Freddie Mercury house in Zanzibar

Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar. It is a strictly religious country so is not as proud of him as you might expect. They disapproved of his sexuality. Homosexuality, like prostitution, is illegal. However, Zanzibar is a destination for sex tourism for both sexes. Many of the “beach boys” are not from Zanzibar, but this trade is organised by gangs. The same can be found in other African nations. Freddie was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town on Zanzibar on 5 September 1946. His father Bomi (1908–2003) was a cashier with the British Colonial Service and moved from the Parsi community of western India to Zanzibar with his work. The house is a modest coral stone house located at 17, Kizingo Street. The house appears to be open to the public (see local video). There is a memorial near the Old Fort in Stone Town. A larger than life bronze statue.

In 1954, at the age of 8, he was sent to England to go to school. Ten years later, his family fled Zanzibar to escape the violence of the revolution against the Sultan and his Arab government. Freddie sold Edwardian-style clothes in the Kensington market while working his way through several bands. He was always the arty one and designed the band’s logo by mixing the zodiac signs of the four band members.

When in the band Queen, I was a producer at their manager, Jim Beach’s production company, Fugitive, which was based in the officers on the mezzanine level of their equipment warehouse behind Capital Radio in NW1. From there we made pop videos and the film, The Krays. See my page Stuart St Paul in about us. If you find me on a cruise, come and chat.

Freddie died in 1991 at the age of 45, the day after he announced that he had the illness.