Elder poet honoured at dub party
Veggie-Meals-on-Wheels called the 'no bone zone' was a house of honour recently, as dub poetry icon Oku Onuora became the special honouree at a birthday celebration, dub showcase, and album launch hosted by Jawara Ellis.
The family-oriented affair at the popular open air venue in Regal Plaza, aka Meskel Square, near Cross Roads, got off to smashing start with Jawara's talented 10-year-old daughter Rejalla holding duty as DJ/host. DJ Rejalla displayed masterful control and competency as she rapped confidently with the audience and shared her own choices of songs from popular roots reggae artistes, while mixing in tracks from her dad's newly released album IRoots.
Rising motivational speaker and poet Kevaughn Ellis gave the first performance for the night. Touching on societal issues and challenges facing inner-city youth, he delivered hard-hitting poems that were well received. Up next was poet Meeka Nyota, whose fiery delivery took jabs at the political system and challenged the media portrayal of black and poor people.
The energy went higher with the introduction of honouree and guest performer Oku Onuora. Jawara Ellis spoke shortly on the influence and impact that Oku Onuora's work has made on him, on the country and on the literary world in general before unveiling a large gold framed citation of honour. The citation was read to thunderous applause before being presented to the elder poet.
After thanking the host and reflecting on how inspired he was by the works of the 'young warriors and lionesses' who continue to ''fuel his fire", Oku performed some of his timeless hit including I Ah Tell and Reflection in Red.
A brief but exciting set by the birthday boy then led way to high energy and riveting performance from rapper Kapitan 3d, followed by equally engaging lyrical display from Kash Kapri. The night's final performance came from international reggae roots singer Micah Shemaiah. It was a special pre-tour appearance for Shemaiah, who departed two days later for Austria, and he had the crowd rocking and hanging on to every word from his hits. Guest selector WaveEmpress closed out the night with dancing music from across several genres.