This year marks 20 years since the passing away of local Seggae singer Joseph Reginald Topize, famously known as Kaya. In this line, the Blue Penny Museum is not only paying tribute to the singer but also promoting an understanding of the Rastafarian culture among the Mauritian community through a unique exhibition taking place until 31st March.
The person may no longer be physically present but his songs and his work outlived him and have become a legacy for the people and future generations. Seggae singer Joseph Reginald Topize passed away during the night of 21st February 1999 but his songs are still known, listened to and played across the country and across generations. ‘Letan Lenfer’, ‘Sime Lalimyer’, ‘Fam dan zil’, just to name a few, are songs that remain very popular in the Mauritian music sky.
In a bid to honour the memory and work of the music artist who in fact revolutionised the world of music in Mauritius, the Blue Penny Museum at the Caudan Waterfront has set up a unique exhibition. Taking place until 31st March, the exhibition offers the public the opportunity to discover more about the life of the singer through paintings, photography, clothing and shoes, the singer’s guitar, texts and lyrics he composed, documents, films, among others.
“It was urgent to pay tribute to one of the greatest singers that Mauritius has known since Ti Frer. It was also a moral obligation for the museum to offer this exhibition to the public in order to show what this person has done for his people and his contemporaries. It seems obvious, today, that Kaya embodies perfectly an era, that of the 80s-90s, when the reggae, after having made its entry in the world of the music with the tubes of Bob Marley and The Wailers, managed to influence people. Kaya did not just pick up from these hits; he created his own music pieces and oeuvres,” stated Emmanuel Richon, curator of the Blue Penny Museum.
It was urgent to pay tribute to one of the greatest singers that Mauritius has known since Ti Frer."
The public will also have the opportunity to see the documentary entitled ‘Zafair Kaya’ by Michel Vuillermet, which will be played during the whole exhibition time. “Kaya is victim of a victim ideology. This exhibition comes to give a positive spotlight on his life,” underlined Emmanuel Richon. The exhibition also aims to promote a better understanding of the Rastafarian culture and community, which has and is still part of the Republic of Mauritius. “The role of the museum is also to provide a better understanding of the Rastafarian culture from which Kaya came, and its relationship to the world and to modern society,” uttered the curator.
Note that the exhibition will be held until 31st March, from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 16:30. The museum is closed on Sunday and public holidays.