US-based Guyanese radio host passes on
April 19, 2004
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Guyanese-born Assistant Director of the African American Museum and radio host, Jojo Kofi Badu, died last Wednesday of a heart attack at the Hillcrest Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio where he was rushed after collapsing in a store.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Badu, aged 51, had been off work in recent months with congestive heart failure and complications of diabetes.
Museum Director, Nancy Nolan, was quoted in Perry's article as saying: "He was extremely important because he helped us connect to the political and cultural community, as well as handling the majority of the tours."
Badu, who was born Felix Terrence in Georgetown, Guyana, was raised by his grandmother after his mother passed away when he was four years old and studied journalism at the University of Guyana.
Shortly afterward, Badu produced the radio programme "Our Story" and later in the 1970s, he organised the Yoruba Singers and performed with them in Venezuela, Brazil and several Caribbean countries.
In 1982, Badu and his wife, Ida, and their two daughters migrated to the United States where Badu worked with the Juvenile Detention Centre and the Colinwood Community Centre over the next 14 years. He became a regular host when the radio station WJMO turned part of its Sunday programming over to the Cleveland Talk Radio community group.
At the museum, which he joined in 1996, Badu lectured to thousands of children and adults about African American history often drawing a parallel between the helplessness of slaves brought from Africa and the current condition of prison inmates, Peery's story reported.
He was also known to entertain visitors by playing African drums and had been a part of several organisations including Black on Black crime and the 11th Congressional District Caucus.