Poet Ras Takura to host PANAFEST fundraiser
For anyone who has ever had the dream of going to Africa, but is unable to do so for whatever reason, dub poet Ras Takura says he will go on your behalf, particularly to the Pan African Historical Festival (PANAFEST) in Ghana.
The event will unfold from July 26 to August 3, and Takura is hosting a fundraising poetry showcase to make his dream a reality.
“It’s important for me to go to Ghana and even Africa on a whole, it has been a longstanding desire and this will allow me to fulfil that desire,” he told The Gleaner. “From ever since I become conscious of myself, I’ve been hearing that Africa is the home and we learn that the people that were taken from Africa to Jamaica were from West Africa, particularly Ghana, so it’s like a reconnection where I can go and speak to the people.
“No other Jamaican performer is on the festival and the president of Ghana was here about a month ago promoting PANAFEST and even removed the visa requirements from Jamaicans to enter Ghana, so that is a great step, and they did that just for PANAFEST.
“The organisers let me know they could have me on the festival, but I would have to find myself there, so I am putting on this event,” he said.
The showcase takes place tomorrow at 8 p.m. at 6B Skyline Drive in St Andrew, and attendees can make their contribution with a $1,000 admission.
“I hope the Ministry of Culture or anyone can see this as an opportunity to give us some support towards going to PANAFEST,” he said. “People have made promises. We don’t know how much they will be fulfilled, but we know we’re going to arrive in Ghana on the 24th of this month.”
Takura called on his friends and all acts, including DYCR, Blakka Ellis and Steppa, are performing for free. Other performers include Afrocentric, Wise Wurdz, Antonia Valarie, Ras Shaddai, Neto Meeks and Fikre Selassie.
“People should come out and support the growing movement of poetry and dub poetry happening in and around the island,” he said. “Support Ras Takura going to PANAFEST. I am representing everyone who has a desire to go to Africa. We want to get the support from people who have a similar mindset so we can bring that whole energy back to Mama Africa. To the people who want to go to Africa but don’t have the time or money, come and support and I will make that trod on your behalf.”