Getting the word out…

Author Archives: Dexter


(From Left) Ian Lyn CEO of the FIRM Marketing Agency, Nadine Rawlins of Guardsman Group of Companies, Scotiabank’s Omar Spence, Kia’s Claudette Chin and Karen Tomlinson at RBC Royal Bank representing sponsors gather for a photo op at the Jamaica Motor Show Press Launch Wednesday evening.

“You buy now,” was the word from Ian Lyn as he spoke Wednesday evening at the press launch of the Jamaica Motor Show, which is excepted to get on the way 10am this Saturday at the Police Officers Show. Lyn was making the point, “with the dollar racing and loan rates expected to rise there is no question that this is the best time to buy a car.”

Lyn also emphasized that with increase rates on car loans as low as 9 percent; patrons should take charge of the amazing deals that will be on location Saturday. “Increase rates are the lowest they have been in the last decade at 9 percent and we’ve invited members of the banking industry; Scotiabank, NCB, RBC Royal Bank, First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union, JMMB, Sagicor Bank and others to be on hand to give you the most competitive deals to afford your own keys.”

Buying a vehicle for some is a family decision. Lyn said, “the motor show promises to be a family day out with a Kiddies Village with bounce-a-bout and other attractions, stunts from Crazy Bikers, Jamaica’s own ‘fast and furious’ Skunk Nation and a packed entertainment package featuring top-lined entertainers with a car stereo sound clash.” Continuing he said, “This is in addition to a wide variety of cars brands and prices ranging from as low as $500,000 to as much as $50 million.”

Karen Tomlinson, Senior Manager at RBC Royal Bank signaled that joining forces with the Jamaica Motor Show will be an excellent partnership. “We’re proud to be on board and to be associated with the Jamaica Motor Show brand as we recently launched our car loan services with low monthly payments and interest.” Tomlinson was quick to highlight that RBC Royal Bank was being true to the slogan “get your keys with ease”.

Guardsman Group’s Nadine Rawlins also announced her company’s pledge to offer a special security tracking to persons attending the Jamaica Motor Show this Saturday. “Security is important for car owners and the Guardsman Group is prepared to offer patrons at the motor show on Saturday a free installation of our security tracking system with a special onetime monthly charge of $2500 thereafter,” gave Rawlins to huge applause.

Adults can pay only $250 flat for entrance, while children are free, to experience this as well as the unveiling of the KIA Sorento and the Tata Nano for the first time in Jamaica.

Jamaica Motor Show

Jamaica Motor Show

The Firm Agency is pleased to announce its 6th staging of the Jamaica Motor Show to take place on the grounds of the Jamaica Police Officers Club, January 19 starting at 10am. The annual show for used and new car dealers come on the heels of a successive return auto show that kicked off in Kingston last year then travelled to Manchester and Montego Bay to offer many ‘premium car deals’.

The Jamaica Motor Show, a used car dealer market, is fast shaping up to be one of the biggest and best auto show the country has ever seen, with a record number of discounts, sales and patrons supporting the years. In making the announcement for the 2013 staging, the Firm Agency CEO, Ian Lyn said, “this year is going to be an amazing year, Scotiabank is back on board and the RJR Group, First Heritage Cooperative (FHC) Credit Union, NCB and RBC Banks are fully behind us, plus we have made additions to this year’s show to ensure the entire family and our fans enjoy themselves by adding a Kiddies Village, along with entertainment from Nadine Sutherland with more artistes to be added.”

“We can confirm that multiple car brands can be expected at the 2013 Jamaica Motor Show. Last year patrons left satisfied having seen the new Porsche, Bentley, Benz and BMWs, as well having had good deals,” chimed Lyn, Show Director. Punching home the point that automobile fans should start planning their route to the Police Officer’s Club he noted, “We’re thrilled to offer this platform to Jamaicans to get affordable car deals in the current economic times, as well as to offer a unique market for players in the used car dealer market.”

