol of togetherness and unity it means something to the community and must remain open for the droves of people that congregate there. Nathan Banana The building has become a part of the African society, a little big Africa in London. I hope the Trustees do reconsider and withdraw their intentions to sell. Dayo Israel The Africa Center is as Symbolic to Africans as Buckingham Palace is to Britain. Please save the Africa Center and help foster community relationship in the African Community John Mukungunugwa Africa Centre is not just a meeting place for Africans but a cultural centre for those who want to learn about African cultures. It links London with Africa in a very social and humane way. Rather than selling the centre, more funding should be found for its improvement for the benefit of Londoners and its visitors. Christina Ndlovu NOT SEPARATE AFRICA. Babajide Peters please keep the Africa center open Mataya Chewaluza I have been going to the Africa Centre since 1967. I got my first job there as Administrative Assistant under Margaret Finney. There is no place like the Africa Centre where people from all across Africa can meet and learn about each other. It is the greatest cultural centre for African people in the United Kingdom. Music. Food and Culture.

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ZENZO NCUBE The trustees of this centre must do more to include all African communities in the UK. The main reason the centre struggles today is simple lack of inclusion of all African communities some of whom could assist and financially support Tirzah Loewenstein It's been a valuable part of my being in London ever since I arrived here from Zimbabwe in 1970 and I'd hate The Africa Centre- and its activities - to disappear. Gary Horsman It's 34 years since i first went there! Mabinty Samura This has been a meeting place for people not only of Africa and the diaspora but also for those who love this great continent and all that it has to offer. Please rethink your decision. Sara Aisu Please save it. Francis Puemo The centre MUST remain open at all costs nick cash Have fond memories of the Africa centre having played there as a musician. Huge shame to close another venue and cultural centre. Munyaradzi Dangarembizi Please let us maintain the African Cultures meeting place! Erin macdonnell I love the Africa centre . I've spent so much time there, and it has inspired my life. Stella Chiweshes first lecture and performances were held there, and Im now a player. I've enjoyed language lessons there too, and many, many amazing concerts. Garry Ellison I have grown up with fond memories of the Africa Centre. I am 43 and through life I have been encouraged about the human-ness of all people by places like the Africa Centre, seeing people co operate and integrate in life. Paul Shearsmith Don't be daft. Khosi Manaka Africa Centre must be saved George Onwuemene All my years in UK, I had no idea such a centre exist. It will be of interest to preserve this centre for our African pride. If this centre is kept it will serve a big plus for hosting events and bring huge revenue for Africans in diaspora. It could be the next INDICO like we have in South East London. Please Africans support this cause. MAY GOD HELP US!!! Samson Chibambo The only African focal point I have ever known since the seventies. To rid of is tantamount to the discouragement of African cultural cohesion.

