- Category: PA 2007
Samm Farai Monro, better known as Comrade Fatso, was born in 1980. He spent most of his youth in Zimbabwe inspired by, in his words: “life and the struggle for justice”. Fatso calls his poetry Toyi-Toyi Poetry and describes it as “urban street poetry that mixes Shona with English, mbira with hip-hop, poetry with the struggle to survive.”
He has performed extensively in festivals in France , the UK , Kenya , Malawi and South Africa , and has shared the stage with leading performers such as Lemn Sissay, Antjie Krog and Metaphysics while also collaborating with artists such as Chiwoniso, Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa, Jitsvinger, Dizraeli and Adisa. A flexible performer, Fatso performs his rhythmic poetry either a cappella, accompanied by bass guitar, or with his band, Chabvondoka – whose sound is a blend of Chimurenga, jazz, and Afrobeat. Chabvondoka's recent performance at the Harare Interational Festival of the Arts 2007 was called "the best performance of the festival". Fatso and Chabvondoka are currently working on an album and will soon release their single, ‘Mahara'.
His poetry has appeared on BBC, CNN, SABC, ZBC and KPFA FM (California ). As a cultural activist Fatso is one of the founders of the House of Hunger Poetry Slam, Harare's popular poetry slam where the next generation of poets recite to appreciative crowds. He is also the co-founder and facilitator of the Uhuru Network, a radical grassroots youth network that uses arts, media, permaculture and community action in the struggle for social justice in Harare 's ghettos.
Fatso has also been involved in journalism for many years and has written on politics and culture for publications such as The Zimbabwean( UK ), ZMag ( USA ), SchNEWS ( UK ) and Indymedia ( USA ).