Ras Takuru keeps Wordz

Ras Takuru keeps Wordz

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, December 03, 2020

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RAS Takuru, conceptualiser of the recently concluded Dis Poem Wordz & Agro Festival, is hailing it as a success and is already making plans for next year's staging.

“In regards to going virtual with the 11th staging of the festival, the answer would be: 'Yes'... Nothing can stop something you really want to do. You just have to learn new ways and move with the time and work with the opportunity that the disaster [COVID-19] created,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“The feedback our team is getting is tremendous. We are happy and overwhelmed with the outpour of love we received from our supporters across the globe,” he continued.

The 10-year-old festival was held on November 22. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the occasion was staged virtually. It was also merged with the third Malcolm Sol Food & Music Festival in Nebraska and saw a wide range of acts.

Despite some technically glitches, Ras Takuru said the event had 3,500 live viewers and 250 on YouTube, which surpassed the attendance numbers at the physical show.

“We were able to connect Ghana, Jamaica, and USA in a significant way that will be remembered by the poets and poetry lovers in times to come. We had memorable presentations with lots of fire emoji when our various presenters hit the stage. Blakk Rasta from Ghana made an impression that have everyone commenting about his artistry and showmanship appearing on stage with his full band and powerful message. All the performers did extremely well in their short set,” he said.

Other acts included Steppa, DYCR, Sheldon Shepherd of Nomadz, Sabreen Jolly, Meeka Noyota, Mutabaruka, Tehut 9, Blaq Ice, and Dr Paul Ivey. Natalio Weathly, minister of culture/agriculture (BVI), was a no-show due to technical challenges.

The organiser believes the festival is living up to expectations as providing an outlet for poets and artistes.

“We have presented almost every published Jamaican poet on our stage over the last 10 years and created a platform for poets across the world. It was very important for us to stage this show as a symbol that poets and artistes, regardless of the climate, can have an means of expressing themselves when it seems like it cannot be done.

Ras Takura, who hails from St Ann, began writing and performing poems in 2003. In 2015, he released a 17-track album titled Food War, which he co-produced with Jamm's Studio. From that project came Dear Dad, Her Majesty's Prison, HIV, I And I Generation, and GMO Seed Exchange.

He is the 2020 winner of the Mutabaruka Award for Best Poet/Spoken Word Entertainer in the International Reggae And World Music Awards (IRAWMA).


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