Getting the word out…

Author Archives: Guest Editor

It’s absolutely no secret natural hair has been a movement for several years, however, lately a lot more persons have been seen sporting the look. Many thinks what we’re seeing now is a confirmation that this is a lifestyle that is very important to a lot of persons, particular those who once thought they had to straighten their hair to “fit in” or”get ahead” in the workspace.

Local bloggers Island Essence are big supporters of the natural hair movement and will this Sunday host their first Natural hair Meet-Up in Jamaica. Here is a video with the full details of the event which happens this Sunday, June 9.


Guest Post by Sashana Sanderson, 2nd Year Journalism Student at Caribbean Institute of Media & Communications (CARIMAC), located on the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

When one thinks of the term the Next GENDERation several things may come to mind, for some it’s the empowerment of men and women or a focus on young people in terms of their gender, for others it’s about emphasizing the teachings of Marcus Garvey seeking true equality for both men and women.

In all of these perspectives, there is some commonality, for Dwayne Gutzmer, President of the CARICOM Youth Program, the Next GENDERation is about catching the next crop of innovative and creative young people out of violence. But what does the Next GENDERation Initiative mean to you?

The Next GENDERation Initiative is a partnership agreement between the Government of Jamaica, local agencies and the World Bank. It aims to raise awareness and promote discussion among youth, local organizations and the government on youth violence using specifically a gender perspective. Youth violence and violence generally is seen as a development problem in Jamaica. The idea is that to solve this developmental problem, youth violence can be better understood if analyzed focusing primarily on gender.

Traditionally, when people hear the term gender voiced in society, they immediately think about women’s issues or female empowerment but really, the term involves a lot more. Essentially it’s described as the social construction of men and women. In other words it’s how society perceives the role of a man as opposed to a woman.

The World Development Report (2012) identifies education and awareness campaigns targeting the youth population as a good way to rid the cultural norms and behaviours which contribute to violence. As a result, one of the goals of the Next GENDERation Initiative is to develop appropriate and creative messages in an innovative way against violence. These messages will be done primarily by young men and women to be used by the government in national communication campaigns.

The Next GENDERation Initiative also seeks to incorporate elements of society which affect gender such as cultural norms and societal behaviours. Some of the areas focused on in the initiative include; Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Gang Violence and Bullying, each portraying societal norms, and their effect of gender.

The first day of the launch of the initiative was Monday in Montego Bay at the Gloustershire Hotel, several youth organizations, government agencies as well as youth from several community organizations were in attendance.

So far the discussions have been lively and engaging, involving role plays and interactive sessions, much to the benefit of the participants who openly appreciated the knowledge gained from the presentations at the launch. Some of the issues that came out of the discussions were the role of the technology, the role of the media, constraints on gender equality, access to information and the influence of the home.

Keen attention was paid at the relationship between violence and social norms, as the two are closely related in the Jamaican context. Along with the issues there were also a number of potential messages against youth violence as well as ideas on how to further the cause of the Next GENDERation Initiative. Terisa Thompson, President of the JSI and avid youth advocate, explained that in terms of the role of the home in influencing change, parents need to know their children, and know exactly how and what to teach their children. She shared ideas on how to further the cause of the initiative by exploring all avenues of technology, and using popular social websites for easy sharing of information.

The Next GENDERation Initiative is will host the second day of its launch in Kingston on Wednesday. It is the first of three phases and its administrators anticipate great and wonderful things on the second day and thereafter.

This Guest Post was written by Sashana Sanderson, 2nd Year Journalism Student at Caribbean Institute of Media & Communications (CARIMAC), located on the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.


Innovations, style, creativity, are just a few words to describe today’s youth in Jamaica. The irie land of Jamaica popularly known for its gorgeous beaches and jamming reggae music has for decades been crippled by high unemployment, lack of financial resources and violence particularly among its youth.

These issues have led to the merging of partnerships, to harness the creativity of the youth as a means to generate income, thereby creating jobs which in turn will build our economy. The World Bank in conjunction with other key stake holders has decided to use the Virtual Industry with a combination of the Visual Arts as a means to this end in Jamaica.

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Next month’s highly anticipated KingsToon festival will provide the opportunity for local and regional animators to get a foothold in the growing US$222.8 billion global animation industry.

The two-day event will be held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Andrew, from June 20 to 21.

Jamaica’s growing crop of local animators will get a chance to showcase their talent at the event.

State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 28, informed that the event will bring together, international and local leaders in the animation industry, international and local universities, Jamaican professionals, and visual arts students and practitioners.

