Brian McManus and ‘Ku Matuka’

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS -

or­gan­ised an event ti­tled

‘Mu­sic at the Gate’ at St Lau­rence’s Gate.

Dar­ragh says the aim of the event was to start a dis­cus­sion within the com­mu­nity around the po­ten­tial uses of the gate now that it has been closed to traf­fic. Dar­ragh’s hope is that this be­comes a cen­tre piece for the com­mu­nity in Drogheda where lo­cal mu­sic and art can be cel­e­brated.

With just two days plan­ning, over 20 mu­si­cians en­ter­tained a crowd of hun­dreds dur­ing the three hour event. Mu­si­cians came from Drogheda, Dun­dalk, Dublin, Mon­aghan and Car­low.

It’s great to say that an­other ‘gig’ is planned for Oc­to­ber 7th and lo­cal mu­si­cians are en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate.

I can feel the Fleadh fever al­ready. ANY­BODY re­mem­ber ‘Ku Matuka’ - an African art shop in the Grafton Ar­cade in Dublin.

Drogheda-born, and then 26-year-old Brian McManus, a for­mer of­fi­cer in the Zam­bia Po­lice, couldn’t get Africa out of his blood af­ter he re­turned home.

As a Lieu­tenant in the Cav­alry Corps, he saw ser­vice in the Congo. But Brian re­tired from mil­i­tary ser­vice at the age of 23 to join the Zam­bian po­lice force and train a para-mil­i­tary bat­tal­ion. He reached the rank of su­per­in­ten­dent.

In Zam­bia he be­gan tak­ing an in­ter­est in African cul­ture and nearly 50 years ago, the mous­tached, pipe-smok­ing Louth­man opened an African art cen­tre in the Grafton Ar­cade, Dublin called “Ku Matuka” (a mar­ket).

Brian stocked it with wood and ivory carv­ings, paint­ings by Joseph Magambo, Ma­sai bead­work from Kenya, Makonde art from Tan­za­nia, saris, spears and items made from bas­ket, an­i­mal skins and mala­chite.

Is it still open?

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