Farming words of change - Poet works to unite art and agriculture
What do poetry and farming have in common? A lot, according to Takura, a rising spoken-word artist who will be hosting the second annual 'Dis Poem Word Festival' in Portland on April 29.
Takura, well known in dub poetry circles, particularly for his poem 'Food War', wants to combine his passion for the spoken word with his desire to see Jamaica increase its agricultural productivity.
"To consider the importance of agriculture to a society is like considering the importance of life to a man's body," said Takura.
"It is only through agriculture that a nation can become truly self-sufficient. We have to do whatever we can to make this happen."
Fondness for poetry
The poetry festival is also being marketed as an 'old farmer link-up'. Takura, a former student of Portland's College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE) wants farmers, even those with no particular fondness for poetry to turn out at the event.
"It will be good for people with similar interests to unite in this way. We will share experiences from a poetic and farming standpoint," said Takura who is himself a farmer with a line of cane juice about to hit the market.
He first put on the festival in 2008, and it has grown each year. This year, performers will include the likes of Mutabaruka, Amina Blackwood Meeks, Yasus Afari, Dr Michael Abrahams and the band Raging Fyah. The event will be held on the CASE campus.
"The aim is to make this into a yearly event that people look forward to and which we can use to educate each other about the power of words and the importance of agriculture all at the same time," said Takura.