Kafu Banton biography
Zico Alberto Garibaldi Roberts, was born in1979 and raised in Pilon (Rio Alejandro), outside Colon, Panama. At the age of 10 he began to demonstrate his talent by singing Reggae in a group called The Youngsters of Reggae. The group consisted of five singers, Bebi King, Lucho Kiss, Mega D and Sicario (Kafu Banton). Zico later on decided to call himself KAFU BANTON after a Brazilian football player named Cafu.
Kafu borrowed his last name from one of the worlds biggest Reggae artists, and his inspiration, Buju Banton. Kafu studied in I.B.J.G College where, through a family member, he met one of the greatest national Reggae singer Ernesto Brown best known as (Ness). Ness introduced the world to Spanish Reggae, and Kafu followed Ness lead, letting himself be known in all kinds of Reggae music competitions at the national level. In October 1996 he won his way to number one in a competition at a club called Patatus 2 Caribe. This gave Kafu the opportunity to record a simple song called Mad Man produced by Rodney Clark El Chombo for Spanish Oil Productions. Kafu then participated in other productions under the label Oilers Music, contributing to Tales from the Crypt 2 & 3 compilations, which captured the attention of the public.
At the time Reggae was at its greatest in Panama, and Kafu along with other known artists of this generation, joined the rebirth of One Love, a group formed by Ness and the Sensations, also featuring Calito Soul, Papachan (R.I.P.), Original Dan and Bigga Man. Two years later, in 1998, due to the labels financial problems, Kafu left Oilers Music and began to work with Proarsa, a label owned by Ramon Bustamante Pucho. Kafu was again involved in various productions with the likes of Creations, Dementes, Da Crew and Sin Censura. In 2000, after having gained valuable production and business experience, Kafu produced his first album called The Best of Me which featured such gems as Pato, Way Way, Ya Estoy Cansado, El Sistema, Good Bye, Pueden Correr. The album made Kafu popular in Panama and abroad. He toured in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, the United States and Spain. Kafu's purpose as a lyricist is to try and change the way many people think, especially kids.
He watched as the Youth around him chose the wrong path in life, and never received the proper guidance. Kafu felt that music that conveys a positive and empowering message, was the most effective way to reach the Youth. Kafu also shares with his fans his struggle as a youth in an impoverished part of Panama, and his rise to better life through music and sheer will and determination. In 2005 Kafu Banton took his career in his own hands but creating events in the U.S and meeting key people in the states that believed in Reggae En Español.