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Permalink 01:56:50 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Who is Raising your Child

Most persons in their sixties who grew up in Jamaica will tell you that they were raised by their grandparents. Yes, Mommy and or Daddy were around, and would ensure the children went to school however Grandma was the person who was most in charge of the children. In those days, Grandma either worked from home or not at all while grandpa worked in the fields raising crops and or animals. For those families where the grandparents did not live in the same house, the children spent weekends and definitely all holidays by the grands. Grandma would be sure to spoil you however the girls had to learn to take care of the home and cook while the boys had to learn how to take care of the yard and animals which most homes were sure to have.

Back then communication was by word of mouth and telegraph. Television for the few who had them was black and white. Neighbours would gather to watch shows such as Ring Ding, Bonanza, and Payton Place.  Children played outside with each other and with whatever they could find to amuse themselves with. For example, a juice box made an excellent ball or toy car, a banana bow made a sturdy bat while a pear seed made an awesome gig. Dandy shandy, jump rope, jacks, marble, kite flying and gig throwing were just some of the popular games children would enjoy playing.

Everyone knew everyone in their neighbourhood. Children were raised by the community. Adults corrected and scolded children whether they were theirs or not. In fact, if a child had to be reprimanded by an adult who was not their parent, chances are they would get a good beating from their parent. Not only for whatever it is that they did, but also for shaming the family.

Then the children of the sixties became parents. The focus then was for their children to have the things that they never had. They moved to the cities to make a better life for themselves and their children. The grandparents were still very important in the upbringing process, however Mommy and Daddy tried to be more involved. Education beyond high school was a major factor and was the key to success. Of course, higher education is very expensive, so both parents are caught up in the drive to earn enough so that the children can realize ‘their’ dreams.

The children are now left to the nannies to raise. They ensure the children are supervised, clean and fed. Some are hardworking motherly individuals who will love and care for your child as they would their own. However, for most it’s just a job. There is no time to sit and play or teach the children.

By this time televisions are in every home. Luckily then there was still some moral guidelines by which the entertainment industry operated and although Tom and Jerry or Tweety and Sylvester did take a swing at each other the lewdness and violence was not so prevalent. Children still played outside on weekends and holidays but only in their own yard or by family or very close friends. On school days, they had to stay in and concentrate on school work. Parents struggled to buy actual toys for the children so the art of making them began to fade.

As the grandparent were still living in the rural areas, the lessons from the them were reserved for holidays.  There was not enough time for the ‘duppy’ stories from grandpa or to learn those medicinal herbal bushes from grandma. Mommy only kept that broad leaf mint and the tuna plant at home. Adults in the communities minded their own business unless they personally knew the child’s parents. Communication was made easier as the telephone came into its own, however as it was still very expensive at that time children were not allowed to use it without permission.

Now the children of the sixties are the grandparents. Most are still having to work in order to support themselves and have little time to help in the upbringing of the children in the family.  It is the age of technology and things are changing constantly. Most parents today are still trying to educate themselves in order to keep up in the work places. At the same time, they are trying to provide for their children, giving them like their parents before them, all the things that they never had. Now both Mommy and Daddy are competing for those top jobs that will afford the family all the luxury that they crave.  Higher education is no longer a nice to have, but a must have if a child is to make it big.

From as early as a baby’s eyes are focused they are placed before the television to keep them quiet. They are given the latest gadgets to keep them amused and occupied as soon as they can hold them. There is a Jamaican saying, ‘Children learn what they live’. Most of the games today on these gadgets contain violence. Even the cartoons on the children stations are quite unpleasant and violent, but anything to keep them busy. Most children today are unable to talk to other children as it’s not something that they practice.

As they get bigger, they must have a computer, after all it’s the way of the future. Do not forget the smart phone an essential tool for all young or old. Children today are constantly glued to these gadgets. They have access to all kinds of information, good and bad and they know how to use them. Unfortunately, there are many evil persons out there devising ways to attract your child. Social medias such as Facebook and Tweeter has the world connected in a way that is unbelievable. Our children are so bombarded by all the technology that they cannot help but be influenced by them.

