Saturdays: 6 – 8 p.m.
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.
For me, music has always been a big part of my life and a life-long / hobby. I was raised in a rich traditional African Music background in a family that produced some of the most respected mbira players in my ancestral homestead in Chiweshe, Mazowe District (Mashonaland Central Province of Zimbabwe). Though I was raised in the city, traditional music was always close by in the home with an uncle who was a renowned mbira player. My father also did play the instrument as well as several cousins. That is how I learned to play the hosho shakers / maracas, which often accompany the mbira instrument.
My maternal grandmother Martha was a traditional healer who often invoked songs during her healing practice. Grandma Martha had an extensive collection of Miriam Makeba albums– and would sing along any Makeba song as she was fluent in the languages used by Mama Africa Miriam Makeba.
Growing up in the then Rhodesia, I was exposed to all kinds of music genres that were featured on the local / national Radio Station (back then it was called RBC-Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation, which went on to become ZBC-Zimbabwe broadcasting corporation in 1980 after its independence from British Colonial rule. The station covered the entire genre spectrum, heavy rock / metal, country, reggae and calypso, soul and rhythm & blues), as well as African Music from all over the Motherland-Africa, especially from neighboring South Africa.
In High School, I started collecting vinyl records and by ‘default’ I found myself being the ‘designated Dee-Jay at school functions or social gathering in my neighborhood. My dee-jay interest continued after coming to the US to attend Mizzou. I would occasionally dee-jay at African Parties on and off campus.
In 1989, I was asked to join On-Air Volunteer-Programmer line up hosting ‘Motherland Jam’ and co-hosting the ‘Reggae Party’. I hosted both shows from 1989 to 2012.
I left Columbia (& KOPN) in 2012, to return to Zimbabwe on assignment as an Entomology Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, in the Crop Science Department (Faculty of Agriculture). I returned to KOPN Airwaves in 2016 soon after returning to Columbia. I feel privileged and blessed to be able to share my music and culture with KOPN listeners in the Show-Me State of Missouri, across America and internationally. All the music heard on both Motherland Jam and Reggae Party come straight from my personal musical collection.
Outside of ‘Radio’, I am an entomologist and agricultural scientist by training. Other hobbies include Martial Arts (First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do) and African Drumming and Percussion (Founder & Artistic Director, Universal Drum Appeal-UDA, an Interactive Drum & Percussion Ensemble).