History Of Wadadli Experience
Wadadli Experience Band was founded by Bernard Charles( Nekuma) from Green Bay in 1972 after returning from St.Croix where he lived for years.
The first Band house was in a small community called Hatton Estate, located at the bottom of Gray's Farm and Green Bay communities, in Antigua. The following names were the original members of the group when it started
Original Band Members
- Nekuma Trumpet & Vocals
- Demanie Drums
- Kwesi Flute Sax And Vocals
- Makedah First Trumpet
- Kumasi Lead Guitar & Vocals
- Peter Puck Percussion
- Veron Lee Rhythm Guitar
- Willie Whawa Trombone And Vocals
- Calvin (Aka: Sugar) Bass Guitar
How The Band Got Its Name
The band did not have an official name when it started, and the name emerged later in an enlightening discussion between Nekuma, Kwesi, Kumasi, and Ras Bagalaga, a triangular steel player in Harmonites Steel orchestra and a beloved member of the Rastafari community in Antigua.
Bagalaga had the opportunity to meet with Desmond Nicholson, a local historian with indebt knowledge of the Islands Pre-history, and that's when he first learned that the original name of Antigua before Colombus was Wa-lad-li.
Nekuma wanted to call the band Antigua Express, but after reasoning with Bagalaga one afternoon outside the band house, he suggested calling the band "Wadadli Experience," and that became the official name of the group.
When he explained the reason for using Wadadli instead of Waladli, Bagalaga noted that "Lad" is a word used mostly by people from England when referring to a boy, and Rastaman doesn't see themselves as boys, so it was Ras Bagalaga who coined the word WA-DAD-LI and inspired the group before departing this life. May his soul rest in peace. You can find a history of Ras Bagalaga life and legacy.