PROPHET: Capleton

Arts writer

THE music Unite Cape Town International Reggae Festival will see reggae and dancehall artists from Africa and abroad perform together at The Blue Waters Beach in Strandfontein on Saturday and Sunday.

More than 14 bands from South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Congo and the Caribbean will aim to unite people of ages, races and backgrounds through music. The brainchild of UK DJ and sound engineer Johnny B, the festival will feature Jamaican artist Capleton who has 22 albums to his name, spanning a two-decade career. Known as The Prophet, Capleton’s lyrics are deep and thoughtful.

Born Clifton George Bailey III in 1967 in the rural parish of St Mary, from a tender age he was a lover of the travelling sound systems, sneaking out at night to catch the vibes until dawn. But it wasn’t until he turned 18 and moved to Kingston that he was able to realise his destiny.

It was Stewart Brown, owner of a Toronto-based sound called African Star, who gave the untested artist his first break, flying him to Canada for a stage show alongside giants like Ninjaman and Flourgon. The audience poured out their appreciation, and he never looked back.

The young artist with the nimble vocabulary and hard-core voice quickly established himself as one of dancehall’s most reliable hit-makers. But even he could not have predicted that 11 years later, at the start of the new millennium, he would be dancehall’s ruling voice. He has released numerous albums and won several awards.

The programme will include performances by the Azania Band, Freeman, Afro Fiesta, Skeleton Blazer, Little Kings, Gangalee, Momo Dread, Ankias Valley, Blak Kalamawi, No 1 Suspect, Jahnett Tafari, Sons of Selassie and Black Dillinger. DJs Triple Crown, Bashmouth, Ras Reggie and King Themba.

l Tickets are R200, or R250 for both days. Call 083 544 7369.