Recently my husband and I went out to dinner. As we left the restaurant there were four teenagers waiting at a table. All four were busy on their individual phones quite contented to talk to whomever is was at the other end of the line while they totally ignored each other. What a waste. For all we knew they were properly speaking with each other the only way they knew. LOL.

The question is, who is raising your child? The grandparents are no longer in the picture, Mommy and Daddy are much too busy earning the finances necessary to provide all they never had for their children and the nannies really don’t have the time. Our children learn what they live. How is your child living? Who or what is teaching your child? When was the last time you sat with your children around a meal and talked about the day’s events?  Do you know your child’s friends or what is important to them? Is your child studying to be a doctor because that is what you have told them to be instead of a hairstylist which is their true passion? Why is it so important to give our children what we never had, did you turn out so badly?

Somehow that manual on how to raise your child always gets misplaced. No one that I know has ever received it. I guess because each child is so unique they keep having to change it so it never gets out. Either way it is a parent’s responsibility to raise their child. Yes, it is not an easy job. What works for one child does not work for the next, however please do not leave it up to technology. Children need their parents love to give them confidence. All they really need is you.


Nuff Love.

Permalink 01:53:50 pm, by Melba
Categories: Politics, Commentary

General or Local Elections - Your Opportunity to make a Difference

Elections is a time when the citizens of a nation vote on who and which sets of ideals will govern their country. Depending on the type of Government practiced, usually there are two or more parties (political bodies) involved unless it’s a Monarchy or Dictatorship. Each party will have policies by which they plan to govern the nation if they are elected. These policies include rules to protect and secure the people and provide solutions to social problems. Once elected the party becomes a major part of the country’s administrative structure. It forms the nation’s primary legislative body with the responsibility to transform their policies into laws. The leader of each party is usually someone who is chosen to ensure that the polices of their party is carried out.

Let’s look at Jamaica’s administrative structure. Jamaica enjoys a Parliamentary Democracy type of Government. That is a government where the citizens elect representatives from among themselves to form the governing body.

The Head of State for Jamaica is Queen Elizabeth II since February 06, 1952, who is represented by the Governor General. The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoints a governor-general as her representative in Jamaica. Sir Patrick Linton Allen is the current Governor General from March 26, 2009.

The Head of the Government is the Prime Minister who is appointed by the people. Currently the Most Honourable Andrew Michael Holness, leader of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), was sworn in as Prime Minister on 3 March 2016, succeeding People's National Party (PNP) leader the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller.

The legislative branch of the government, which is responsible for the laws of the country is made up of the two houses of Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives. Laws are written, discussed and voted on in Congress.

The Senate consists of twenty-one (21) members appointed by the Governor General. Thirteen (13) persons on the advice of the Prime Minister and eight (8) on the recommendation of the leader of the Opposition.

The House of Representative consist of sixty-three (63) elected officials, Members of Parliament (MPs), chosen by the people in a general Election. A MPs responsibility is three-fold, they must work in the legislative branch of government, in Parliament itself, work in the constituency that elected them and work for their political party. Some MPs within the governing party also become Government Ministers with specific responsibilities in certain areas, such as Education, Youth and Information or Justice or Tourism.

General Elections are held every 5 years in Jamaica at which time Parliament must be dissolved. The Prime Minister however may advise the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament at any time within the five years and name a date for a general election. Parliament may also be dissolved before the five-year period if majority of the members of the House of Representatives supports a no-confidence motion against the Government.

Local Government office holders such as Mayors and Councillors are selected during Local Elections. These persons should either live or work in the area that they represent. The Department of Local Government works within communities through Local Authorities entities namely the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), the Portmore Municipal Council and the 12 Parish Councils. Their responsibilities include water supplies, road works, parks and beautification, cemeteries, markets, drains and street lights to name a few.

