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Born in the island of Rodrigue (700 km from Mauritius), Ras Natty Baby pioneered a music style called “Seggae”. This draws its inspiration from Rastafarian philosophy, local Sega rhythms, reggae and the harsh social and economic realities that surrounded the singer. In the Petite Rivière community where he lived, he set up his Natty Rebels, a band that enjoyed widespread success as a modern expression of a Creole people which has felt marginalised and repressed for decades.

More disturbingly for the authorities, Ras Natty Baby dared break out of the ghetto by singing in French and English. In his popular album “Seggae time” he calls on the youth to reclaim its rights, pinpoints the walls between the North and South, denounces a life full of illusion and repression.

The Cuban musician Gorki Luis Águila Carrasco was arrested the same month as Ras Natty Baby. In March 2005 Gorki was released after a well-orchestrated international campaign denouncing his incarceration. Similar pressure needs to be put on Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Bérenger and his government to bring them to reason.

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