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Mutabaruka (born Allan Hope, 26 December 1952, Rae Town, Jamaica) is a dub poet.
He grew up in the slums of Jamaica with his mother, father and two sisters.He attended primary school where he received his nickname, "Mutabaruka". The name comes from the Rwandan language and translates as "one who is always victorious. Later, he attended the Kingston Technical High School where he trained in electronics for four years. Muta then began finding himself within his early to late teenage years. In the late 60's into early 70's there was an up roaring of Black Awareness in Jamaica. Muta, who was in his late teens at the time, was drawn into that movement. In school he read many "progressive books" including Eldrige Cleaver's “Soul on Ice” and some that were then illegal in Jamaica, such as The Autobiography of Malcom X.
As a young man employed by Jamaican Telephone Company Ltd, he became interested in the Rastafari movement and converted from Catholicism while still a teenager. His outspoken statements on theology have generated controversy even among Rastafarians, and he has described Rasta as "part of a universal quest which may also be pursued by other routes, such as Hinduism or Buddhism or Christianity. Mutabaruka soon completely converted to the Rastafarian religion and he envisioned himself as a revolutionary. The began writing poems and performing them for local crowds and this was how his career grew.
Early work by Muta was first presented in the magazine, Swing, a monthly that gave fullest coverage to the pop music scene. Introducing Outcry (March, 1973) John A. L. Golding Jr. wrote: "In July 1971, Swing Magazine published for the first time a poem by Allan Mutabaruka...Our readers were ecstatic. Since then, and almost in consecutive issues, we have derived much pleasure in further publication of this brother's works... They tell a story common to most black people born in the ghetto... And when Muta writes, it's loud and clear". His 1983 release "Check It" was released on Chicago blues label Alligator Records. In 2008, Mutabaruka was featured as part of the Jamaica episode of the television program Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Mutabaruka gave a lecture at Stanford University on May 18, 2000. The lecture was addressed to the Caribbean Students Association and dealt with the difference between education and indoctrination.
Mutabaruka continues to perform and write poems on every issue known to man. He's known for his expressions and lively performances more so than just the poems themselves. Some of his themes include sexism, politics, discrimination, poverty, race, and especially religion. Mutabaruka's stylistic form is in a way pathos related. He uses stories and experiences to get readers to think about issues in ways that they wouldn't normally think about them.