The two main parties in Jamaica are the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP). Sadly, over the years the nation has been divided to such a point where you are either JLP or PNP. People will tell you, “My great grandfather, my grandfather, my father and all my family was a ‘die hearted’ PNP, so I’m a PNP” or JLP. You can’t live in certain areas unless you are a JLP or PNP supporter for fear of your life. Even among the ‘more educated’, friends would be sure to condemn that green or orange clothing the other person was wearing implicating their political preference especially if it differed from their own.

Unfortunately, this mentality is still very prevalent today among some of our voters. Irrespective of what election is going on, General, Local or even By Elections voters vote for which ever candidate is JLP or PNP since that’s their party. No research is done on the candidates up for elections. Are they eligible or qualified for the position? Are they capably to carry out the functions and what are their ideals. Some people have no clue as to what it is that they are even voting for, especially in a Local Election. “What’s the difference?” some will ask. Many Jamaicans are very dishearten with the electoral process. Some are just plain scared based on the intimidation practices in some areas. Others will go with whoever is willing to pay the highest for their vote come election day.

Having said that I do believe there is still hope in our younger voters. They are now more than ever questioning the policies and demanding accountability from those responsible. With all the new technology, today more information is readily available on the electoral process and the persons up for election. There is also a renewed energy to educate the next generation about their involvement in the running of the country and the importance of their vote.

U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) defined democracy as:


«Government of the people, by the people, for the people».

This can only work to the good of all if the right persons are selected to form the countries government. It is important for every eligible citizen to educate themselves of the policies being promised by potential candidates during elections, exercise their civil duty to vote and demand performance from those elected. After all, whether General or Local Elections, an election is your opportunity to make a difference in the governance of your nation.

Nuff Love



Permalink 05:15:02 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Jamaican Fruit Cake Mix – Annilu

Today is Sunday, February 06, 2011, the late Bob Marley’s birthday, (the air waves are playing nothing but his music, fabulous), and I have just finished cooking Sunday dinner including a Jamaican fruit cake. I know it’s not Christmas but with the discovery of ‘Annilu’ this Christmas, baking Jamaican Fruit cakes has become a ‘breeze’.

I’m the first to tell you that baking is an art form, you either have it or you don’t. Unfortunately I don’t. So no need to tell you how stressed out I am every Christmas when it’s expected that you bake Christmas cake or pudding. Over the years luckily for me I have two great, gifted girl friends that bale me out each year by ensuing that I get Christmas cake for my house. 

Well this year, I went to the supermarket one day and they were promoting a Jamaican Fruit cake mix, Annilu. My first thought was, ‘that can’t taste good’. Fruit cake and cake mix don’t go together. I was encouraged to sample and I must say I was impressed. I bought a box determined to prove that surely they must have added more for the sample that they made me test. Well, after baking that first box, I haven’t looked back. It really tastes like fruit cake. My husband could not believe that it came from a box.

Now, I’m a pro, It takes me ten (10) minutes to put it all together, the dry and wet mix, 3 eggs and 1/4lb of butter. I add a bit more fruits as I like to bite into them and the mix blends them out completely.  I sometimes add chopped nuts for variation and if I don’t expect children I spice it up by adding more white rum. Another trick my friend shared was to add strawberry jam, which also spruces up the flavor. Then in the oven for 1 hour and you’re done.

So now I bake fruit cakes whenever I like. No more major production. Mark you, there is nothing like a start from scratch Jamaican fruit cake from someone who has the gift and can really bake, but for others like me, Annilu is a god sent. 

