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Makeda (Splifington) Benjamin was the lead trumpet player in Wadadli Experience band horn section. It's not quite clear when or how Makeda got involved with music, but it's safe to assume he learned how to play the trumpet when he was an inturn at The Antigua Boys Training School under the supervison of Mr. Bowers, a well known trumpeter on the island at the time.

Wadadli Lead Trumpeter
Wadadli Experience

Makeda's contribution to the band made a significant and noticeable difference; It was a missing component that was needed to complete the structure and perfect the sound. Makeda is a soft-spoken mild-mannered and artistic man whose talents and ability exceeds music.

He loves reading the bible and quoting scriptures, and would sometimes speak in parables to the group. Makeda had skills and experience in agriculture, wood carving, drawing, and handy crafts. He had an ever increasing collection of his creative works that he sold mostly to tourist.

With the addition of Makeda to the band, the horn section finally had a lead trumpeter, and they sounded much better, but they were very loud, you could hardly hear the flute in the mix before Kwesi got a Saxophone.

Although Makeda was a more experienced and competent trumpeter than Nekuma, It wasn't all smooth sailing on the journey; he had to earn his salt, especially with Kumasi who is very meticulous, you can't get away with an error.

It's not something he took seriously or had any expressed passion for, but Makeda was a composer and songwriter. He wrote a song called "Herb man," which he would occasionally sing with the band, It was the first original song played by Wadadli Experience.

At some point in the eighties, the band decided to take part in the Combo and Brass band competition during the Carnival celebrations, and Kumasi arranged the song Herb man as their competition piece and the band got third place for their efforts. Makeda earned his stripe and became an integral part of the group.