D'bi Young Anitafrika wants every one to leave their imprint on the world

The Canadian artist discusses dub poetry and encouraging others to tell their stories to audiences.
Dub poet D'Bi Young Anitafrika stopped by the q studios in Toronto, Ont. today to perform poetry live and to discuss the power of storytelling. (Melody Lau/CBC)

Actor, playwright and dub poet D'bi Young Anitafrika is a strong, unique and necessary voice in Canadian theatre right now. 

With her Watah Theatre in Toronto, Anitafrika has given a stage to black Canadian artists and mentored many people from a diverse range of backgrounds to find their voice in theatre and tell their stories. For her, mentoring has been a major key to her successes. 

Anitafrika wants people to leave themselves and, in her opinion, mentoring can hopefully "help them to recognize that each and every single one of us have this unique imprint and that imprint has the potential to impact the world in magnificent ways." 

The artist stopped by the q studios today to perform dub poetry. Dub poetry is a simple form of Jamaican poetry that prides itself in being of the people, Anitafrika explains. "It engages the community and brings the people in, and in order to bring the people in, the storyteller has to be dynamic."

Hearing her poetry live, it's immediately clear that storytelling is a strong driving force for her. 

"In every story they tell, they are shaping the world," Anitafrika says of all storytellers, whether it's through the mediums of music, poetry, theatre or film. "We are shaping the world and we are shaping the world that our children will inherit."


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