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Rex, who recorded a musical tribute to thank Guy

Helping Rex hit the high notes

Thanks to Guy’s Cancer, musician Rex was able to achieve a lifelong ambition – and record a special thank you of his own.

Jazz musician Rex was overjoyed to score a record deal aged 81, and he credits Guy’s Cancer with helping him do so.

Born in Ghana, Rex’s love affair with music started when he was just 14, and by the 1950s the talented musician was playing with one of West Africa’s most famous stars – King of Highlife, E. T. Mensah – as part of his legendary Tempos Band.

Almost 70 years after he picked up his first instrument, Rex Ofusu Martey recorded his very first solo album, African Touring Holiday, and achieved his dream of leaving a musical legacy for people to remember him by.

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer over 20 years ago, Rex credits the dedicated Guy’s Cancer team with “keeping me going” – and his album includes a very special tribute to those who have looked after him over the years.


I would like to thank Guy’s Cancer for all the things they’ve done for me, the kindness they have shown to me. Without their care, I wouldn't have been able to make this album.

Rex, who recorded a musical tribute to thank Guy's Cancer for their dedicated care
Black and white picture of Rex playing the saxophone

Rex’s passion for music was first inspired by a film featuring famed musician Benny Goodman; at school the following Monday, Rex begged his music teacher for the chance to learn the clarinet.

His determination paid off and ultimately led to Rex joining the Tempos Band as a saxophonist, touring West Africa with the Highlife musicians at the height of their success.

In 1966, Rex moved to London – a place which initially “felt like Mars” – and met his wife of 50 years, Steph. Settling in Sydenham, Rex continued to perform in pubs and clubs in South London, but it was only when he retired that he felt able to revive his music career – so his cancer diagnosis came as a shock.

“It was so frightening,” Rex recalls. “I thought, ‘Oh, wait a minute, this is the end.”

When I met Louisa and her team, she made me feel at ease about the cancer. She took the scare out of it. That's why I wrote the song for her.

Rex at Guys Cancer Centre with his saxophone sat with Louisa Fleure, Lead Uro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Fortunately, meeting the team at Guy’s Cancer was a turning point – particularly Louisa Fleure, Lead Uro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist. “Luckily, I got Louisa as my nurse,” says Rex. “She made it so calm, she made it so simple. It’s not the end of the world, you know, something can be done about this.”

Inspired by Louisa’s outstanding care and kindness, Rex decided to write a song for her. My Louisa features on his album, and is available to download here, with proceeds going to Guy’s Cancer Charity.

In 2020, the jazz musician also released a single, Thank You NHS, in tribute to staff working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve decided to donate the proceeds from my music to see if we can get some money to help the cancer team,” Rex says. “I want to raise money for Guy’s Cancer so other people can get the same care that has kept me going.”

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