Nuff Love


Permalink 11:29:08 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture






29.07.10 BAGNOLS Sur CEZE (France) / Garance Reggae Festival.

30.07.10 RIPATRANSONE (Italy) / Summer Festival.

31.07.10 FOSSACESIA (Italy) / Onde Sonore Festival.

01.08.10 ROMA (Italy) / Villa Ada.

02.08.10 BESSUDE (Italy) / Sardinia Reggae Festival.

05.08.10 REUNION ISLAND (France) / Sakifo Festival.

07.08.10 UPPSALA (Sweden) / Uppsala Reggae Festival.

10.08.10 SOUSTONS (France) / Les Arenes.

12.08.10 SANGRES (Portugal) / Superbock Summer Festival.

13.08.10 GROSSETO (Italy) / FestAmbiente.

14.08.10 LECCE (Italy) / Festival Gusto Dopa Al Sole.

15.08.10 OUDENAARDE ( Belgium) / Feest In Het Park.

17.08.10 BRESCIA (Italy) / Festival Radio Onda d’Urto.

19.08.10 RIMINI (Italy) / Festa Unita.

20.08.10 SOTTO MARINA (Italy) / Arena Live Cayo Blanco.

22.08.10 CORSEPT (France) / Couvre Feu Festival.

24.08.10 BENICASSIM (Spain) / Rototom Festival.

26.08.10 LA TESTE de BUCH (France) / Parc des Expositions.

27.08.10 BRATISLAVA (Slovakia) / Uprising Reggae Festival.

28.08.10 WIESEN (Austria) / Wiesen Sunsplash.

29.08.10 UBERSEE (Germany) / Chiemsee Reggae Summer Festival.



Permalink 09:13:22 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture


The summer is already off to a great start for Singer, Songwriter and Producer, Alaine Laughton, more popularly known as “Alaine”, who has not only just released a new song, but also her own record label – proving once again what an amazing talent she has to share with the world.

“You Are Me”, the first single produced by Alaine’s 1Thirty1 record label, is already receiving rave reviews and garnering heavy rotation on both local and International airwaves. The song isn’t the typical kind of music that we have grown to expect from the artist, this song is deeply personal and touches listeners to their very core.

“I was inspired to write ‘You Are Me’ by the events that happened in West Kingston. I was really affected by the negative images from the media coverage and negative, fearful sentiments being expressed on the talk shows and the sounds of gunshots being fired all around while locked up in my house. I started crying for my country, for my brother and sisters, and I followed my tears to my piano. As soon as I sat down and started playing, the song came pouring out of my soul,” stated Alaine when asked how she decided to write this song.

A video was also recently shot for the single at a beautiful location in St. Thomas late last month and directed by Ras Shac. It’s a performance video, that includes use of metaphorical imagery, and features Alaine interacting with a band, which mirrored the recording process, which actually took place in the studio.

The video also features a scene with Alaine playing an upright piano on the beach with surfers in the background, surfing over insurmountable waves, much like our seeming problems in Jamaica and our world. The video will be released in mid-July.

“A rainbow came out during the shoot, and it represents the promise of new beginnings after the rain,” added Alaine.

The multi-talented Alaine has recently returned from an amazing performance in The Abacos and has been busy in the studio working on projects including a recent recording ‘For yur eyez only’ with multi-platinum superstar Shaggy which was produced by platinum producer, Tony Kelly. She has also completed recording with ZJ Chrome on the Cardiac Bass Riddim called ‘Up’, Jeremy Harding, Esco, and Dermaco.

Alaine will also be going on month long tour to Europe with fellow RETV High School Tour veterans, Voicemail at the end of July. They are scheduled to perform in Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, France and several other countries.


Permalink 09:30:28 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Technology, Culture, Commentary, News

Completeness in the ‘Next Generation’

When the SportsMax Centre went dark, and a very futurisitc looking Donovon White was projected onto a giant wall and on all the screens inside the World Cup football hotspot, the crowd went silent. What was Digicel up to? White, who is Digicel’s head of marketing, through a Matrix-like video presentation was announcing and reaffirming the telecommunications company’s 10-year partnership with the greatest reggae show on earth at the Reggae Sumfest launch, Friday last. Introduced by D’Angel, the video presentation spelled out what the relationship between Digicel and Reggae Sumfest meant to the company with sharp graphics and exciting effects.

