The African Cultural House "Miriam Makeba"

Inauguration of the Makeba Ib Thiel and Friends Music Club and Laboratory

By: Claudia Cespedes, Lions Club Napoli Monte Nuovo


The Lions Club is the world's largest volunteering organization with more than 1.4 million members in over 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. The mission is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs. In Italy, there are over 1,000 clubs.


The Lions Club Napoli Monte Nuovo, which was founded in 2008, is the only club in the Naples district representing members from various countries. Since the foundation, membership has reached over 55, and more than 15,000 euro have been raised to support organizations, such as Villa Della Rosa in Lago Patria and the Myriam Makeba Cultural Center, also known as African House, in Castel Volturno.


The African House was founded in 2011 by Mary Osei in memory of the great South African singer, Myriam Makeba. Ms. Makeba was a human rights activist who promoted peace and open dialogue. In 2008, six young people from Ghana were brutally shot down in Lago Patria. The reason for this brutal murder is still unknown. Due to her passion for human rights, Roberto Saviano, the author of the world renown book, Gomorrah, invited Ms. Makeba to perform at a concert in memory of these six individuals. Ms. Makeba performed on November 09, 2008. She suffered a heart attack while performing and subsequently passed away. The Myriam Makeba Center was founded as a reminder of the importance of peace and open dialogue, with the hope of making this world a little better by understanding and working with one other.


The African House welcomes its new addition, the Makeba Ib Thiel and Friends Music Club and Laboratory. The Music Club has been created in honor of Ib Thiel, music fanatic and former president of the Lions Club Monte Nuovo. Mr. Thiel was introduced to Ms. Osei by the leader of the Casa Bianco Nero project. Mr. Thiel was so inspired by Ms. Osei’s story that the Lions Club Monte Nuovo members decided to include the African House as one of their projects. It was the first time the African House received outside support so Ms. Osei was very grateful. After Mr. Thiel passed away in 2015, Ms. Osei decided to dedicate the Music Club to him, as a way to promote the open dialogue and peace through music. Music is an international language that is enjoyed by all regardless of their differences.


On Wednesday October 19, 2016, Governor of the Lions Club Naples district Renato Rivieccio, Mayor of Castel Volturno, Dimitri Russo, in addition to representatives from Naples area Lions Club associations, gathered for the inauguration of the Music Club, and to honor Ms. Makeba and Mr. Thiel.


Mrs. Shelia Bryant, a member of the Lions Club Monte Nuovo, stated, “becoming an active member of the Lions Club is important because we all feel that blessings that we have received in our lives should be shared with others who are less fortunate. The ability to contribute in any small way to make this world a better, more loving and peaceful place is a goal as well as a reward.”


If you are interested in learning more or becoming a member of the Lions Club Monte Nuovo, check out our website at or send an email to


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