A huge highlight of the 2013 Jamaica Motor Show will be the addition of a Car Stereo Competition. “Music is a part of who we are as Jamaicans, and globally we’re recognized for that through the works of our entertainers,” gave Lyn as he explained the reason for the addition. Continuing, “It’s customary while walking or driving down the road to hear music being pumped from a car with a good stereo system. In seeking to improve on last year’s show, we thought this would be an innovative move to find the best car stereo system.” The winners in the competition will be presented with prizes from the sponsors.

The Firm Agency boss is confident Jamaicans will look forward to this one of a kind show. Noting “patrons can anticipate a one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen concept with the opportunities to win several prizes when they turn out at the 2013 Jamaica Motor Show.”

Lyn is upbeat about the future prospects of the show outside Kingston, “Last year we travelled to Mandeville and Montego, for this year we’re working on expanding to other towns as well as adding something unique to each location; more will be revealed down the line, but for now the focus is Kingston.”

The 2013 Jamaica Motor Show will be held at the Police Officer’s Club, 34 Hope Road, Kingston 10 on January 19, 2013.

For further information about the Show visit or Follow on Twitter @FirmEvents

The Birthday is fast approaching, even some of my friends wished me ‘Happy Birthday’ this morning.

I diverge. Last year I vowed I would never ever plan anything for birthday again, after my invited list shrunk to about 8 or 9 last year down from a sizeable figure. I was disappointed and spoke out of anger. It’s natural to feel that way when you expected certain individuals to turn up and they don’t. Jamila wouldn’t allow me to be upset and made me promise to do something for future birthdays; I fake agree, but here I am today talking about a pre-celebration at Usain Bolt Tracks & Records Behind the Screen Series with Etana and a lunch on the day.

I’m an appreciative guy, not picky, except where it concerns my food; which MUST be spicy (particularly anything curried); my fries (slightly overdone and salty); grape soda; carrot cake and DON’T BEG ME ANY OF MY CINNAMON STICKS. Despite all of this I’ve struggled to get half what’s on my wishlist and sometimes getting nothing (don’t y’all love me?). Here goes this year’s list:

1. Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3

This one can be ticked off since I won it via a competition from the Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management (ODPEM) as they promoted the 7th Annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management in Montego Bay, Jamaica recently.

2. A Motherboard for my Sony Laptop My baby I got last year for my birthday needs to find her way home to me before the holidays.

3. A Job – I think this speaks for itself.

4. Win the Super Lotto – which reminds I need to pencil that dream last night.

5. A week with Oprah.

6. A Tablet PC – iPad Mini, and the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity are good choices.

7. Ring the Birthday in with Friends Tuesday December 18th at Usain Bolt Tracks & Records Behind the Screen Series with Etana.

Pre-Birthday Celebration Party, join me Tuesday, December 18th to ring my day in as the Etana, "the Strong One", performs in the BEHIND THE SERIES.

Pre-Birthday Celebration Party, join me Tuesday, December 18th to ring my day in as the Etana, “the Strong One”, performs in the BEHIND THE SERIES.

8. A Digital Camera


10. A Wallet – I REALLY could do with a new one.

Well see y’all later at Usain Bolt Tracks & Records for the Behind the Screen Series with Etana.


Tuesday, December 4th was my first day at the 7th Annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management, organise bythr Caribbean Disaster Emergency Agency (CDEMA) in collaboration with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM). The conference features the coming together of professionals in the fields of disaster management, those from sectoral and thematic fields who have specific responsibility and experience in the foremention fields.

One of the objectives of the conference is “to demonstrate and facilitate exchanges on shared responsibility for Comprehensive Disaster Management at the individual, community, sectoral, national bad regional levels”. A move I support, chiefly because it allows the exchange of information on good practices, while building networks among the region’s professionals.

