IMPAMBA.COM REPORTER As recently reported in the international media, Ras Banamungu and the Det-n-ators International, originating in Rwanda, are currently breaking new ground in the world of music and music therapy.For example, Ras Banamungu’s latest musical project concerns working with the Goldfields brass band;yet another unique idea from the fertile mind of the jovial Rastaman.
With his latest album ‘I am Messenjah’ winning a second esteemed Akademia award for best reggae album of 2019, the future of Ras Banamungu and the Det-n-ators International looks very star-spangled indeed.The first Akademia of Los Angeles award was for their Spiritual rock/reggae EP, ‘Let’s Make Our Business Forgiveness’ in 2016 .
Another Banamungu brainchild, Shakkalakka Doo, blending reggae, rock,Intwatwa, Gisirimba afropop, new wave and his personal touch is also unique in that the overall sound is instantly recognisable as Ras Banamungu and the Det-n-ators International Check out the album ‘I am Messenjah’ to get the point.No two songs are alike, yet they still retain that ‘Shakkalakka Doo ‘.
Happily, one of the main influences of Shakkalakka Doo on the current scene is that it is mainly sung, whereas much of the contemporary music is spoken, as in rap music.It is bringing melody back to modern music and how can that be anything but a good thing?
Outside the band itself, Ras has also devised ‘laughter percussion’.An expansion of the already popular ‘laughter yoga’, of which the peace and love activist Ras Banamungu is a qualified teacher of;learning the craft from an International welfare group and then adding his own skills and ideas.
Originally called Abadahigwa International Movement (AIM) and formed in Rwanda in 2013, the band’s main members comprised of Ras and musician Steve Dean, his friend and songwriting partner.Meeting while both working with an Australian/Rwandan ‘clay therapy’ project, they have since gone from strength to strength;Ras currently practicing musical therapy in Kalgoolie, Western Australia where he works as carer and artistic therapist at GIFSA (Goldfields Individual and family support Association and Steven in the USA, where they will eventually introduce Shakkalakka Doo .
Note: The clay therapy project was the teaching of Rwandans to utilize this skill to deal with personal trauma.Many of them still suffering horrendous memories of the genocide a quarter of a century ago.
From the very outset, Steve was delighted to find that Ras Banamungu’s Rastafarian ideals corresponded well with his truth teachings from A Course in Miracles and this is reflected throughout their work together both in lyric and composition.
Winning promotion in an international Coast to Coast contest in Melbourne this year with an unforgettable performance, it is sure that Ras Banamungu and the Det-n-ators International and their Shakkalakka Doo.are about to get the international exposure they so richly deserve.
Ras hopes to bring musical therapy and Shakalaka Doo back to Rwanda in triumph one day, and judging by the quality of the music on ‘I am Messenjah’, international fame and recognition will accompany him when does, and he surely will.