Muta coming to wow Mzansi

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Mutaburuka, the Jamaican-born internationally renowned poet, is heading for Mzansi next week.

Muta, as he is popularly known, will form part of the line-up at the Urban Voices International Poetry Festival.

He is scheduled to perform at the Bassline in Johannesburg on October 17, Bat Centre in Durban (October 18) and the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town (October 19).

Distinguished poet Don Mattera, Jamaican-born Adrian Mitchell and American dub poet Rhodessa Jones are also scheduled to perform.

This is Mutaburuka's third visit to the country since 1994. He is particularly known for his famous Dis Poem.

Born in Rae Town, Kingston, on December 26 1952 he trained in electronics but left his first job after six months to take up employment at the Jamaica Telephone Company.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was an upsurge of black awareness in Jamaica in the wake of a similar phenomenon in the US. Muta, in his late teens then, was drawn into the movement.

He saw himself as a young revolutionary. But when he deepened his investigation of Rastafarianism, which he had once regarded as essentially passive, he found its thinking more radical than that of the non-Rastafarian group with which he had associated.

While still working at the phone company he started growing dreadlocks, altered his diet and declared himself a Rastafarian.