A Nigerian named Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp has been named director of the Africa Centre in London, the cultural space dedicated to the African diaspora in the UK.
Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, who was most recently Chief Executive of London’s leading dance development centre The Place, will take up post at the Southwark venue at the end of May.
Speaking about his new role as director of london Africa centre, Tharp said:
“Africa is on the move. Its status on the world stage as a 21st century continent is increasingly important.
“The Africa Centre has a key role to play in making tangible the cultural richness and creative energy emanating from the African continent, and in sharing the vibrancy of its 54 nations and extensive diaspora, with as many people as possible.”
Tharp takes the helm as the organisation embarks on a major capital project and seeks to re-define itself as the international centre for contemporary African culture, business and innovation.
Prior to landing his new position as director of London’s Africa centre, Tharp had a prestigious career as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and director, including 13 years performing with London Contemporary Dance Theatre. He has also held trustee positions with New Adventures, the Chineke! Foundation and the Royal Opera House Benevolent Fund.
Kwame Kwei-Armah, who became Artistic Director of the nearby Young Vic earlier this year, had this to say about the new director:
“Under the leadership of the rather incredible Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, the Africa Centre will be that and more to a whole new generation of people who wish to be inspired, lead, and ultimately connected to art and ideas in a 21st century way.”