#BujuinKenya what you need to Know about the reggae Legend
Born Mark Anthony Myrie on 15 July 1973 in Kingston Jamaica, Buju Banton is one of the most celebrated reggae artistes worldwide.
The 46 year old Jamaican legend was born and raised in a poor neighborhood known as Salt Lane.
So why the name Buju Banton? Buju is a nickname that the singer received from his mother as a child while Banton is a Jamaican word that refers to someone who is a respected storyteller.
The singer chose the name Banton as a tribute to Burro Banton a dancehall reggae deejay who was popular in the mid-1980s and 1990s and whom Buju admired so much. Buju emulated Burro’s rough vocals and forceful delivery, developing his own distinctive style
Buju’s mother was a street vendor, while his father worked as a laborer at a tile factory. Buju is the youngest of fifteen children.
Buju is one of the most popular musicians in Jamaican history, having major chart success in 1992, with “Bogle” and “Love me Browning”, both massive hits in Jamaica.
Controversy erupted over “Love Me Browning” which spoke of Banton’s penchant for brown-skinned women: “Mi love my car mi love my bike mi love mi money and ting, but most of all mi love mi browning.” Some accused Banton of denigrating the beauty of darker skinned black women. In response, he released “Love Black Woman,” which spoke of his love for dark-skinned beauties: “Mi nuh Stop cry, fi all black women, respect all the girls dem with dark complexion”. 1992 was also an explosive year for Buju as he broke Bob Marley’s record for the greatest number of #1 singles in a year.
In March 2003, Banton released Friends for Life, which featured more sharply political songs, including “Mr. Nine”, an anti-gun song that was a hit in Jamaica’s dancehalls as well as internationally.
In December 2009, Buju was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine.
A six-day trial in Tampa, Florida was declared a mistrial on 27 September 2010, after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision he was later released on a bond.
On 22 February 2011, Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, possession of a firearm and using communication wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offense. He was found not guilty on the charge of attempted possession of five kilograms or more of cocaine. Four months later, he was sentenced to ten years and one month in a federal prison for the cocaine trafficking conviction.
Buju was released from prison in December 2018 after serving a seven years out of the ten year sentence.
On March 16th 2019, Buju hit the stage for the first time since his release.
The concert dubbed ‘Long walk to Freedom’ kick started Buju’s tour since his release and as a sign that fans had long waited for his return, Buju filled up the Jamaica National Stadium.
The concert saw some big names like Wayne Marshall, Ghost, LUST, Buju’s son Jahazeil Myrie and Cocoa Tea whose performance was greatly enhanced by an impromptu cameo from rising star, Koffee give an electric performance.
He has since performed at the Kensington Oval in Barbados as part of his tour.
The reggae legend will be performing at the Kenyan coast on New Year’s Eve.
To get tickets to Buju Banton’s Long walk to Freedom Kenyan edition you can dial *229*99# or click the link below.