Greetings! My name is Morgan Matsiga aka Ras Shumba. I came to Columbia from Zimbabwe in the Fall of 1977 to Study at Mizzou-majoring in Agriculture. A friend ‘introduced’ me to KOPN and I became a ‘regular’ listener and supporter. Back in the day, we used to have $15 ‘Student Annual Membership’. I found the ‘variety’ in programming very appealing. Needless to say “Motherland Jam” & “The Reggae Party” quickly became my favorites.
Occasionally I would come to the Station at the invitation of Reggae Party Hosts who had become good friends, “Antigua Trio” of Terry “Ites”, Ira & Fred. Sister “Natty Dread” took over Reggae Show after the Trio left town after graduation. After Sister “Natty Dread”, Mark Miller “Dread-I” took over Reggae Party along with Kabir-a brother from Nigeria. After Kabir left town in 1989, I joined the On-Air Roster as host of “Motherland Jam” and also as Co-Host of “Reggae Party”. At one time reggae party had a three-way host rotation when J (Arbuckle) joined the line-up. Even two of Dread I’s sons (Zamon & Marcus) became regular Hosts.
By the time I left Columbia to return to Africa in 2012, I was the sole Host of the Show. During the four years (2012-2016), Reggae Party had several Hosts, most notably (DJ One Love aka Ian Thomas), Bruce, among others. I returned to Columbia in early October of 2016 and got back on Air doing “Reggae Party” on regular basis. My approach is very simple; spread Positive Vibes through music. Reggae Music is Roots Music whose origins go all the way back to Africa. It is African music by Africans in Diaspora. I grew up listening to Reggae music in the early 70s. Artists like Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Tito Simon, Bob Marley, and Johnny Nash but to name but a few were all popular.
What drew me close to Reggae was the message in the music. Growing up in a country (then Rhodesia) under white minority rule of Ian Smith, the message of solidarity and unity and fighting for one’s dignity and identity resonated with me, as it did with most youths. I see my role as someone entrusted to ensure this genre remains ‘pure ‘and to spread the positive vibes / message in Reggae. We have to keep the genre pure and safeguard against those who seek to ’dilute’ or ‘hijack’ the genre; this is a disservice to the genre. This is about preserving Roots & Culture by presenting the music in its pure form.
Morgan "Ras Shumba" Matsiga
I am an entomologist by training, with two Master’s Degrees (MS in Agricultural Extension Education & another MS in Entomology respectively. I hope to complete a doctorate in Entomology soon, specializing in IPM-Integrated Pest Management. Outside of Academia, I spent 25 years working for UPS and earned a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do in 1989. In 1993, I formed an interactive Drum & Percussion Ensemble, UDA-Universal Drum Appeal. In 2005- UDA recorded a CD “Drum & Percussion Excursion” Besides KOPN, I also volunteer at Mobility Worldwide, Loaves & Fishes. When I do the “Reggae Party” I go by the name Ras Shumba- Morgan steps aside to make way for Ras Shumba!