New Malik tribute painted in Small Heath after previous piece destroyed in Digbeth
A new street art tribute to Small Heath icon Malik was spotted on a wall on the border of Bordesley Green and Small Heath by a Birmingham resident this week.
This latest tribute to Malik comes after the previous celebration – a large-scale monochrome poster by street artist Foka Wolf – was destroyed last December in Digbeth.
A picture was shared today (1 February) by Birmingham photographer Wali Taylor on a Small Heath community Facebook page which showed a graffiti tribute to a local man from Small Heath who has become a mascot and icon for the area.
Malik is a true Birmingham icon and his name is well known throughout the Midlands. Affectionately known as “mad” Malik by Brummies he has been a part of the Small Heath and Bordesley Green landscapes for generations.
Birmingham street artist and activist Foka Wolf produced a large scale poster last year which was pasted up in Digbeth. The public response to the tribute was very positive and people shared their memories of Malik on social media after I Am Birmingham published the story.
Sadly, the celebratory poster suffered serious damage in December and local people were left shocked and dismayed.
However, after the sad loss of the original tribute comes another piece saluting Malik.
The new tribute is by graffiti writer Korsa from Birmingham and he incorporates Malik’s signature paraphernalia such as headphones and a cassette deck. The name ‘Malik’ has a crown painted above it, and musical notes float over the tribute.
The graffiti tribute to Malik is sprayed onto a wall of a building which has been sealed and boarded up for almost a decade on the corner of Green Lane and Victoria Street.
The section where the latest tribute is painted is the exact location where Malik danced and engaged with the local community over several decades.
Since the 1980’s Malik has been dancing in the streets, in all weathers, and waving to pedestrians and motorists as he jives and smiles to locals.
In the early days he would often be spotted with a Walkman or a ghetto blaster and dancing to some Bollywood tunes, and if anyone mentioned the name of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan it would absolutely perk up Malik.
Malik’s sheer passion for dance and life, and his joyous eccentricity, have warmed people’s hearts over the decades, and people will often pause for a moment from the daily hustle and bustle when they see Malik. His exuberance and zest for life have touched people from all walks of life, and his infectious and charismatic personality transcends barriers of race, faith and age.