Talk to Yasus Afari

Urban Voices, the popular annual poetry and rap musical festival that has become an integral part of South Africa's music calendar , has done it again.

Urban Voices, the popular annual poetry and rap musical festival that has become an integral part of South Africa's music calendar , has done it again.

This time festival organisers have brought to the country one of Jamaica's most respected Rastafarians.

He is scholar, poet, philosopher, author and educator Yasus Afari.

The Urban Voices Festival, which has been running successfully since 2000, connects African artists with their counterparts around the world.

Afari's visit is part of Urban Voices' Celebration of Africa Month, which takes place this month.

The festival will introduce Afari to the South African spoken word market for the first time. On previous occasions the organisers brought Mutabaruka, another popular Jamaican poet to South Africa.

Though he is new to South African, Afari is widely known elsewhere. According to the organisers, he is in the same league as Mutabaruka, Linton Kwesi Johnson and other artists who have graced our shores.

Afari is someone you just have to go and listen to.

Attending either a workshop or a performance of this intellectual level will leave you refreshed, informed enlightened and entertained.

Urban Voices will host the first performance this Friday in Johannesburg.

Urban Voices executive director Roshnie Moonsammy says: "With this visit Urban Voices remains a leading voice for linking Africans in the continent and the diaspora in a meeting of minds and souls, aimed at learning from one another."

Afari's schedule of workshops and performances in South Africa are:

l Friday, May 7, Market Theatre Lab. Entry a minimum of R60.

l A workshop and performance by Afari will be hosted on Saturday at the Luthuli Museum, Groutville, North Coast, KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal. The workshop will start at 10am.

l From 2pm onwards, there is a discussion and reasoning session hosted by Kush Kush productions at KwaDukuza Lodge, Hawkridge, Cranbrook Road, North Coast, KwaDukuza. Entrance to this session is free.

l On Friday, May 14 from 9pm you can enjoy Afari in Concert with Azania at the All Nations Club, 281 Victoria Road, Salt River, Cape Town. Entrance is R50.

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