how do we cultivate and nurture the artist as healer, the artist as teacher, the artist as leader, the artist as keeper of the sacred, and the artist as a whole human entity who mirrors society and helps to shape it circularly and inwardly. this is my primary motivation in life – d’bi.young anitafrika
d’bi.young anitafrika is an internationally celebrated African-Jamaican-Canadian dubpoet, monodramatist, educator and mother to her sons moon and phoenix. She is the published author of two collections of poetry, eight plays, two dubpoetry albums, and The Sankofa Trilogy. d’bi. is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the K.M. Hunter Theatre Award, Toronto Mayor’s Arts Council Award, the Women of Resilience Award, the Canadian Poet of Honor Award and the Best Spoken Word Artist Award. She is the Artistic Director of YEMOYA International Artist Residency and the originator of the Sorplusi Method. d’bi. is also the Program Designer and Facilitator of the Arts, Activism and AIDS Academy – a recent project of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Director of The Art(is)t Shaman Project: Sacred Gatherings at The Crossroads of Personal, the Political, and the Spiritual in Wimmin’s heArt and Health. Her storytelling and mentorship have taken her to Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, North America, Europe and the United Nations, where she has shared her passion for equality and integrity with all whom she meets. d’bi.’s latest offering is her new school, WATAH womb arts healing, based in Toronto Canada, where she teaches arts-based courses aimed at self-actualization towards global mobilization. dbi333.com | watah.org | yemoya.org
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 (solitary, yagayah, domestic, androgyne, she, blood.claat, benu, & word! sound! powah!), two collections of poetry (art on black and rivers…and other blackness…between us) and two dub poetry albums (wombanifesto and 333). 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 global peoples and our quests for self-actualization.
recently completing her third global tour, performing and teaching, d’bi. has shared the stage with zimbabwe’s celebrated singer-songwriter oliver 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 canada’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’s INKtalks 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 fest, havana international reggae fest, and toronto’s international dubpoetry festival. she has also appeared on def poetry jam, starred in the canadian sitcom lord have mercy alongside distinguished jamaican actor leonine forbes, and is an original lead cast member of da kink in my hair.
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 theatre model 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 2014 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, the best spoken-word artist 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 human development methodology called the sorplusi method that aims at the holistic self- actualization towards community mobilization, through arts education. she teaches this methodology globally, primarily through the YEMOYA residency and the stephen lewis foundation arts, activism and aids academy, which she designed and facilitates. over fifty 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, greenpeace canada, the feminist art conference 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: a biomyth monodrama on jamaica’s only womban national hero, warrior queen nanny, a new comic book and album entitled SHEMURENGA black supah shero, and her premiere theoretical text on the biomyth sorplusi method.