Fela & The Only Black Man in Bosaro…

TonyI met Tony in a small Italian town 60KM South West of Venice. He described himself, with a wry smile, as ‘The only black man in the village’. He was full of stories…

One was about being the European tour manager for Fela Kuti in the 70’s.  I didn’t know whether to believe him until he brought out a huge batch of incredible photographs he had taken of the legendary singer whilst on tour.

Tony Hand

Tony left his family to look for work in Europe and, in his words “make my millions”.  He had a plan to go home after 7 years of work, but things didn’t happen the way he’d hopes.  Ashamed to go home empty handed, he never did make it back to Nigeria, and became estranged from his family.

Tony lives alone in Bosaro and despite his circumstances, had a brilliantly irreverent sense of humour.

Full story included in the forthcoming book ‘An Afropean Odyssey: Travels in Black Europe’

All text and images © Johny Pitts

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2 comments

  1. The world is small. I met Tony in Bosaro in 2010, during our Festival call: Afropean Festival Meeting. He came on stage during the group’s performance “Classical Orchestra Afrobeat” to talk about Fela. Unfortunately, after some editions the Festival Meeting Afropean has stopped and I have not heard anything from Tony.

  2. Happy to find some news about him here.

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