Jamaican Patois Workshop – The Roots of Reggae @ British Council, Sofia

Do you like reggae music? Are you aware that the language of reggae music is a dialect of English and it is called Jamaican Patois? Would you like to learn some Jamaican English and its musical slang?

Join us on 1 October at the British Council to celebrate language diversity with a workshop on Jamaican Patois. You can choose between the morning or afternoon session.

The workshop will be led by Ras Zacharri (Jamaica/UK) and Roots Rocket (Bulgaria’s first reggae label whose artists also won the Sofia Soundtrack competition organised by British Council and BG Radio). It will include an introduction to Jamaican English and its growing popularity as the language of Reggae music. Participants will find out about its origin as a language and major developments, about the Jamaicans and Rastafari culture; watch videos, listen to some reggae music, explore some of the concepts and attitudes that are part of the language.

On the next day you can join Roots Rocket and Ras Zacharri who will perform together on 2 October at the European Day of Languages public event in front of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. Roots Rocket will perform a reggae song with some of British Council’s young learners of English. The event is organised by EUNIC – the EU Network of Institutes of Culture.

Who is it for?

This 3-hour workshop is for anybody interested in English, foreign languages, reggae music. While there is no age limit, we would strongly encourage participants between 15-25.


  • Ras Zacharri (Jamaica/UK)
  • Jahmmi Youth, Zafayah, K*Irie and Sen I (BG)

Register now:

To take part in the workshop we would like you to send an email to booking@britishcouncil.bg no later than 24 September. Applications will be processed on a first-come/first-served basis.

You can choose between 2 identical sessions:

  • 1000 to 1300, OR
  • 1500 to 1800

Please indicate the following text in the SUBJECT LINE: Jamaican English / AM (for the morning session) and PM (for the afternoon session)

In the BODY of the message please answer the following questions:

  • MY NAME IS……..
  • MY AGE IS……..
  • I AM (a student at high school; a musician, a linguist etc) ………….


Ras Zacharri

Ras Zacharri is one of Jamaica’s rising Roots Reggae stars. Born in Jamaica by the name of Bogle Broadie he now lives in the UK and travels worldwide. As a teenager he was given the name Zacharri by well known Reggae artist Buju Banton, who was also one of his mentors in many ways. Ras Zacharri has released several singles for Jamaican and European labels and his debut album HERBS MAN received a great response from the audience. Ras Zacharri is currently touring Europe and the rest of the world.

Jahmmi Youth

Born in 1989 in the family of professional musicians, Jahmmi Youth has been surrrounded by music since birth. He studied trumpet at the Sofia Music School and is now doing a degree at Sofia University (Faculty of Classical and New Philologies). As a leading artist (singer and performer) at Roots Rocket Label, he collaborates with musicians from the UK, France, South Africa, Romania and other countries. Jahmmi Youth participated in the first Bulgarian-Jamaican record with King Ali Baba and has shared the stage with musicians like Macka B, General Levy, Israel Vibration. He has toured in Greece, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Romania.


Plamen Zafirov, a.k.a. Zafayah – was born in 1985. His deep passion for music was obvious from early childhood when he started playing the guitar and singing. He recorded his first reggae song when he was 14. He holds a Bachelor in Scandinavian Studies from Sofia University. Zafayah lived in Sweden for a while and met people from around the world including from Africa and the Caribbean – experience that gave him some precious knowledge of their roots and culture. In 2006 he met Sen I and joined the band Root Souljah. He has collaborated with Ras Zacharri, Dub Caravan, Bulgarian artists Merudia, Ndoe, Yoko, etc., and performed in the UK, Sweden, Slovenia, Romania, Greece, Macedonia. This year he is starting his Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage Management. Together with Sen I, they founded the “Common Roots” Foundation which also manages the Roots Rocket label where Zafayah is producing and recording music. Currently working on the label’s first official riddim release featuring artists from Jamaica, US, UK, France, Bulgaria and more.


Kiril Aleksiev (alias K*Irie) was born on in 1985. He graduated the American University in Bulgaria with a double major in Journalism and Mass Communications & Political Science and International Relations, then a Master’s degree in Cultural Economics and Cultural Entrepreneurship at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Since 2003 actively involved in the development of reggae music and the Rastafarian culture in Bulgaria, Kiril is co-creator of the first website dedicated to reggae and Rasta information in Bulgarian language – rasta.cult.bg. In 2004 with a group of friends he co-founded the first Bulgarian sound system called “Zionlionz Soundsystem” to further promote the reggae culture. Zionlionz brought to Bulgaria many renowned artists from both the Caribbean and European Reggae cultural sector such as: Mad Professor, Macka B, General Levy, King Ali Baba, Ras Zacharri, Percydread, Ras DEMOlition man, Solo Banton, YT, Deadly Hunta, Dr. Ring Ding, and others.

Sen I

Alexander Poplilov a.k.a. Sen I (b. 1976, Sofia) graduated high school in the US, and later got a Master’s degree in English Studies at Sofia University. He is co-founder of the first Bulgarian reggae label – Roots Rocket and frontman of Root Souljah (Bulgaria’s first reggae band). In 2005 he organised the first major reggae concert in the country with Julian Marley (son of the reggae legend Bob Marley) in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture. Since then he has been touring across Bulgaria and abroad, performing as vocalist at various festivals and events. Devoted to the ideas of reggae culture and natural lifestyle, at present Sen I also produces and directs short movies and music videos in support of his messages and livity.