Local DJ Celebrated with East Village Mural

Makeda "Dread" Cheatom explains "In Her Own Words"

NBC Universal, Inc.

Radio DJ Makeda “Dread” Cheatom has been a local celebrity for over 25 years and now she is being honored with a larger than life mural in East Village.

“It's an honor to be represented in my community on a mural,” Makeda said.

The mural is located at 151 17th St. in East Village. It is full of color and other mementos that represent Makeda’s long history in San Diego.

Photo of Makeda Dread Mural
Makeda "Dread" Cheatom has dedicated her life to the community through music, dance, and the arts.

Painted by San Diego artist Taylor Gallegos, the mural is one of two in San Diego funded by beer brand Estrella Jaliscos’s Artist in Residence program.

Gallegos says that he wanted to capture her spirit.

“There's just this like community element (of) unity," Gallegos said. “Talking about the troubles of the world these days and she's saying like the way to solve these things is unity.”

Makeda has been a staple in the community.

Her radio show “Reggae Makossa” has been on the radio for decades. The show started on the airwaves at 91X and continues at a new home on 102.5 FM.

She founded the World Beat Cultural Center in Balboa Park, as a place for people to learn about African American culture and history.

 “It's really incredible, because at the World Beat Center everybody is welcome. You can come in and you can enjoy Kwanzaa,” Makeda said. “And you could learn about our culture, which is actually your culture because Africa is the oldest continent. It is a continent and that's what we all come from.”

A second mural funded through Estrella Jalisco's Artist in Residence program can be found at 900 G St., celebrating community leaderJaqueline Alvarez, a holistic healer, and artist.

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