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NYARARAI JOHN-NGURUVE The Africa Center was the heartbeat of African Cultural events in the UK all year round. most if not all the music greats of Africa have at one time passed through and performed there. It just has too much institutional memory and history to just disappear at 38 Kings street. and must be saved. Hassan Korsy Please do not close one of the very very very few Africa connections in the centre of London. Philip Morgan I have worked, performed & partied, etc at the Africa Centre on a number of occasions back in the 1980s and early 1990s. This venue should continue to be a place where people of the African Diaspora can meet, work and perform, etc..The pursuit of money & material things more often than not leads to the destruction of humanity and the spirit (soul).This appears to be the objective of most if not all....Which partially explains the current state of just about everything & anything!! Selah. Rachel Kabambe Please please keep the Africa centre open. It is vital for African Music, Arts and Culture to thrive in London Rachel Bartlett The Africa Centre has been a platform for African culture and music which is open to all cultures to enjoy. this is to too great a gift to lose. Ticha MalulekeI would like to save the Africa Centre as I have been there for many years and it help people keep in touch. Thanks. William Embliss I've been to here hear some amazing bands and was inspired by this to go to Africa (Senegal and Gambia) and learn from musicians there. on returning some musicians I saw at The Africa centre playing Akedindas inspired me to try making xylophones. I now make xylophones for schools. So this cultural hub has been seminal in my life. Lyric Elle Africans need to place their money in beneficial areas such as proposing to buy the building between us. Only we can strengthen ourselves. Jon Petter London would be poorer for the closure of this unique resource, a place I have visited since the 80s. Please explore EVERY avenue for keeping it open. pa bobo jobarteh together we can make it. r. clay don't do it!!! Jairo Nyaongo The Africa Centre should remain as a Symbol for African Struggle for freedom and Unity. the Centre to be made known to African Diaspora
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Debbie Gee The Africa Centre is so unusual as a Black oriented people's centre in the centre of London. It's so historic with such amazing informal & formal gatherings happening there - has introduced the greatest names in African - global music from Angelique Kidjo - Jazzie B to the world & housed the finest lectures from Amos Tutuola & Maya Angelou - Forward . It must stay and be developed - long term board corruption - squandering a major lottery grant into nothing must be put aside for its renewed life Torera MutinhiMbira Mpedzisi I Am the Artistic Director of The Pan-Afrikan Kultural Movement, with 321 members. Our organisation has been involved with the Africa Centre, through music and cultural workshops/performances, to perpetuate Afrikan Kultural heritage/recognition in the diaspora and internationally. Our organization would like to express our dismay and utter disgust at the way we, as loyal patrons of The Africa Centre, have been neglected, ignored and excluded in its future. Don't sell The Africa Centre, please!!! lee guest Too much good has come from this place to have it closed, please reconsider the options. Helle Makoni The Africa Centre is a unique place. And for me personally it's very special because that was where my husband and I had our first date 21 years ago. Greg Well Please, Please, Please don't do it. Cass Greenley It would be a crime to sell such a piece of history for so many people. For what? Another generic global chain of something we don't need that only robs London further of its identity. Christian Burt Save this historic venue! Nat Perez As an African living in London for fifty years it will be sorely missed by me and many, many others. Marcelene Madzikanda There is a global movement ready to revive the centre for future generations. Lets not miss this opportunity. Simwinji Zeko Who stands to gain from selling the building on? It is in a prime location. The Africa Centre had a pivotal influence in my subsequent decision to stay on in the UK in 1987. From small acorns do mighty oaks grow. Are the trustees abdicating their responsibilities or has the centre become an albatross around their necks? While the Royal Opera house round the corner gets millions in funding, why is the Africa Centre left with very little?

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Perry chitombo its the most central location for meeting a lot of people in the diaspora. Please do not close the centre of excellence. Francis Shupo The taking away of this facility disenfranchises us Africans in the UK and goes against all we have tried to build for future generations to come. JAY OTOO IN A PROGRESSIVE WORLD, WHY DO THE TRUSTEES HAVE TO BE SO LAMENTABLY DIM AND REGRESSIVE IN THIS DAY AND AGE. OF ALL THE THINGS ONE COULD THINK OF DOING WITH THE AFRICAN CENTRE AND ITS PRIME POSITIONING THE LAST THING THAT SHOULD BE ON THEIR MINDS IS TO DISPOSE OF IT. THEY ARE NOT FIT TO MANAGE THIS CENTRE IF THAT IS THEIR TAKE ON IT. WHY CANT WE EVER FIND COMPETENT PEOPLE TO RUN THE AFRICAN CENTRE? zack moyo assign the centre to one organisation with proven integrity to run the centre on behalf of the trustees Wangui goro The educational and cultural impact of the Africa Centre cannot be underestimated. This should not be allowed to happen in a society which is a show case for global multi-cultural and cosmopolitan living, social justice and equality of which the Africa Centre has been a vanguard, pioneer and custodian over the decades. The Africa Centre is important for the cultural global renaissance and is a beacon of hope for many across the world. (see) http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/38357 Ruhi Hamid This is a historical place that has been a home for African exiles, a place of art and culture. Many a heated discussion has taken place under this roof. Many revolutions have been planned and a drink or two shared. Keep it alive for future generations. BARBARA QUARCOO Did I hear that it is being sold for 60million? That it is a grade 2 listed building which disallows any refurbishment for the purposes of the centre for Africa. That they have truly almost completed a purchase of a better and modern venue within the same area fit for the origin purpose? If that is all true and the money is truly being diversified for the original purpose and the new premises it is a stone's throw from 38 Kings Street WC1/2 then fine. Lucia Dube The Africa Centre should remain a good resource for Africans to come together and deal with the challenges facing the continent. Nana Ama Amamoo This is the only space for all Africans in the UK. It will be a sacrilege to sell it. It is in a very location and should be able to generate its own commercial income from well thought out projects. Phil bergan please save my alma mater