As part of a Twitter competition launch by ODPEM I won a stay at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica to tweet about the event; you can follow me at to view my tweets. Jn the meantime I ask that you read “Repositioning Disaster Resilience in the Development Agenda”, presented by Dr. Carla Barnett, Vice President (Operations), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Originally posted on cdmconference:


In the first plenary session of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)’s  7th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management being   held at the  Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica from December 3rd – 7th, 2012,  a  High Level Panel Discussion with government ministers saw the sharing of  experiences in the challenges of disaster risk management under the topic “Repositioning Disaster Resilience in the Development Agenda.”

Panellist  Mrs. Elisabeth Harper, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Guyana presented the following paper, “A perspective and initiatives of the Government of Guyana: Guyana Disaster Risk Management Strategy.”

The forward looking presentation predicts an improved quality of life for Guyanese with the reduction of vulnerabilities in a sustainable manner:

The low coastal plain of Guyana which supports 90% of the population and is the administrative, agricultural, commercial and industrial centre of the country is 1 to 3 meters below sea level.


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Originally posted on cdmconference:


December 5, day three of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)’s  7th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management in Montego Bay will feature a plenary session with the discussion topic ‘Building Resilience-CDM responsibility in Action’.

Participants in the discussion are expected to be Mr. Ronald Jackson, Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness &Emergency Management (ODPEM); Dr. Arun Kashyap, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative, Jamaica; Ms. Litea Biukoto, SOPAC Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC);  and Mr. Shailesh Kataria, Director, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), United Kingdom.

Other presentations on resilience are expected to include Family and Community perspectives on disaster planning; financing and Insurance for Disaster Risk Resilience; and Women and Girls, the Invisible Force for Resilience. The CDEMA conference is on at the Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica from December 3rd – 7th, 2012,  convened under the broad…

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December 1 is celebrated around the world as World AIDS day. Leading up to, and after the day, there is an increase in the number of messages related to HIV education, diagnosis and treatment that are aired. A lot more persons talk about the virus and people get tested to know their status. Compared to the early stages when many misconceptions were popular being HIV-positive is less frighten; in that more information are available, support groups and medical research to help you live positive.

A few years ago, 2006, I met a young man who was living with HIV and interviewed him for the Sunday Gleaner’s Outlook Magazine. The story published on December 10 was my article of marking World AIDS Day that year, I wish to share the article with you in it entirety or you could read it at its original location by clicking here.

The acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS) are threatening Jamaica’s future as scores of young people fall victim to these deadly diseases. More frightening are the statistics indicating that scores of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are contracting the virus.

Today, Outlook Youth has decided to shed some light on HIV/AIDS in the form of an interview with someone living with HIV.

Meet 27 year-old Alan,a normal-looking young man, who lives a relatively normal life except that he is living with HIVfor over three years.

Alan, who is not promiscuous, said he was rather surprised when he learnt that he had the virus. “I’m not the promiscuous type. I had expected that to happen to someone else,” he revealed to us. “But that is just how life is.”

According to Alan, everything started out with some minor health problems which he began to worry about. After several tests returned negative, he was advised to do an HIV test. “At first I refused, as there was no way in this world I thought I could have it because I was a faithful partner,” he told Outlook Youth. “Then I remembered when my girlfriend and I had some problems, I had a fling – so I decided to do the test ’cause there was nothing to lose, I thought.

“When the results returned, I thought they had got the samples mixed up, and then when the second test confirmed the first, I was even more stunned than the first time. At that moment, it was as if I was in another world, I didn’t have time to think and again I said the result was wrong. The doctor assured me that it was right and that I needed to accept the truth as that was the only way in which I was going to move forward.

“What was I to do now? It was the end of the road. I thought that there was no hope in life and all had ended. It was best that I had been run over by a truck,” Alan said.

“I knew I had a close-knit family but what would they think? I asked myself. Life was now filled with a lot of questions and doubt. But somehow I would have to reveal to them that I was HIV positive so it was best to do it now,” recalled Alan.

When he revealed it to his family, they were shocked and had a lot of questions for him, some of which he had no answer to. However, they stood by him through everything. According to him, they were the ones who, perhaps, kept him going when he thought of giving up along the way, either by suicide or other means.

