Dub poet raising funds for overseas festival

March 13, 2023
Charlie Bobus
Charlie Bobus

Dub poet, actor and speaker Charlie Bobus has his sights set on performing at Rastafest Reggae Festival in Canada this summer, but financial constraints have pushed him to make efforts to raise funds for the trip.

Speaking to THE STAR, he said that though the event is not until July, he is doing all he can to ensure that he makes the trip.

"I planned to start raising the funds early this year, because I still need to send out sponsorship letters and things like that so I would be adequately prepared," he shared.

He said that dub poetry is not a lucrative career, but his love for it and the ability to spread a positive message in a creative way keeps him going.

"Truthfully, this is a job based more so on passion. Dub poetry does not make a lot of money, but to supplement [this] we would have to host workshops and sell products, and so on. So I do a lot of workshops, mostly motivational," he said.

Charlie Bobus, whose given name is Nicardo Murray, has been doing dub poetry professionally since 2005. Before this, he was a deejay and budding dancehall artiste.

"I did a poetry performance at Jamaica Vibes and then I got contacted to do another show, and then another show; so I would say poetry chose me. To be honest, dancehall was leading me down a different path, and dub poetry allowed me to bring across a positive message in a different way. I got an interview sometime after that and I had to make a decision on if I was going to present myself as a poet or artiste and I choose [poetry]," he said.

Since then, Charlie Bobus has worked on several projects and programmes and been featured on many compilations, participated in community-based workshops, and been heard on several radio stations globally. This year, he is working on his second album, which is scheduled to be released before the summer.

Rastafest Reggae Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The showcase features live performances, stage plays, spoken word, drumming, dance, farmers market, ital (vegan) food demonstrations, sidewalk sales, readings, lectures and presentations on the Rastafari/reggae cultures. A staging is to be held in Jamaica from May 3-8, before returning to Canada for July 21.

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