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06 Mar 2012

Thug an rapcheoltóir iomráiteach Gaeilge Tura Arutura cuairt ar Ard Mhacha ag an deireadh seachtaine agus chuaigh sé go mór i bhfeidhm ar mhuintir na cathrach agus an chontae. Tá clú bainte amach ag Tura mar rinceoir, múinteoir agus córagrafaí sa damhsa hip hap, uirbeach agus fiú rince ar an sean-nós. Ó tháinig Tura a chónaí in Éirinn, thosaigh sé ag foghlaim Gaeilge gur bhain sé líofacht amach agus anois féachann sé leis an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn trína chuid ceoil go háirithe leis an singil a d’eisigh sé ar na mallaibh ‘Tír gan teanga’.

Tháinig Tura go hÉirinn as an Afraic nó chonacthas dó go raibh neart cosúlachtaí idir a chultúr dúchais féin agus cultúr na nGael. Bhí iontas ar Tura féin nach raibh teanga dhúchais na hÉireann ag tromlach an phobail anseo. Fuair sé inspioráid as sin agus bheartaigh sé gur mhaith leis muintir na hÉireann a chur ar bhealach a leasa agus béim a chur ar thábhacht na Gaeilge agus an chultúir dhúchais. Tá a stiúideo féin aige i mBéal Feirste, áit a mbíonn sé ag teagasc rince ar an sean-nós agus rince traidisiúnta na hÉireann. Bhí Tura ar roinnt clár raidió agus teilifíse ar na mallaibh agus rinneadh clár faisnéise faoi ar TG4, a craoladh thar thréimhse na Nollag. 

Bhí an chéad ghig seo ag Tura in Ard Mhacha ar siúl i mBeár Uí Raifeartaigh os comhair slua ollmhóir a chur fáilte mhór roimhe. Eagraíodh an oíche le hairgead a bhailiú do bheirt Gaeilgeoirí óga as Ard Mhacha, Seán Mac Lochlainn agus Brógán Mac Cathmhaoil atá ag dul amach chuig an Tansáin i rith sheachtain na Cásca le cuidiú le tionscadal scoile ansin.

Ba é CAIRDE Teo, an eagraíocht Ghaeilge in Ard Mhacha, a shocraigh an tsiamsaíocht. Ní amháin gur thug Tura sarthaispeántas dá chuid amhrán rap i nGaeilge ach bhí an slua faoi gheasa ag a stíl tharraingteach rince fosta. Chaith sé am ag labhairt le muintir na háite i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla le linn an tsosa.

Ghabh Seán Mac Lochlainn buíochas le gach duine a chuidigh leis chun an oíche a eagrú agus thug sé buíochas speisialta do réalt na hoíche:

Laoch atá in Tura Arutura. Tarraingíonn sé daoine ó achan aoisghrúpa le meascán de rince comhaimseartha agus rince traidisiúnta ar an sean-nós. Is é an meascán seo de chultúir a chothaíonn seó fuinniúil corraitheach. De thairbhe gur fhoghlaim seisean an Ghaeilge, is inspioráid é d’Éireannaigh nár bhac leis an Ghaeilge riamh. Fágfaidh seó iontach Tura rian buan orainne agus chuidigh an oíche linn airgead a bhailiú do Thionscadal na Tansáine. Ní bheadh muid in ann an oíche a reáchtáil gan an cúnamh ó CAIRDE Teo agus foireann an bheáir a chinntigh nach ndéanfar dearmad ar an oíche seo go cionn i bhfad”.

Last weekend marked the first ever visit to Armagh City of the renowned Irish language rap artist from Zimbabwe, Tura Arutura. Tura is an award winning Hip Hop, Urban & Street Dance teacher and choreographer currently based in Belfast. Since arriving in Ireland several years ago he has become a fluent Irish language speaker. He bases his performance on promoting the Irish language and his recently released single ‘Tír gan teanga’ comes from the Irish phrase ‘tír gan teanga, tír gan anam’ (in English: ‘a country without a language is a country without a soul’).

Tura originally came to Ireland from Africa as a result of his growing interest in the similarities between his native culture and the culture of the Gael. Tura was indeed surprised to learn that the indigenous language of Ireland was only spoken by a minority of Irish people. This gave him the inspiration to help people in Ireland realise the importance of their own language and culture. He currently owns a studio in Belfast where he also teaches Sean Nós and Irish Traditional Dance. Tura has been inundated with requests for appearances on radio and television in recent times and he was even the subject of a documentary aired by TG4 over the Christmas period. 

Tura’s first gig in Armagh took place in front of a sell out crowd at Rafferty’s Bar in the heart of the city. The reception he received was phenomenal and the audience of both young and old were enthralled by his performance. The purpose of the night was to raise funds for two young Irish speaking charity workers from Armagh – Seán Mac Lochlainn and Brógán Mac Cathmhaoil – who are currently working on the Tanzania Project. Seán and Brógán will be travelling to Tanzania during Eater week to assist a local schools project there.

The night’s entertainment was kindly sponsored by CAIRDE Teo, the Irish language development organisation based in Armagh City Shopping Centre. Throughout the evening Tura impressively rapped a number of Irish language songs and wowed the crowd with his astonishing dance moves. He then took the time to meet and greet local people in Irish and English while they enjoyed refreshments and food courtesy of the staff at Rafferty’s Bar.

Seán Mac Lochlainn thanked all those who had made the night possible and he reserved a special thanks for the star of the show:

“Tura Arutura is a legend. He appeals to all age groups with his mixture of contemporary street dance and traditional sean-nós style. The fusion of cultures is what makes his performances so fresh and invigorating. The fact that he has taken the trouble to become fluent in Irish while living here provides food for thought to many local people who have never attempted to learn the language. Tura’s fantastic performance tonight has created a lasting impression and has helped us to raise vital funds for the Tanzania Project. The night would not have been possible without the assistance of CAIRDE Teo and the staff at Rafferty’s certainly helped to make this a real night to remember”.