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Simon Makoni The Africa Centre was a hugely important cultural reference point for as a young British bred African. I fear that other young British Africans will be deprived of this crucial resource if the Africa Centre is shut down. There is no alternative that even comes close to the Africa Centre. Please keep it open. Conrad Mwanza Africa Centre is a historical place and needs to be preserved; in fact it should be a listed building Wala Danga We are saddened to hear about this intended sale. We at Limpopo Club started the live African music concerts at the Africa center in the early 80s and made it one of the most viable cultural platforms for African musicians from Africa and Europe. It was here we managed to give a platform to international recognition for most of the African Bands on the circuit e.g. Angelique Kidjo; Baaba Maal; Thomas Mapfumo; Bembeya Jazz; Les Amazones de Guinee; Bhundu Boys to name a few, We support this petition fully Leslie Maruziva selling this wonderful gift to the people of Africa would be a tragedy. It would stink of short-sightedness and would be a great loss to the future generation of people like Desmond Tutu and other future leaders who have found this venue as a home from home. Neil Bowman I believe it is important the community is consulted before any substantial decisions are made regarding the future of the Africa Centre. Joseph Oladosu It will be a sham that with the population descendants from Africa in Europe and in UK especially, such an edifice will be lost. Will this happen if it was call Asian Centre? We the sons and daughters of Africa need to stop agonising and get organise. Shad Bulimo African Centre is a symbol of Anglo-African relationship that dates back more than several decades. It the institution of choice for African leaders, scholars, poets, musicians and other professionals. Besides being a social forum, the African Centre is a one-stop facility for anyone interested in learning about African culture whether it is children born of African heritage or indigenous White populations. Closing such an essential facility is an antithesis of cultural integration policy. Cathryn Connolly I love the Africa Centre and have spent many happy hours there. It was always a breath of fresh air to be able to visit a place in Covent garden that wasn't some unaffordable, corporate enterprise. Please keep this cultural centre and keep out the Starbucks etc. Liz Graham I really miss the Africa Centre: it was a great place to eat apart from anything else!! Ian McQuaid It would be a great shame to move such an iconic building; the place has great historical significance in London's cultural landscape Sebastian Miyanza Please save the Centre as its functionality is priceless. You cannot quantify its current positive effects.

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Peter Ellis I think the loss of the Africa Centre would be a victory of short-term, short-sighted financial gain at the expense of Africa and the African people: a story that's run too many times and must end. Carole Allsop Don't let the Africa Centre disappear. Cloud Shnye Save the African centre Nirupa Sing To sell this property would be a great loss for artists from Africa and elsewhere. The City of London should help to keep it alive as a hub of creativity in this populated centre of London! Anne Asuquo pls it should not be closed it does help people get jobs not everyone is getting jobs here in the UK this company helps ppl including Africans find jobs in Africa Eleanor Denison I Know from a number of contacts how much this centre is needed in London, and I do not believe it right to sell it with so little consultation. Chidi Efika Please keep the African centre open. Ana Santana I owe a lot to the Africa Centre. It helped enormously in my integration in British society as a non-English speaking African in the first years of my settling in the UK. There I bought books on Africa, had meals at the restaurant, attended African dance classes, music workshops, conferences and debates on the most pertinent issues to the present and future of Africans in London and the Diaspora in general. I hope it doesn't close so that future generations can benefit as much as I did from it. Janet wainaina I support African acts and the African centre is a big resource. Tunde Orimoloye It is essential to detail issues that are relevant to the African centre. Essence of selling it, alternatives that may be available...etc.. Akinola Ogunsola Protecting a good heritage. Olusegun Sadiq I believe an attempt to sell the Centre will amount to gross mistakes which will have serious effect on the rather miscalculated expected benefit. The Centre has served for so many years as a heritage to the entire Continent of Africa with great service not only to Africans from around the globe but also to the Country (UK) it is situated. I humbly suggest wider consultation should be embarked upon as an alternative to the option of selling the Centre. Thank you.

