photo by Wade Hudson (www.wadehudson.ca)
d’bi young. anitafrika, afrikan-jamaican-canadian dubpoet, monodramatist and educator, is the author of 4 books, 2 dub albums, and 8 plays. artistic director of the gurukul in kingston jamaica and originator of the sorplusi method. sankofa is her latest publication.
afrikan-jamaican-canadian dubpoet, playwright, monodramatist and educator d’bi.young anitafrika, is internationally celebrated as a visionary storyteller, a passionate humanist and a leader in the development of arts education. she is the published author of eight plays, two collections of poetry and two dub poetry albums. specializing in what she terms biomyth monodrama, d’bi. writes one-person theatre plays comprised of music, poetry, dance, and drama that chronicle the stories of ordinary people from around the world and their quests for self-actualization.
recently completing her third global tour, performing and teaching, d’bi. has shared the stage with the likes of zimbabwe’s celebrated singer-songwriteroliver mtukudzi, legendary american poet saul williams, south africa’s rustum kozain and ivory coast’s werewere liking. she has also participated in art projects featuring america’s leonard cohen, novelist margaret atwood, sri lankan-canadian poet michael ondaatje, somali-canadian rapper k’naan, and world renowned singers alicia keys, angelique kidjo, annie lennox, and sarah maglachan. most recently d’bi. was invited to be a guest speaker at india’sINKtalks in association with TED where she presented three stories of womben: a survivor of childhood sexual trauma, an hiv positive womban, and a young girl coming of age. a headliner at numerous festivals worldwide d’bi. has featured at: poetry africa in malawi, zimbabwe, and south africa, goteborgs poesifestival in sweden, kosmopolis in barcelona, bushfire in swaziland, manifesto in canada and jamaica, badilisha in cape town, canwest cabaret toronto,calgary international folk and spoken word festivals, vancouver folk festival, havana international reggae festival, and toronto’s international dubpoetry festival. she has also appeared on def poetry jam and starred in the canadian sitcom lord have mercy alongside distinguished jamaican actor leonine forbes who played her grandmother.
d’bi. has worked with theatre companies, universities, cultural organizations, and social institutions across north america, the caribbean, europe and africa. from 2011 to 2012 she worked as curator at the africa centre in cape town south africa, of their badilisha poetry x-change program, a global podcast platform featuring pan african poets from within and outside of the continent of africa. in 2008 she founded anitafrika! dub theatre in toronto canada and proceeded to design and facilitate two tuition-free twelve-month national residencies for emerging playwrights; instructing them in her biomyth theatremodel and assisting them in formulating their own solo performance shows. this initiative grew to become YEMOYA, an international artist residency that combines arts training with wellness practices for the holistic development of people. the residency has been facilitated in canada, the uk, south africa, india and jamaica.
her monodrama trilogy sankofa, featuring the plays blood.claat, benu, and word! sound! powah! most recently played at tarragon theatre in toronto canada and was an overwhelming success. sankofa is being published in 2013 by playwright’s canada press and will be packaged with a dvd version of the trilogy. d’bi’s one-person shows have garnered her awards in canada, jamaica, uk and south africa. she is the recipient of the canadian poet of honor award, two dora mavor moore awards for outstanding playwright and outstanding actor, the canadian km hunter theatre award, the toronto mayor’s arts council award and numerous best solo artist awards.
through her work in africa, the caribbean, north america and europe with at risk youth and emerging artists, d’bi. has created a personal development methodology called the sorplusi method that aims at the holistic self-actualization of individuals through arts education. she teaches this methodology all over the world primarily through the YEMOYA program, however she also conducts workshops. over 40 artists worldwide have graduated from d’bi’s residency and have gone on to become celebrated storyteller themselves. d’bi. has also been invited as a keynote speaker most notably at the university of toronto, york university, ryerson university, and the manifesto festival of art and culture
having completed three global tours of her albums wombanifesto and 333, d’bi’s current art projects include: her 2nd trilogy of monodramas, her premiere theoretical text on the biomyth sorplusi method, a 3rd collection of poetry, a 3rd album, and her 1st novel.
www.yemoya.org (international artist residency)
www.anitafrika.org (theatre site)
www.sorplusimethod.com (methodology website)