The famous rapper Jay-Z has sparked controversy recently over a T-shirt he was wearing in which , a historic Kenyan mosque was represented. The use of the mosque’s image greatly displeased officials of the place of worship and Kenyans.
Indeed, BBC reports that the American designer who made the T-shirt, Zeddie Loky has apologized for using the photo of a historic mosque on Lamu Island, Kenya, on a T-shirt worn by celebrity Jay-Z and captured in footage as he left a restaurant in Santa Monica, California on March 30.
The officials of the Riyadha mosque who expressed their dissatisfaction in a letter adressed to the designer of the T-shirt saying that they were angry because this T-shirt could be worn in “sacrilegious places” such as bars. “We accepted the apology letter because it was made in good faith,” said the mosque official.
Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the 19th century mosque is a prominent tourist attraction. It has manuscripts dating back to 1837 and is one of the oldest operating Islamic educational institutions in East Africa.
Of the 130 manuscripts in the Riyadha Mosque, 106 have been fully digitized according to EAP standards. The remaining 24 were in too poor condition to be opened and photographed with a tripod, and were scanned using a smaller portable camera. A total of 19,735 images were taken.
Local staff at the Riyadh Mosque have been very well trained in the use of photographic equipment and processing software and have agreed to train other staff.
Digital copies of the manuscripts have been deposited at the Riyadha Mosque in Lamu, Kenya; the library at the Lamu branch of the Kenya Museum; the National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi; and the British Library.