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Word master's special rapport with SA

By unknown | Oct 14, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Jamaican poet and master of the spoken word Mutabaruka, pictured, will perform at the Bassline in Johannesburg on Friday and has promised his local fans new material.

In an interview with Sowetan,the fiery poet said the new material will include contributions from LuckyDube.

Muta, as he is known, revealed that he had worked on an album with the late reggae star before he died.

"I worked with Dube on material contained in my new album, which I have not yet released," Muta said. "I will, off course, play some of the material on my South African tour.

Dube used to come to Jamaica for shows and I worked with him on this material then."

Muta is coming to South Africa for the sixth time since 2004 and will perform with Don Mattera as part of this year's Urban Voices Spoken Word Festival, in which he has been a regular over the years.

His poetry is fierce and courageous, particularly when it comes to dealing with oppression. Whenever he performs he attracts all racial groups to his shows, including those whose racial groups he fingers for racial oppression.

"Racial injustice and racial oppression is bad, irrespective of who you are," he said. "The truth is the truth and many people see this truth in my performances, no matter what their race."

The fact that the poet has been here several times means he has a sizeable following in the country.

"I think many South Africans connect with the message in my poetry because of the history of apartheid. There are also many things South Africans share with Jamaicans - such as crime and poverty."

Mutabaruka is scheduled to perform at the Bassline on Friday, Bat Centre, Durban, two days later, and Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, on October 20.

His tour of South Africa will incorporate workshops that will address the issue of xenophobia.

This will be within the context of the xenophobic attacks in which some South Africans, particularly in informal settlements, attacked African immigrants about four months ago.

Others who will perform during the festival and hold workshops are Adrian Mitchell from the United Kingdom, Jean Binta Breeze from Jamaica, theatre director Rhodessa Jones from the US and several emerging and established poets from across the country.

All the overseas poets will perform in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, while Mattera will perform in Cape Town and Joburg.


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