Mutabaruka, a dub poet, musician, educator, cultural historian, and radio personality, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Black Royalty African Heritage Expo on March 10, 2018, in Waterbury, Connecticut.
According to Napoleon White, the event coordinator at Tommy Promotions, the event is designed to celebrate the works and achievements of great African Americans. While it will take place after the end of Black History Month, White noted that these achievements have no timelines. He went on to describe Mutabaruka as a Jamaican national treasure and “an important voice of the underprivileged” and said that his work should be celebrated in the African-Caribbean Diaspora all the time and not only during Black History Month.
In 2016, Mutabaruka received the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, Jamaica’s sixth-highest honor, for his years of service in the arts and entertainment fields. White described him as an international statesman who has made positive and uplifting contributions. In speaking with the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, Mutabaruka said he was surprised by the honor and that embracing his African roots just came naturally to him. He also said it made him happy when people recognized his work.
“What I do is me. What comes after is up to the people. I guess my work over the years, embracing my Afro-centricity, made me the man worthy of receiving this award in their eyes. It feels good that my contribution over the years is being recognized in this way,” he said.
Mutabaruka believes he has been consistent in educating people about African culture. In addition to receiving his award, Mutabaruka will also take the stage to spread his positive messages. Other entertainers scheduled to perform include Owen ‘Juggler’ Knibbs, singer Qshandeya, Dari Major, and Da Real Storm.
This is the Black Royalty African Heritage Expo’s sixth year, and it is one of the largest cultural expos to be held in Waterbury. Organizers say that the expo provides high-quality experiences for visitors from throughout the United States as African heritage is celebrated. Deonne Ades will host the event.
Photo Credit: Instagram @jahkeem.tls