The audience was captivated, and excited when White announced the 2010 Digicel Reggae Sumfest theme, ‘The Next Generation’, its spokespersons Agent Sasco and I-Octane, and a partnership with mobile phone manufactuerers Motorola.

Cue smoke, and enter unconventionally dressed dancers and then performances by the two faces of The Next Generation Campaign and with that, the initiative was successfully launched. Looking at the ‘next generation’, its not difficult to see what Digicel’s mission is: to support the future... of everything.

On the music side, the rebranded and versatile dancehall act Agent Sasco and budding reggae star I-Octane stand tall. With technology, the company stands quietly testing 4G for an August launch and will very soon become the first in the region to offer the Motorola Milestone smartphone.

Jeffery Campbell isn’t your run-of-the-mill dancehall act. Always re-inventing himself, he offically became Agent Sasco in May 2009 after an illustrious run in the business as ‘Assassin’. Lyrically lethal, Agent Sasco’s music burns with a fire needed for dancehall music to strive in a challenging musical environment. His string of hits go way back from Nah Nuh Gyal, Eediat Ting Dat and Gully Sit’n to the more recent Same Ting Again, Hand To Mout and Hand Inna Di Air, and in an evironment currently under the unforgiving eye of a critical Jamaican audience, Agent Sasco is yet to fail at bowling us over and is positioned to continue taking dancehall music to higher heights.

I-Octane is a breath of fresh air in our music. With a powerful voice and a creative spirit, the young man – who hails from Clarendon – enchants ears and attracts fans all over the world. Born Byiome Muir, he has been climbing steadily up the musical ladder, scoring chart-topping hits and performing all over the world. His catalaugue of popular tunes start out with Stab Vampire and now include Different Page, Mama You Alone, Missing You, and Lose A Friend and he gives every indication that the future of reggae music is bright as he continues to rack up studio hours. Not to mention the 18-city European tour he he has lined up, a follow up to his 2009 European debut where he performed to a crowd of 35,000 persons in Holland – and yes, the crowd sang each song lyric for lyric.

Digicel is however going a step further, and including the future of technology in their bid to push ‘The Next Generation’, with their partners Motorola. Together, they will soon launch the first Motorola Milestone in the region, along with two other technologically advanced handesets from the phone company.

Remember those flashy outfits the dancers wore? Designed by the one and only Dexter ‘3D’ Pottinger, who is known in the fashion world for his edgy, barrier-breaking, eye-opening futurisitc designs and idea. The former model has worked with the likes of CeCile, Tifa, Tami Chynn, Macka Diamond, Mystic Davis and more. He’s also a full-blown creative powerhouse with video directing and photography.

Last week, Shelly-Ann Curran, Senior Sponsorship Manager at Digicel said that “Our line up of activities this year has led us to forge some fantastic partnerships that will ensure that our customers continue to benefit from superior value and amazing offers. We have also joined with Motorola, again to continue wowing our customers with the latest innovation in mobile technology and we will be announcing these details very soon. It’s going to be a great summer for Digicel and our customers and we’re looking forward to it”.

As the summer rolls on, the completeness of ‘The Next Generation’ is expected to slam Jamaicans with the ‘wow’, always expected of Digicel.

Permalink 09:22:22 am, by amilnal
Categories: Technology, News

Digicel set to launch Motorola Milestone

Its a lot more than just a phone, and we’re being little modest when we call it a ‘milestone’. Set to be launched as part of Digicel’s ‘The Next Generation’ campaign, the Motorola Milestone comes to Jamaica – the first country in the region to have it on the marketplace – ready to change how we view and use smartphones. In fact, its the “phone without compromise”.

With an incredibly advanced proceessor, this phone brings meaning to the phrase ‘it’s like a computer’. Every Motorola Milestone is equipped with more than 100MB of internal storage, 256MB worth of RAM, and an 8GB SDmicro memory card, which you can replace with a similar memory card up to 32GB. The Motorola Milestone’s elegant 3.7 inch display slides to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard and 5-way navigation key hidden underneath a well designed and easy-to-use touch-screen. Even its audio output is awesome, coming straight from Motorola’s factories with full-blown stereo speakers.

