Friday, December 04, 2009

Mutabaruka's new TV series 'Simply Muta' premiere's in Jamaica......

By Basil Walters Observer staff reporter
Friday, November 27, 2009

A new chapter in local television begins next Monday(30thNov.) on CVM TV, with the premier of 'Simply Muta' a series of weekly one-hour shows to be aired at 9:30 pm, with the militant Rastafari poet/philosopher Mutabaruka as host.

In an age where reality TV is the trend, CVM is embarking on its most revolutionary of such programmes to date. Despite a reputation for unapologetically voicing his unconventional perception on a wide range of topics but more specifically on black issues which for some people are discomforting, the series Simply Muta is highly anticipated.

This is so because, despite his one-of-a-kind personality, Mutabaruka is - as he says in one of his more popular poems - "the man you love to hate". However, he is more than the brutally frank 'barefoot Rasta' whose socio-political and religious commentaries to some are nothing more than just boring, undiluted rantings. As a music selector, he often raises eyebrows, eliciting comments of surprise at his well-rounded musical taste. This cultural activist born Allan Hope, is one of Jamaica's most toured performers, spoken words or otherwise.

In fact, he mostly performed on university campuses across continents and 2006 was made Artiste-in-Residence by Merritt College, in Oakland, California where the Black Panther Party revolutionary movement started in the 1960s.

Now, after 18 years as a talkshow host on the Ocho Rios-based all-reggae radio Irie FM, where he still does his weekly stint on Wednesdays, Mutabaruka is promising television viewers a new and exciting experience.

"Two years ago, CVM approached me to do a programme. Well mi neva hear from dem until late this year dem approach mi and sey dem ready fi it. So we have a meeting and ting and sey well we ready fi do the programme but we haffi have total artistic control over weh gwaan pon di programme," Muta explained, as he spoke about the upcoming series of shows to be directed and produced by American Stephanie Black.

"As a matter of fact," he continued, "wi conceptualise weh suppose to happen pon di programme. And yes, dem decide fi gimme full artistic powers pon it... So Stephanie Black, the director of Life and Debt and Africa Unite, because of her expertise dem bring her in to produce and direct the show."

Although each episode will run for an hour, Monday's premiere, under the theme Getting To The Tap of It, will be one and a half hour. Each episode will have a different theme and the first one will focus on water.

"Simply Muta, that's weh di programme name and it's all about my perspectives on different topics. None of the programme is the same, it don't have any specific theme running through every programme because every programme is different... Monday is the projected date for the premier... and the first one is going to deal with wata."

He added, "It's about investigating the different watas in Jamaica dat people ave at dem finga tips or dem mouth. Wi waan to bring to attention why is it dat Jamaican people is scared of drinking pipe wata without boiling it. And how is it dat the bottle wata is so popular in Jamaica when we are the land of wood and wata. So di first programme gwine deal wid dat."

Subsequent episodes focus on issues such as the environment, deportees, the difference between the Catholic and the Ethiopian Orthodox Churches and so forth. "It's going to be edutainment," Muta stressed, "next year is going to be 18 years pon di radio and we think we are capable enough to bring to light certain things visually."

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