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Stanley Jacobs I support the petition to save the Africa Centre. Samuel Sade Stop this please. Rilwan Badiru Please save Africa Centre, it has served and still serving as a focal point for African Nzube Eleigwe Dear Africa Centre Trustee, Sequel to the above petition to save the Africa centre, I will like to add that the centre has been invaluable in both global talent attraction and management. I am from Nigeria though presently am living in UK, but I have seen most of my friends being successful and thus contributing to an effective knowledge transfer to aid some our (African) developing nations. So I do plead with you to reconsider your decisions and save this great citadel of Talent home. jen nya save the building Vivien Dams We definitely need the centre to be left for the Africans. Its not just the building its where we call it home, an asset and only asset, a place of meetings, a cultural setting and a landmark. These are important reasons why the building should not be sold. TOPE FALADE DO NOT SELL!!! Gerald lenny We can anything but not everything is for sale. Please save our building Ricky Mujaji African heritage has got to be preserved and showcased. This is only possible with standing up to prevent the closure of Africa centre paul bucknor New management jael oyieke Justice is paramount Foluso Amusa I support Save the Africa Centre to remain open to carry its purpose without any intervention or force closure. NO TO CLOSURE OF AFRICA CENTRE Grace Omo please save the African Centre Rolic Oboh Let not hope die. Hope for Africa and its emergence from all the negative things usually associated with this continent. Hope for greatness through even the opportunities such as this building provides.
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Joanna Law Please save this important place. Africa Centre centre of the World!!! CHARLES THOMPSON AFRICA CENTRE OF THE WORLD FEMI DADA I will appreciate the review of the decision to sell the Historic African Centre. The decision to sell should be left with the users.

Gabriel Adewole Abiodun Soleye Please don't do this. None European Immigrants should not be at the receiving end of this recession. Cap on immigrant now the only meeting point for us going on SALE. Please for once be FAIR TO US. Nwabueze Ofili The centre should not be sold as it epitomizes cultural and historical values to all race and nationality. The talk about embracing diversity and equality sterns from situations like this, enough of the "Double Standards". Olugboyega Alebiosu There is every need to save the Africa centre Donna Akuffo iconic cultural centre is more than just a place to meet, eat and be social. It is the hub of African Culture for the whole community. Lets fight for the right to keep it! May Eguridu Please lets help keep the ongoing working that is contributing towards the better good of our community, this centerenables not just Africans but people from every angle of the globe to learn and contribute as good social citizens to this country Connie Mubanga Let us unite and do something for ourselves as Africans and for the future generations we are responsible for today. What a great legacy for Africans by Africans and the whole world. Ruth Mwarage It is the only place we meet our African Diasporas and exchange ideas. It is a gift to the African mother continent by the Catholic church. The mother of most of the African faith. treat it as our inheritance through which we connect with the fore runners of our African Catholic faithfuls. Patrick Ogunnowo A sustainability strategy can be conceptualised to enhance the functionality of the Africa Centre. Monga Kyla Please we need this centre to remain.

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olatunbosun oladitan save this center. it is a very useful to us all Timothy Mbasuen All options should be explored through wider stakeholder consultations before using this option as a last resort. Hana Kefela Africans in the UK as well as those interested in the developments in Africa whether professionally, culturally or personally need the Africa centre. I as an African living in London not only urge the Africa Centre to remain where it is I also would like to see it refurbished so that it is the platform we desperately need to share, learn, enjoy all things African in the heart of London. Jean Lofulo Should there be a need to either maintain or upgrade the building, trustee should think on ways to raise fund than sale. Should there be need of competent people, Trustee should reach-out to the people. There are African professionals who would devote their expertise and bring-up solutions. DON'T SELL. Simbarashe Mareverwa Please do not overlook the financial and cultural renaissance the current building use can benefit all interested parties. Irene Osagie Evbuomwan Highly concerned about the Sale of the Africa Centre! Godspower Orette Value and Pride is not depended on economic prowess or intellectual supremacy. Abiola Talabi Leave our heritage alone Rashid ali I can't believe they will be allowed to do this! George Clerk the Africa Centre another chance. Claudette Carr In this year declared the international; Year for People of African Descent, I urge all Africans at home and abroad support the campaign and sign the petition. The 1990s is remembered as the decade of Black British band Soul II Soul, whose creator and music mogul Jazzie B started out at the African centre. Jazzie B coined the phrase " a happy face, a thumping, base for a loving race", and proclaimed the "African Centre is the Centre of the World" What happened?

Appolinaire Rititingar All what we need is to push Africa forward .Which Africa are we going to leave to the coming generation? Im asking if we are not responsible on what it is happening to our continent. We need objective and we should be focused determinate. The current generation has a chance to talk. so let us say something for this Continent.
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Portia Barnett-Herrin "The Africa Centre! Centre of the Worrrrld!" Jerry Nyoni Keep the spirit of Africa alive in London Please!!!

"If you sell YOUR decision will be remembered by the community forever. The young members of the African Diaspora are the ones that have most to lose. It is we that will remember you for longer than you will be with us".

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