He said among the objectives of the festival is to… READ MORE

Students from six high-schools across the island showcased their entrepreneurial skills and business development projects during the “I am the Change Expo: An Initiative to Develop Young Entrepreneurs” today at the Mona Business Lodge. The project is a partnership between the Digicel Foundation and the Mutual Building Societies Foundation. Participating schools are: Seaforth, Porus, Green Pond, Godfrey Stewart, McGrath and Mile Gully High Schools.


Launched in 2011, the Young Entrepreneur “I am the Change” Programme encourages innovation and business development through entrepreneurial activities. Since its inception, the Digicel Foundation has invested approximately $15 million. During the course of the last year, students were charged with developing mobile applications that would assist with solving issues within their schools and communities. These apps include; emergency notifications, study guides, job search mediums and produce distribution channels.


“This has been a great experience. One that has provided us with a number of opportunities and the chance to meet successful entrepreneurs in Jamaica,” noted Ashley Ann Porter, Mile Gully High student. “The programme has really been wonderful and I want to thank all the sponsors including Digicel Foundation, MBSF, JN and all the others for making this happen.”


Samantha Chantrelle, Executive Director of Digicel Foundation applauded the efforts of the participants, saying, “The work displayed by the students today is not only amazing, but truly inspiring. I am confident that these students have bright futures ahead of them and I commend their teachers and mentors, for having played instrumental roles in their development.” Chantrelle also reiterated the commitment of the Foundation to Youth endeavours across the island, “The Digicel Foundation remains fully committed to the empowerment of our youth through innovation and the use of information technologies.”

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Jamaican and West Indies cricket legend, Ambassador Courtney Walsh, will be a guest of honour at Wray & Nephew Contender on May 22, 2013.

In 2000, Courtney Walsh broke the record for holding most Test Wickets, one that stood for the next four years. He captained the West Indies for 22 Test Matches during 17 years of representing the regional squad, from 1984 t0 2001.

“Courtney Walsh is a proven Contender within the international sporting arena, and as such, we found it fitting to honour him at Wray & Nephew Contender, our marquee televised sporting series,” noted Cecil Smith, Marketing Manager of Owned Brands at J. Wray & Nephew. “Walsh’s presence will without a doubt, motivate our boxing participants, as they should always strive to further their craft to the highest of heights.”

For the May 22nd staging of Wray & Nephew Contender, not only will Mr. Walsh be a guest of honour, he will also participate in the announcement of the bout’s winner, and receive a presentation for his vaunted place in Jamaica’s sporting history.

The Yellow Team’s Devon ‘Concrete’ Moncrieff, and Richard ‘The Frog’ Holmes of the Green Team, will face-off in the quarterfinal bout on Courtney Walsh’s night of Honour.

Sixteen professional boxers entered Wray & Nephew Contender for a share of nearly $2 Million in prizes. The winner will receive J$1 Million and the title of Jamaica’s Ultimate Middleweight Boxer and the Wray & Nephew Contender. The second place winner will receive $500,000, 3rd place $250,000 and 4th place $200,000.

Launched in 2010, the Wray & Nephew Contender has enjoyed unprecedented success.  The television show has enjoyed record viewership during each of the first two seasons and the live fights at the Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA) attract sell-out crowds each week.

Living legend Usain Bolt in partnership with the Digicel Foundation handed over a multipurpose court to his hometown, Sherwood Content in Trelawny. The gift also included the levelling of a playing field for football and other field related sporting activities.

Funded by the Digicel Foundation to the tune of J$ 4million, the multipurpose court is yet another example of working for the development of his hometown and is the first step in Bolt’s plans to revitalize the Sherwood Content Community Centre. The Bolt Foundation has also been heavily involved in giving back to schools with the purchase of a school bus for Bolt’s alma mater William Knibb and the donation of playground equipment to four primary schools in Portland.
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Simply_Myrna_poster with John HoltThe Simply Myrna revue has added two of Jamaica’s most loved local and international recording artistes- the inimitable John Holt and Ernie Smith – to turn up heat on the already sizzling tempo of the annual musical extravaganza.  The show which has earned its place as a staple on Jamaica’s entertainment calendar is scheduled to return to the Courtleigh Auditorium venue in New Kingston on Saturday, March 9 where it has been staged for the last two years.  For the first time, the event will spread its wings to the Parish of Manchester to allow the music fans to experience the revue at the Golf View Hotel on Saturday, March 16.  Both shows will commence at 8:00 p.m., with pre-show cocktails at 7:00 p.m.

The show, which continues to enjoy rave media reviews as a high caliber event with world class entertainment, is being staged under the distinguished patronage of Professor Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall.