Today, Alan, despite his condition, is working assiduously to promote healthy lifestyles amongst youth and other age groups. He believes that being infected with HIV has opened up doors for him and has allowed him to see things in a different perspective.

His advice to teens is, “having sex is fun, but when you have a death ruling and life is limited, that can be depressing … if you can’t withhold, make up your mind to use a condom always.”

Today, Alan is pursuing his dreams by completing a course in psychology.

Name was changed for confidentiality.


#HashCon 2012: An Advocacy Challenge for Jamaican Bloggers by UNICEF Jamaica

#HashCon 2012: An Advocacy Challenge for Jamaican Bloggers by UNICEF Jamaica

This post was made in submission for the UNICEF Jamaica #HashCon2012 “Positive SHEroes: Strong women working towards an AIDS-free generation”. Click here  for more info.

When AIDS emerged in the 1980, it mostly affected men, however today females accounts for almost half of the number of persons living with the HIV strain. Worldwide the business of HIV/AIDS is a foremost of some, if not all, governments. HIV/AIDS is describe in many circles as a pandemic, simple to say its a huge problem. While much have been done to advance knowledge of HIV through awareness and science, several barriers/challenge exist, chief among them are challenges faced by women; the general focus of what today’s post will be about.

A few years back, at the peak of my youthful exuberance, I interviewed a young man who was HIV-positive. The interview was a enlightening one, and was done for a World AIDS piece. Through the interview I learnt of the challenges and the daily encounters of a male living with “the most deadly virus”. It was also a window for me as I later spoke with females who also had HIV, it was from there that I saw the challenges that they face and found it fitting to take part in the UNICEF SHEroes competition.

The use of ‘Sheroes’ is a gender specific term to the often male thought of ‘heroes’, it gives a feminine touch and focus.

The number of HIV-positive women and girls continues to increase. From the statistics most of the females who suffer from “the deadly virus” or “big A”, as it is often refer by the common-man locally, are usually in the prime of their productive lives. In that they are often young females, fruitful, with a whole future ahead. Many persons are at times dumbfounded as to how members of our society still manage to contract HIV, particularly young people, despite what they consider increase awareness, access to contraceptive, all with the aide of technology.  Whilst those might be right, the issues are far more entrenched. They are entrenched in:

1. The power of condom negotiation with their partner(s)

2. Cultural/Religious Ideologies

3. Comprise standards

4. Awareness

All of which can be solved.

The solution to these cannot be attain overnight, neither can they single-handed be achieved by a lone female. It requires the empowering of our women to challenge the inequities of society and to stand firm in matters of sexual reproductive health. Most of all our women need us; the society, men, persons of influence in society that people listen to/have an audience or can impact change to challenge existing culture. However, it is through small challenges that discrimination, unemployment, abandonment, violence or other seclusion/ills against our women can change once they are identified as being HIV-positive. It is imperative to note that change will not come overnight, however change can happen with the support of the society at large.

In matters of condom usage, while its general seen that the man should carry the condom a woman should always have a pack of condom, after all sex is not a one-person show. Women MUST insist on their partners “no glove, no love”. The decision to protect ones health, whether HIV or otherwise lies with you.

The idea of a christian majority country or the cultural proposition that a wife/woman should submit to her husband/man, should not foolhardy be followed. I’m not about gaining the wrath of my fellow male species, so allow me to defend myself. A man and his significant other should be open to dialogues about matters of the heart and sex. One should know what the other prefers, dislike and most importantly not to put their partner at risk. Each should know the other status, with mutual HIV testing at random intervals to reaffirm trust that each other is HIV-free. There are talks in certain quarters that men are not opened to the idea of doctors, however if a man loves and respects you he will make the visit.

Live by standards, lay grounds about how intimate involvement will work or expectations. Multiple partners, cheating, no-condom/’bare-back’ and dishonest should not be the basics on which relationships are built. Indicate to your partner that these will not be tolerate, once these are outline at the get-go a man gets the indication the standards by which the relationship will be judged.