The touch screen is brilliant and intuitive, creating the right forumla for user-friendly, well-rounded interaction with its haptic display, pinch-to-zoom features. The screen is also ‘location-aware’, meaning that when you take a Motorola Milestone out of your pocket, case, bag or wherever, the phone will sense where it is and adjust its settings ¬– such as display brightness ¬– accordingly. Yeah, these are just some of the things that make the Milestone’s touch-screen the most advanced in the industry.

Impressed yet?

Running on the latest version of Google’s famous operating system for mobile phones, Android, the Motorola Milestone seemlessly connects you to the world. Emails, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – the internet on a whole has never been this good on a phone. Browse the internet on what has been called the “most advanced Google browser” – HTML5 armed, and ready for multi-window browsing. And that Google association has an added benefit when you’re ready to search. The phone’s operating system seemlessy sychronises with Google so when you search, you’re not just searching the plain ol’ web... you’re also searching your phonebook, stored content and just about every other place imaginable to get better, more accurate results.

When you’re done on that ride on the Internet, take a photo with the stunning 5MP camera. If you have shaky hands, fret not as this phone comes with image stabilisation features, in addition to flash and auto-focus. Then, use the DVD-quality recorder feature and capture a moment with a video – which you can then upload straight to YouTube. You can even use the viewfinder, thanks to the power of Google and Google Maps, to identify buildings on the street, hotels, restaurants, shops and more.

Its sturdy metal-cased body weighs 6oz, and even more impressive is that the phone is the slimmest sliding smartphone to date. The Motorola Milestone also allows users access to the fast-expanding Android Market. The Android Market offers tens-of-thousands of applications for use on the Motorola Milestone, making the second largest mobile appplication marketplace, topping the BlackBerry AppWorld and challenging the iTunes iPhone application library.

When made available in the coming weeks by Digicel, the Motorola Milestone is sure to bring users of smartphones across the island, into The Next Generation.


Permalink 08:35:21 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Artistes Preparing for Sumfest Performance

Reggae Sumfest traditionally brings out the best artistes to the stage and at the same time brings out the best in these artistes, and presently, the confirmed acts are undergoing rigorous preparation to ensure that their Reggae Sumfest performance lives up to the huge expectations of the Festival's fans.

Reggae Sumfest's prestige has traditionally pushed the artistes to take special care in their appearance and performance. The Festival is known for artistes donning flashy new wardrobes, and backing that up with dazzling performances.

The confirmed artistes for this year's show have been hard at work in rehearsals, toning their vocals and writing lyrics to ensure this year they are at optimum performance. Expectedly, the bulk of them do not wish to reveal much and prefer to drop the surprise on the night of the show. However, the rehearsals have been going on in earnest, the new tunes have been written, the choreography of their performances have been documented, and the artistes are practicing repeatedly to ensure their performances live up to the high Reggae Sumfest standard.

The confirmed list includes Chris Brown, Shaggy Beenie Man Taurus Riley, Queen Ifrika, Tony Rebel, Jah Cure, Etana, Bounty Killer, Mavada, Elephant Man, I-Octane, Voice mail, D'Angel, Stacious, DeMarco, Chino, Konshens, Tifa, Cecile, and Ding Dong among others.

Traditional acts like Beenie Man have never been known to disappoint, always sizzling and dropping new hits while on the stage. Shaggy is also known crowd pleaser as well who soothes as easily as he seduces while on stage, while Elephant Man will electrify as intensely as he will entertain. One group that will be specially observed on the Sumfest stage is Voicemail, which is planning an extra-ordinary performance as a tribute to their fallen member Oneil Edwards. Group member Craig is not revealing much, preferring to deliver the surprise to the audience that night. However, he explained that it will be no ordinary performance.

