News Releases

UWI bids farewell to Distinguished Alum and Rapso King Brother Resistance

For Release Upon Receipt - July 14, 2021

St. Augustine

“We have lost a great son of the soil…and a great son of UWI,” said Campus Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland. He was commenting on the passing of Mr. Lutalo Makosa Masimba, known more by his sobriquet Brother Resistance on the Rapso stage. 

Brother Resistance graduated with a B.Sc. in Social Sciences with History in 1980 from The UWI St. Augustine.  In April 2011, Brother Resistance was one of fifty (50) distinguished Alumni celebrated by the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI at the UWI Alumni Association Trinidad and Tobago Chapter’s (UWIAA) inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards (DAA).  The awardees selected were symbolic of the quality of graduates that the UWI’s St. Augustine campus has produced – individuals who have led the greater Caribbean region in the post-independence era. 

We are honoured to have Brother Resistance amongst our distinguished Alumni of The UWI St. Augustine Campus. We thank him for his indelible contribution to the development of arts and culture. He will continue to a be source of inspiration to The UWI community and the region,” said Professor Copeland. "Those of us who were on the Campus in the late 70s would well remember Resistance and his colleagues singing his chants outside the “I-room” echoing his mantra “Is wot! Wuk and dead?” Professor Copeland added.

Resistance, as he was commonly called, is considered the spearhead of the Rapso movement. Brother Resistance traced the roots of Rapso back to the oral traditions of Africa, when the Griot was the historian, counselor and poet of the tribe. The birth of the Network Rapso Riddum Band at the end of the 1970’s with its lead chantuelles, Brother Shortman and Brother Resistance, heralded the new reality of roots music from Trinidad and Tobago.  

Brother Resistance became an internationally acclaimed artiste, recording since 1981, who carried the Rapso message all over the world - from Korea to Italy, Canada, USA, wider Europe and of course throughout the Caribbean. He received numerous international awards but the most significant was when he was awarded the Hummingbird Medal, Silver in 1992. He was also a published author, releasing in 1986, Rapso Explosion, Karia Press, London along with Voiceprint, 1988, ed. Brown, Morris and Rohlehr, a Longmans compilation of poetry in which is included two poems from Rapso Explosion.  

He served as President of the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad & Tobago, President of the Trinidad & Tobago Unified Calypsonians Organisation, a Commissioner of the National Carnival Commission and the coordinator of the Network Community Organisation, the organizers of the Annual Festival of Rapso and the Oral Traditions in Trinidad and Tobago. He has held the posts of General Secretary of Trinidad & Tobago Unified Calypsonians Organisation, Board Member of the National Public Library of Trinidad & Tobago, and Executive Member of the Writers Union of Trinidad and Tobago. Brother Resistance was also well known for his theatrical abilities having played the lead role of the Dragon in the Earl Lovelace’s play “The Dragon Can’t Dance” in the late 80’s and also in 2002. Resistance was nominated for best actor for his role in 2000. 

Among his recent association with the Campus, Resistance participated in the Faculty of Humanities and Education (FHE) "Panchayat: The Mas(s) in We: (Re)claiming de People’s Festival" in February 2021 as part of a roundtable on Calypso. He was also a close friend of the Carnival Studies Unit in the FHE's Department of Creative and Festival Arts.

The UWI St. Augustine Campus extends condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Lutalo Makosa Masimba, ‘Brother Resistance.’ 




Notes to Editor

Photo & Caption:

Mr. Lutalo Makosa Masimba, ‘Brother Resistance’, one of fifty (50) distinguished Alumni celebrated by the St. Augustine campus of The UWI at the UWI Alumni Association Trinidad and Tobago Chapter’s (UWIAA) inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards (DAA) in April 2011.

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About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. 

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 (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)