31st August 2020 | by Torres Strait Islanders Media Association


Torres Strait musician Benny Mabo launched his long-awaited five track EP Totemic Fire last Saturday with a smashing live performance on Thursday Island.

Community members shopping in town stopped in their tracks to enjoy Mr Mabo’s island-infused songs including Lamar Zogo, Wai Kara Buai and Kara Negwam, Mr Mabo performed his tracks with the backing of local reggae band Black Paradise.

The launch also included two songs by Black Paradise and a special performance by fellow Meriam musician; Bobby Kaigey.

Torres Strait Islanders Media Association (TSIMA) Board President Mrs Ivy Trevallion officially launched the EP and said: “I am very proud of Mr Mabo and congratulate him on the successful production of Totemic Fire.”

“TSIMA are dedicated to supporting and nurturing our local musicians and artists to ensure that Torres Strait music and talents are promoted,” Mrs Trevallion added.

Totemic Fire was a TSIMA project produced by Will Kepa and made possible with funding from the Torres Strait Regional Authority’s Culture Art and Heritage Grant Program.

TSIMA Operations Manager, Diat Alferink said: “In light of COVID-19, we knew that launching Mr Mabo’s Totemic Fire would draw a crowd and we were prepared with safety measures and social distancing requirements for attendees.”

“The audience really enjoyed the performance and TSIMA are now considering hosting monthly music pop ups,” Ms Alferink added.

The Totemic Fire launch was opened with an official Welcome to Country by Kaurareg KANTC Chairperson Mr Milton Savage and MC’d by TSIMA Senior Broadcaster Sylvia Tabua. It also included an acknowledgement by TSIMA Board President Mrs Ivy Trevallion and an artist talk by Mr Mabo, who shared his music journey and what inspired his latest EP.

“We encourage our local musicians and artists to reach out to TSIMA, as we can help you to produce and launch your music, like we did with Mr Mabo,” Ms Alferink said.

“TSIMA has supported the music and performing arts in Zenadth Kes for over 35 years and it continues to expand its services and ways of promoting local talents,” Ms Alferink said.

Totemic Fire will be aired on RADIO 4MW, TSIMA’s Website and the EP is still available for sale.



TSIMA Media Contact, Diat Alferink 07 4069 1524