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Interview: Ras Takura

Interview: Ras Takura

Interview: Ras Takura

By on - Photos by Gail Zucker - 3 comments

"It's a food war mi a fight and mi must win"


Ras Takura is a conscious and humble Rasta man. He is a member of a trio called the Royal African Soldiers, a group of Dub Poets, formed with Neto Meeks, and Ginsu.
Ras Takura is a Reggae Dub Poet, recording and performing artist that addresses his African heritage and Jamaican culture through lyrical expression. He is also a farmer and a painter and talks about his farming and food through his poetry.

Ras Takura

Hi, Ras Takura. What exactly is Royal African Soldiers?

Yes, sistren, give thanks for inviting I and I. Rasta live! RAS is a group of Jamaican dub poets of which I and I is one of the founding members, we work together occasionally, but for the most part I perform solo. RAS is also the revolutionary side of Rasta as the term RAS is the African conscious mind awakening of the African people across the world, letting them know that they must see themselves as Royal African Soldiers in this time, like Marcus Garvey’s time with the UNIA. It’s the new uprising in this time, like Peter Tosh or Bob Marley’s time, so we now use dub poetry to awaken that African awareness amongst I and I people.

Royal African Soldiers is the revolutionary side of Rasta as the term RAS is the African conscious mind awakening of the African people across the world

That’s a great media expression! Your tune “Food War” is getting a lot of airplay all over the world, what was your inspiration?

“Food War” is a poem that came about one day I was on my little farm in my home town community of Concard District neighboring Nine Mile, the home of Bob. I was there on the farm and I just plant some pumpkin seeds, a thing I do on a regular basis, just plant some seeds, but this time I plant and I just leave and went to Kingston and when I returned in a couple of weeks, I see a lot of pumpkins all over the ground. I get my machete and start to clear the weeds and as I weed the thought start to come that it is a food war Mi a fight and Mi must a food war Mi a fight..thats why Mi plant di pumpkin and mi just leave and get a notebook and start to write the poem and I just sit and write most of it on that day and then a next few days I complete it.

That’s a great story!

Ras TakuraYes, it is! So, the recording was done at Super Matic Studio in Kingston..when I went in the studio and the engineer Daniel Brown say..Takura, listen this riddim..and I went in the box and just voice it and that was it.

I’ve heard you say Mutabaruka is your did this come about..and has your lyrics and content of your material been influenced by him?

My first introduction to poetry was hearing Muta’s “Sit down pon di wall a watch him a watch mi”…then as the time progresses, I start to listen to his cutting edge radio show of which I become a student of, up to this time. When I used to listen to Muta from back in the days there was a space in my life that was void..and Muta just filled that of a father figure, because I never knew my real father until I was 20 and Muta adopt that space in my mind. One of my poems which is coming on the “Food War” album..”Dear Dad”..will reflect that..and yes, the content of my lyrics in influenced by him on most parts.

Very touching!
You also address other relevant topics..please give your readers an insight as your passion and concerns are and what issues you are militant about.

Well, what I am about..the present single that I am promoting from my upcoming “Food War” album..I and I generation will make the change..meaning that most of I and I people across the world wherever in the diaspora..that we tend to be at the bottom of the social and economic ladder and I am saying that this time, have to make that change as the King Selassie I seh… if you can’t do it in your lifetime you won’t do I and I people have to start educate and re-educate themselves about the African consciousness that Marcus Garvey talk about and what Malcolm X stands for..liberation of the African mind set to help our people across the world..look at one seems to care for the life and progress of the Haitian people and we have to organize ways and means to strengthen our brothers and sisters wherever they are in this generation..and this lifetime.

People across the world wherever in the Diaspora tend to be at the bottom of the social and economic ladder and I am saying that we have to make that change

You talk about food security..tell your readers what your training is in that field.

My training in that field..hear what, Takura was born on a farm and grew up in a farming community..York district in St. Ann, Jamaica with my grandmother and father..who taught me from an early age the practices of natural, organic agriculture, then in my quest for knowledge I was reading Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, the Conquering Lion teachings on agriculture. quote “a people ad a country that became self sufficient through the advancement of Agriculture..can look forward to the future with confidence” growing up in a community that most people do farming and it's been looked down at..and hearing the King saying this..I start to think he was talking directly to me, so at this time I was going to Marcus Garvey Technical High School in the parish of St Ann, and after reading the King’s speech, I leave and went to Hanover Knockalva agricultural school from 1996-99, three years training in agriculture and then went on to the college of agriculture to do more training in general agriculture ..the readings can be aware and reflect my new product line..Rasta Vibes Sweet Watah, 100% cane juice with ginger.

I’ve tasted your cane juice and it is really delicious!
Is there anything else you would like the readers to know about you?

Well, I give thanks for the the vibes to reason with you so the people can look out for Takura’s first album coming out soon and also my book of Poetry..we are now promoting my singles and doing shows. I will appear on the biggest Panafrican festival in the Carribbean, Fiwi Singting, in Febuary 2012.

I am organizing Dis Poem Word Festival at the College of Agriculture Science and Education, Case, Portland, Jamaica It is my creationand is an event to mark world Poetry day in on the island. This years staging is on Sunday April 29, 2012.

Ras Takura…it was a great pleasure speaking with you will be watching out for you new album and upcoming events!


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Read comments (3)

Posted by stush on 01.30.2012
Big up yo self Takura, from knockalva days you a show signs of what yo believe in an stick wid it all di way through. Be true to yourself and stand by what you believe, blessup.

Posted by moqapi selassie on 02.14.2012
Yes Takura... Keep up di good works. RAS stay blessed!!!

Posted by Pounall on 04.16.2012
Almost is a way of life for most people. They almost did this, they almost had that, they almost, almost in everything they do. The winners do it until the job gets done! You are a winner RAS TAKURA and I am proud, nuff respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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