Ras Takura eyes IRAWMA win


Ras Takura eyes IRAWMA win

Observer writer

Friday, February 28, 2020

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Dub poet Ras Takura is confident he will win the Best Poet category at the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), slated for March 29 at AC Hotel by Marriott in Kingston.

“I am feeling very much confident. Once I see myself get nominated in anything, I consider myself a winner. No other nominee in the category has put in as much work as I have; nor have my style,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

This is Ras Takura's second nomination in the category. The first was in 2011 which he did not win.

Other nominees for the Mutabaruka Award for Best Poet/Spoken Word Entertainer are Yasus Afari, Malachi Smith, Richie Innocent, and Tehut 9.

Ras Takura, who hails from St Ann, began writing and performing poems in 2003. He recalls the first time he appeared on Reggae Sumfest as his breakthrough.

“I remember performing on Sumfest and how well the crowd received me. The feeling you get on stage is indescribable. From then, things moved forward,” he said.

In 2015, he released a 17-track album titled Food War, co-produced by Jamm's Studio and himself. From that project came Dear Dad, Her Majesty's Prison, HIV, I And I Generation and GMO Seed Exchange.

With the rise of poetry events in Jamaica such as Yasus Afari's Poetry Fest and Jamaica Poetry Festival and his Dis Poem Wordz and Agro Festival, Ras Takura is pleased with the growing appreciation for spoken-word entertainment.

“It is not where I want it to be, but it is getting there soon. People have begun to recognise poetry as an art form,” he said.

The 10th Dis Poem Wordz and Agro Festival takes place on April 25 at Trevor Anthony Park in Portland. It will pay homage to American Civil Rights activist Malcolm X.

“Malcolm X was a pan-Africanist and a father figure, so we are using his event to celebrate his life and work. If you go anywhere in Jamaica, only his picture or Martin Luther King Jr's picture you see painted on the walls. So, I man sure Jamaicans will enjoy this event,” he said.

The line-up is still being finalised.

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