Myrna Hague, Jamaica First Lady of Jazz, is captured in this photo recently at RJR 94 FM studio, where she play guest on the Sunday afternoon show PALAV with Gerry McDaniel. [Photo Credit: Pete McDaniel]

Myrna Hague, Jamaica First Lady of Jazz, is captured in this photo recently at RJR 94 FM studio, where she play guest on the Sunday afternoon show PALAV with Gerry McDaniel. [Photo Credit: Pete McDaniel]

Known for bringing a special energy on stage with her versatility and sassy temperament, the acclaimed cabaret singer Myrna Hague, will again play the starring role at both shows, as she invites her male counterparts as special guests, with John Holt on the Kingston leg of the show and Ernie Smith sharing the stage with her in Mandeville. Ace musicians Marjorie Whylie and drummer Desi Jones will lead the musical accompaniment, under the direction of arranger and conductor, Ralph Holding Jr.

Sponsors of the show are: The Gleaner  Company Limited, Mega Mart in Kingston and Mandeville, Jamaica National, KLAS Sport Radio FM, Kool FM, CVM TV, the Spanish Court Hotel,  Isle Chix, Golf View Hotel,  Stage Records and The Piano House.

Tickets for the show are at a cost of $3,500 and are available at Music Mart on South Avenue and at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.

Cover of "Journey: The Very Best of"
Cover of Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer


Post-mortem album sales surge are becoming common for entertainers. However the late Queen of Disco Donna Summer, who died last Thursday at 63 after a battle with cancer, could be a little complicated. is report that nearly half of the late Donna Summer’s studio albums released by Geffen and Atlantic in the 80s and 90s are off the market both physically and digitally and are owned by her estate.

The unavailable albums includes Geffen’s “The Wanderer” (1980), “Donna Summer” (1982), “Cats Without Claws” (1984), “All Systems Go” (1987) and “I’m a Rainbow” (a shelved album from the early 1980s that was unreleased until 1996).

For Atlantic, she released “Another Place and Time” in 1989 (which includes the top 10 Billboard Hot 100 single “This Time I Know It’s For Real“) and “Mistaken Identity” in 1991.

So what can we expect from the diva’s catalog? sources chimes the biggest seller of the bunch might be “The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer,” which was released in 2003, also her first best-of, 1979′s “On the Radio – Greatest Hits Volumes I & II.”

As part of its on-going initiative in the spirit of cultural exchange and global bridge-building the Artistic Expressions Limited will host its 2nd staging of ‘Cultural Fusion’ September 3rd and 4th, after a hugely successful first show last September with the Parisian Ballet Jazz Rick Odums Company from Paris and the National Dance Theatre Company.

This year the group will feature the dancing shoes of three different cultures as Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, a New York City based contemporary ballet company, Danza Contemporeana de Cuba and the treasured National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC)will dance the nights of September 3rd and 4th away.
Stefanie Thomas, member of Artistic Expressions, as well as the NDTC explains: “its two evenings of dance, where we bring together diverse dance styles and cultures. The date is September 3rd and 4th at the Little Theatre. The first of two evenings will feature, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, a New York City based contemporary ballet company alongside the time treasured NDTC.”

She continued: “the second will feature the athletic Danza Contemporeana de Cuba led by Artistic Director Eduardo Rivera, choreographer of ‘Sulkari’, with selections from the NDTC.”  Ms. Thomas said, “Both nights will feature Special Guest Artists and Choreographers, so it’s definitely something to come out for.”

Whilst still young, Artistic Expressions have held to the objective of promoting the growth of art, culture, poetry, music and dance in Jamaica.  Through its founders, Artistic Expressions have sought to explore avenues to bring forth the richness of the collective expression of the different people to contribute to the preservation of their unique histories.

They have so far hosted musicians and writers and more recently visual artists and dance artists including Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott; Lorna Goodison; Edward Baugh; Mervin Morris; The French Ballet Jazz Company CIE Rick ODUMS; Della Manley; Dean Fraser among others. In 2010, Artistic Expressions partnered with Enterprise Development Trust to provide scholarships for an Excelsior High School Students valued at J$100,000, and continues to be committed to youth development.

Cultural Fusion 2011, brings together dancers from three cultures on one stage, and builds on the successful staging of cultural fusion 2010, in which the French Ballet Company Rick ODUMS delighted the audience alongside the NDTC.  Reviews from 2010’s Cultural Fusion stated: “The waters of the Atlantic Ocean separating Jamaica and France were reduced to a mere drop… through their shared passion (Jamaica Observer).” “There was a huge explosion of talent…as dance met music and art when Artistic Expressions Limited presented ‘Cultural Fusion’ (Sunday Herald).”

Saturday’s show features: the NYC based ballet comtemporary company, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, the NDTC & Guest Artists

Sunday’s show features: the Cuban dance company, Danza Contemporeana de Cuba, the NDTC & Guest Artists

Tickets Available @:
Cannonball Cafes: Liguanea, Loshushan & Manor Park
The Little Theatre Box Office

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