Another thing one must be aware of each other status, as well as the methods available to protect each other. Whether it be the female condom with the use of spermicide, dental damps, or other forms of contraceptives. Including the contraceptives that should be used along with other methods to prevent sexually transmitted infections. As we look to greater awareness and break barriers, let us look to advancing the rights and sexual reproductive health of females living with HIV. It could happen to anyone, get the knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and correct erroneous information were they are being communicated.

My final comment might cause some persons to hurl missiles at me…but here goes. If a female “locks shop” (no sex) because her partner refuses to wear a condom he will get the message that she is firm about protecting herself. Don’t risk your life for a one fling/sex because your man doesn’t want to wear a condom, don’t be guilty by the idea/thought of him straying; it sounds hard but your life carries more value.

The power is in all of us, let’s not be a victim. Negotiate condom usage…no glove, no love.


Originally posted on CucumberJuice:

So I finally dug this post out of one called Stanford! When I saw him get a response to his persistence I pounced…poor thing…but I’m tenacious, as he no doubt now realizes (and you’re welcome for the space, Stanny!).  And this is why I kept at him: every so often I’d see @stannyha tweet to @NEPAJamaica about some smuggled rare parrots.  At first I thought it was a random thing but then I saw the tweets again…and again…and again.  And I began to smile.  I LOVE it when us “ordinary” Jamaicans focus on an issue and demand answers from the folks in charge.  Yes, these are “just parrots”…but they’re not “just parrots.”  (Kinda like Twitter.) Big or small it’s important to us to demand action to protect the nation’s and citizens’ rights…to demand the action that is required to protect our country.  Stanford does just that, I think, and I hope NEPA…

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Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley delivered an epic performance at Reggae Sumfest International Night 2, on the morning of Sunday, July 22, 2012.
(Photo Credits: Skkan Media Entertainment)

Epic, that’s the best way to describe the final instalment of Reggae Sumfest, the three-night concert held in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica. At the end, the night undoubtedly belonged to Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Protoje and his band ‘The Indignation’, and Bunny Wailer.

R. Kelly, the man hailed as the King of R&B, who never appeared on last year’s show because he had an emergency throat surgery, delivered his highly anticipated notes; however, he failed to impress us.  His performance seemed lackluster, hasty and detached. Patrons weren’t pleased having been forced to wait one and half hours after his schedule performance time. He appeared on stage Sunday just after 1am in the said attire local media outlets had photographied him in over 12 hours before.

R. Kelly performs in Jamaica at Reggae Sumfest International Night 2.
(Photo Credits: Skkan Media Entertainment)

Nevertheless, he managed to get the females screaming and shouting his name, as he reeled off hit after hit including Bump N’ Grind, You Remind Me of Something, and Fiesta. Some patrons were visibly upset and sat down through his less than an hour hasty and detached performance. He closed his act unexpectedly with Step In the name of Love and Happy People, furthering the dissatisfaction.

During his performance, he attempted to win over the audience, some of whom he was successful with, because of his obvious tardiness. During this moment he encouraged females to remove his shoe leaving him in socks, however, after he exited the stage, we understood, the females who removed them had to return them.  So with R. Kelly and his theatrical piece out of the way, the stage was fit for the son of ‘The Gong’, Damian Marley, to save us. Jr. Gong, as he is often called, completed the task smoothly and impressed, with high energy from beginning to end, that eventually scored him an encore.

Protoje performs at Reggae Sumfest International Night 2012.
(Photo Credits: Skkan Media Entertainment)

Before the Kelly’s drama, swag boy Christopher Martin glided across the stage with Cheaters Prayer, Paper Loving, Real Frenz. Martin even performed Carpenter originally voiced by John Holt, who had performed on International Night one. Protoje known for his rebellious and conscious lyrics scored several times with his band the Indignation, as they chanted away JA, Who Dem A Program, This is not a Marijuana Song and others.

