Rastafarian speaks out on his homecoming

Swiss based artist Jah Bone Kageme, a.k.a Darius Rourou stunned residents of Rwamagana town, at his arrival after years in the Diaspora. He was recently invited by Kigali Rasta Community to launch a reggae music festival in Rwanda, Roots Rock Reggae.
Jah Bone Kageme at his hotel in Rwamagana .
Jah Bone Kageme at his hotel in Rwamagana .

Swiss based artist Jah Bone Kageme, a.k.a Darius Rourou stunned residents of Rwamagana town, at his arrival after years in the Diaspora.

He was recently invited by Kigali Rasta Community to launch a reggae music festival in Rwanda, Roots Rock Reggae.

This will be in commemoration of the late Broda Rastaman Lucky Dube who was killed in a car hijack, in Johannesburg- South Africa.

Jah Bone Kageme is not only a musician, but a novelist, poet and writer. He is the author of a famous book entitled; ‘Eclaireur-Vivre Sans Peine, Sept Jours-Succes Toujours’.

The New Times’ Stephen Rwembeho spoke to him at his home in Rwamagana, below are the excerpts.

TNT: When were you last in Rwanda?

Jah Bone: I was last in Rwanda in 1998. The 11 years I spent left me with great nostalgia. I missed Rwanda greatly and more particularly my children.

I found them too big to believe. Life was not easy for me as at first I could not raise transport or get travel documents back home.

TNT: When did you join the music industry?

Jah Bone: I joined the industry in early 1982. I could sing and dance all time in Churches and other places. In fact, my friends had nick-named me Bob. You know Baganza are good at singing naturally (laughs).

TNT: Who is a Rasta is it a person with dreads or…?

Jah Bone: You don’t to have dreads to be a Rasta. Rasta can be etymologically traced in the former emperors of Ethiopia like Haile Selassie Some even go as far attributing smoking Marajuana to Rastafarians.

Lucky Dube never smoked but he was a great Rasta.

TNT: Who was Lucky Dube according to you?

Jah Bone: Lucky Dube was my role model. I was motivated by his songs and the messages he sent across the world especially on the then South-Africa apartheid. Lucky Dube fought without using a gun, he was such an intelligent man worth being admired.

TNT: Tell us about the albums you have so far

Jah Bone: I have so many albums that I produced while working with anti- HIV/AIDS campaigners and on Genocide. In 2005, I produced one entitled; Le Rebelle.

TNT: Which is your best song?

Jah Bone: It depends on the communities, but the one most people admired was Sabana. It is essentially about racism. I talk about how blacks are segregated by some whites in Europe.

It actually disillusions Africans, who think if they went to Europe they would be in paradise. Sometimes, I pity some blacks from West Africa flocking Europe, after selling their properties. They end up in psychiatric clinics-traumatized after frustrations.

TNT: How are Rwandans in Diaspora?

Jah Bone: I stay in Switzerland. What I hate most is the divisions Rwandans in Diaspora have. They still see themselves as Hutu and Tutsi totally divided a long such lines, when in Rwanda the opposite is true.

That is why I find it difficult to relate with Rwandans in Diaspora.

TNT: Are you married?

Jah Bone: No, I am single with four kids. I had a marriage in Rwanda before I left that never worked.

But the Rwandan woman and I, have three children. When I was in Europe I got engaged with a white lady, and she mothers a kid too.

TNT: How do you spend your free time?

Jah Bone: I am a writer of books so I am busy jotting notes after music. Besides, I take walks in forests. Forests of course in Europe are safe from animals.

Ends

 

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