One of the longstanding characters in the Twin of Twins Stir It Up music and comedy series is poet and broadcaster Mutabaruka, who utilises his distinctive voice in numerous poetry recordings and two radio programmes on IRIE FM.
On Saturday evening, during the Kingston Book Fair, which closed the 2015 Kingston Book Festival, Mutabaruka indicated how the duo learnt to imitate him, in the process noting how long they have been associated,
He was speaking at the launch of the autobiography, The Road To Zion, by Patrick ‘Curly Lox’ Gaynor, one of the performing twins, at Devon House, St Andrew. Curly Lox is also the one who has Mutabaruka’s voice perfected.
Mutabaruka spoke about encountering the twins when they would come to his shop and buy cassettes of his recordings. Later, he said, “me hear Curly Lox on the radio and me a wonder if is a clone of me.”
However, there was a deepening of the connection among them through a poem that was provided to Mutabaruka by the twins on a very significant occasion.
When their mother died, Mutabaruka was asked to read the poem at her funeral. Pondering at length why they would do that, he concluded “there is something these youth see in Mutabaruka”.
“It was the first time I had been to a funeral, and I did not know the deceased,” Mutabaruka said. Emphasising that they did not invite him to a party or other public event, but something very close to them, Mutabaruka said, “there was a bond (between himself and the twins) created in that church.”
Speaking at the launch, Paul ‘Tu Lox’ Gaynor made an important personality distinction between himself and his twin.
Tu Lox, sad because of how they grew up, he developed a serious anger problem. Although they went through the same circumstances, Curly Lox did not have that issue. “He was always the one to say learn to forgive, calm down,” Tu Lox said.
When he asked his brother how he managed to do it, Curly Lox replied “me no haffi angry, yu fool enough fi de two a we”.
There was laughter from the audience, then Tu Lox went on to say that his brother told him, “Me just put my mind in a better place. No matter the hell, me just imagine the heaven.”
So, Tu Lox told his twin publicly, “from the day you were born, to today, you have been more than a brother, you have been an inspiration”.
hopes for the book
There are hopes that, similarly, The Road To Zion will be an inspiration to others. The launch began with a representative of Ghetto People Publishing (which also put out Vybz Kartel’s book, The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto) reading an open letter from publisher Michael Dawson to Patrick Gaynor, in which he said he is committed to publishing “stories that are real”.
“He (Curly Lox) selflessly told us his painful story,” Dawson wrote, in part to ensure that there are no more Zion Gaynor tragedies. Six year-old Zion died in 2007.
Appropriately, the first excerpt she read from The Road To Zion surrounded the child’s death. In the second, Curly Lox spoke about becoming fully responsible for his own well-being and “hustling now became a full-time job”.
“We were officially on our own,” Curly Lox wrote, this in a social situation where he saw all manner of ills.
Summing up The Road to Zion, Mutabaruka said, “it is mainly about Curly Lox journey from the stage of not even saying he was Curly Lox to the point his son took a very integral part in how him see and view things.”
“If you looking for Twin of Twins, you not going to see them in the book. It name Patrick Gaynor, the autobiography of Curly Lox.. This is a youth crying out, responding to creating his reality, based on the environment that create him and all of us inside here. The book is a serious study and analysis of how Curly Lox grow up in Jamaica,” Mutabaruka said.
As is near standard for book launches, Curly Lox spoke last. He thanked Ghetto People Publishing for taking a leap of faith, investing their time and money in The Road To Zion. Patrick credited his brother Paul, at length, saying that when the world lies to him, “this person will not lie to me, this person will not hide anything from me at all”.
“My brother’s presence reminds me that it is with cooperation that makes dreams work,” Curly Lox said.
That collaborative approach extends to persons who have been with them for a long time, including ‘Psycho’, who encouraged the first recording and them made many people hear it – to their surprise.
Curly Lox noted that the ghetto is a happy place, and emphasised the responsibility of those who have a voice at various levels in the society to speak up.
The day would not be complete without an on-stage impersonation of Mutabaruka, which Patrick ‘Curly Lox’ Gaynor did after interviewing his nephew (who said he is an artiste) on stage. Indicating Mutabaruka while sounding like him, Curly Lox said, “see de bredda siddung desso an him voice deh yasso”.