Christopher Martin performs at Reggae Sumfest International Night 2, Saturday, July 21, 2012.
(Photo Credits: Skkan Media Entertainment)

Bunny Wailer took us down memory lane and pulled the curtain on Reggae Sumfest 20th Anniversary Concert, after Damian Marley’s epic performance, in a special Jamaica 50 tribute segment– alongside the Skatalites– packed with several hits and crowd favourites.

Other performances for the night came from A.J. Brown, Raine Seville, Conkarah, Q-Ban and Jedani. Paula-Anne Porter-Jones and François St. Juste were both celebrated for their years of service to Reggae Sumfest, the latter having served for 20 years.

R&B Crooner Trey Songz performing at Reggae Sumfest International Night 1, July 21, 2012.
(Photo Credit: Trey Songz Adrian Creary Photography

Last evening, no matter your location in Jamaica, all roads seemed to have led to one place, Reggae Sumfest International Night one, where the much talked-about headliners Shabba Ranks and Trey Songz were slated to perform. “You just cannot miss it, it’s the night of Sumfest,” one patron said. This sentiment echoes the fact that Shabba Ranks had not performed in Jamaica for over a decade and it was to be the first for the rising heartthrob, Trey Songz.

At 1am Trey Songz entered the Reggae Sumfest 20th Anniversary stage to intense shriek from females. “This goes out to the beautiful girls,” the first line of his hit song ‘Invented Sex’, wetted patrons for Trey, who quickly did his rendition of Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill’s Turn Your Lights Down Low. Songz, known for showing off his chest during his performances, teased the audience a bit and then obliged his fans’ desire for him to appease their eyes, while completing several songs from his compilation to sharp-cut females.

Shabba Ranks at Reggae Sumfest 2012.
(Photo Credit: SHABBA – Adrian Creary Photography

A band change followed and at about 2:45am “big dutty, stinkin” Shabba Ranks greeted Catherine Hall in his characteristically colourful use of the Jamaican language. Shabba was his usual authentic and hardcore self as he delivered to those who have never seen him perform and refreshed other die-heart fans with sexually explicit lyrics and groove. Shabba wowed the audience with hits like Wicked Inna Bed, Peeny Peeny, Love Punany Bad, Trailer Load A Girls, Ting A Ling and so much more. The infectious crowd gobbled up every hit. The fanfare reached a notch higher when Shabba brought songstress Cherine Anderson on stage for Mr. Loverman, during which he showed his trademark ‘wine technique’.

Tessanne Chin belts out a note at Reggae Sumfest International Night 1, July 20, 2012.
(Photo Credit: Tessanne Chin Adrian Creary Photography

Before them, Tarrus Riley and Tessanne ignited the stage with popular hits, showing why both were big league acts fitting to begin a firework night. Tessanne took us down memory lane with some ska and rocksteady beats and had the undivided attention of Catherine Hall to songs such as Messenger, Reason Is You, Hideaway and others. While Mr. Singy-Singy, Tarrus Riley, fed patrons one single at a time and was even joined by Dean Fraser on saxophone.

Bonafide, Sophia Brown and Nature were well-received. However, several persons were dissatisfied with Angelique Sabrina’s performance, voicing opinions like “Is this girl for real, is she lip-syncing,” and “this is an insult to our musical intelligence.”

After his performance Shabba Ranks was honoured, amid fireworks, and gave a message to those set to take over from him. He requested his family’s presence on the stage to share the moment with him. Also honoured for years of service to the show was Irie FM’s Elise Kelly, who dedicated the award to Mighty Mike and her mom.

A poor decision by the organizers saw the Jamaica 50 tribute coming in after 4am, with the likes of Derrick Harriot, U-Roy, and John Holt et al, after Shabba Ranks was honoured. On our way out we heard John Holt’s “If I were a carpenter and you were a lady would you have my baby”. We heard that the Jamaica 50 tribute went until 6am.

With today being Damian “Jr Gong” Marley’s birthday one expects a trilling night. He’ll perform along with Protoje, who is expected to take stage at 10:53pm, Chris Martin and The World’s Greatest singer, R.Kelly.


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