Wed | Apr 24, 2019

Lifetime Achievement Award for Mutabaruka - Set to be honoured at African Heritage Expo in NY

Published:Sunday | February 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle

Dub poet, musician, educator, cultural historian, and radio personality, Mutabaruka has been singled out for international recognition at the upcoming Black Royalty African Heritage Expo, in the United States. Muta will be awarded a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at the Expo slated for Saturday, March 10, at Fatima Hall, 20171 Baldwin Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.

Although the event will take place after Black History celebrations wrap up, event coordinator Napoleon White of Tommy Promotions said celebrating the works of and honouring great African American achievements have no timelines. He described Mutabaruka as a Jamaican national treasure and said people within the Diaspora should celebrate his work every chance they got.

"Mutabaruka is a Jamaican national treasure and an important voice of the underprivileged. His work must be honoured and celebrated here in the African-Caribbean Diaspora anytime, not just during Black History Month," he said. "Muta has made his presence felt in the cultural arena both as an artiste and as an uncensored, outspoken radio host. In 2016, he received Jamaica's sixth-highest honour - the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, for years of dedicated service in the entertainment and arts fields. He is an international statesman. His positive contribution and uplifting messages have made him an outstanding African-Jamaican citizen, which is part of the reason we are honouring him at this time."


Embracing roots


A surprised Muta told The Sunday Gleaner that embracing his African roots was something that came naturally to him and pointed out that he was always happy when people recognised his work.

"What I do is me. What comes after is up to the people. I guess my work over the years, embracing my Afro-centricity, made me the man worthy of receiving this award in their eyes. It feels good that my contribution over the years is being recognised in this way," he said. He added, "When it comes to educating people about the African culture, I think I have been consistent, and I guess dem see it, too. We get up every day and do it for the culture to wake up the masses and those who have been sleeping on the continent of Africa."

The Black Royalty African Heritage Expo, now in its fifth year, is one of Waterbury's biggest cultural expos. According to organisers, each year, the expo delivers an enjoyable experience of the highest quality to patrons from across the USA as African Heritage is recognised and celebrated.

In addition to being honoured, Muta will grace the stage at the event to do what he does best: spread positive messages. Entertainer Owen 'Juggler' Knibbs is expected to join Muta on stage to share in the cultural happenings. Also scheduled to perform are singer Qshandeya, Dari Major, and Da Real Storm.

The event will be hosted by Deonne Adessa, Lisa L, and TV personality and artiste Chyna.