Musician hears of son's death after crashing his car

Sefo Kanuteh, an African musician who regularly performs in Norwich 

Sefo Kanuteh, an African musician who regularly performs in Norwich - Credit: Sefo Kanuteh

A city musician was rocked by the news that his 14-year-old son had died while he was recovering from a car accident himself. 

Sefo Kanuteh, 48, who is known by many for performing African music at events around the city, found out his son Samba had died of malaria back home in Gambia just after Christmas. 

Mr Kanuteh, who lives in Frettenham, discovered the tragic news on the way home from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn.

He had been receiving treatment after his car crashed into a ditch on the A47 near the town, on the day before, at around 6.30am on December 27. 

Sefo Kanuteh pictured with his late son Samba who has died from malaria at the age of 14

Sefo Kanuteh pictured with his late son Samba who has died from malaria at the age of 14 - Credit: Sefo Kanuteh

The artist, who released two albums last year, will be flying to Gambia with another son Julla, 19, on January 3.

His friend Jess King, 31, who met Mr Kanuteh at a Black History Month event, has set up a fundraising page to ease the financial pressure on him at a challenging time following the tragedy and car crash. 

She said: "Sefo is so generous and his energy with songs is really magical. It must be so hard to know what to do in this situation.

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"It must be horrendous as a parent to go through that." 

Sefo Kanuteh is a popular musician in the city who is a highly skilled kora player

Sefo Kanuteh is a popular musician in the city who is a highly skilled kora player - Credit: Sefo Kanuteh

Having moved to Norwich in 2010, Mr Kanuteh's passion for the city has been highlighted through his songs. 

He recently wrote a track called 'Norwich (My City)' with a video available to view on YouTube including shots of the castle and St Andrew's Hall.

Miss King said: "He did not know anyone when he moved to Norwich and he was welcomed into the city with open arms. 

"Norwich is incredible for encouraging musicians to create and perform. Sefo felt the city was very supportive."

Sefo Kanuteh, who moved to Norwich in 2010

Sefo Kanuteh, who moved to Norwich in 2010 - Credit: Sefo Kanuteh

Mr Kanuteh grew up in Foday Kunda on the banks of the River Gambia, in the west African country, and was raised by a family of highly skilled kora and balafon players. He is now passing on those skills to his son Julla. 

The kora is a stringed instrument, similar to a harp, which originates from West Africa. 

The city musician was allowed to tour Norfolk, Suffolk, and other parts of the country in 2021 thanks to funding from the Arts Council.

A link to the fundraising page can be found here