"We're going to make it a very special one, definitely a good Voicemail performance," he stated. "We have started putting things together already, for a lot of people who had not been to the funeral…there is a song we wrote called praise his name and that is one of the songs we looking forward to performing."

The anticipation for exceptional performances is not only upon established acts but on first time Sumfest performers as well. One such act is Tifa, the self-styled dancehall Diva. This will be her first Reggae Sumfest, but she is also planning to please. "You know we can't reveal too much before the show," she joked. "But definitely people can expect a high energy set, something different than normal. It's my first Reggae Sumfest, so definitely it will be special," she noted.

With a similar buzz surrounding all the other entertainment camps, there is no doubt the performances will live up to the expected mark. Reggae Sumfest will have another memorable set of performances to appropriately celebrate its 18th year.

Reggae Sumfest is the most celebrated and supported Reggae Festival in Jamaica, and attracts the world's leading musicians and performers. In its near 20 year history, the show has boasted a superb entertainment package, loaded with the best performances, food, music, and culture. This year's Festival runs from July 17-24 at Catherine Hall, St James.

Permalink 08:23:50 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, News

The Star MC search

THE STAR Newspaper is looking for the next big thing in the world of Masters of Ceremonies, and has launched an island-wide hunt to find such an individual.

The daily tabloid has started the STAR MC search, a hunt to find the person talented enough, eloquent enough, and charismatic enough to win hearts and minds to begin a career in the business of professional hosting/presenting. The audition will take place on Friday July 09 at 9 am, inside the Sports Club of the Gleaner Company on North Street in Kingston.

There is no denying the power of the MC at live events. A talented MC makes or breaks the show. He or she guides the tempo and tone of the event and makes sure that patrons are having the best possible time. They are the ringmasters so to speak, delicately balancing between keeping the audience excited, and not stealing the thunder from the main performers.

THE STAR is offering one person that chance to become a professional MC. The search is open to anyone between 21 and 40 years old who thinks they can manage this task. The winner of this audition will get a contract valued at $100,000, will receive training and guaranteed bookings.

The organizers are therefore looking for strictly amateurs, who have not yet been established in the business. They will examine contestants for vocal clarity, public speaking ability, charisma, confidence, style, and versatility with both English and Patois.

As such, the people who will judge these contestants are from experienced backgrounds in the entertainment world. They are Mrs. Paula-Anne Porter Jones, Martin Lewis, and a representative of the sponsors.

Mrs. Paula-Anne Porter Jones has over 15 years of experience in the field of Communication. She conducts workshops in Voice and Speech, Business Communication, Public Speaking, Media Relations, Radio Broadcasting, Television and related areas.

Martin Lewis of Team Solutions is a highly respected production manager with decades of experience with large scale international events such as Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, Welcome to Jamrock: The Concert and Beres Hammond: A Moment In Time.

Contestants are reminded to bring valid forms of identification, and come dressed as if they're going to host a live entertainment event.


Permalink 07:52:55 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Culture, Commentary

The Jamaican Market culture

I have been going to the market for as long as I can remember, every saturday morning I would go with my mother (and when I was younger my two brothers) to the market. Since my more youthful days even though I have grown more experienced if there is one place that still manages to continually surprise me, its the market. The environment is one which certainly takes some time to get used to, the noise, the excitement, the smells... If you haven't grown used to it, it would not be smart to simply think you can enter the market and walk around without being consumed by all the sensations that you would instantly feel. It certainly is an environment that takes a bit of getting used to.

The first issue is the noise. Imagine walking into a room where there are 50 people who are all trying to get your attention at the same time and who are also trying to draw your attention to different objects. That is the simplest way in which one can try to describe what happens in the Jamaican market. As you enter the first thing you are likely to hear is "HUNDRED A POUND!", or "HUNDRED A DOZEN" bellowed at the top of either woman or man's voice. Your next step will then be to find out what exactly it is that is being sold. However that will not be the only source of your noise, you also have to contend with the noise of the handcarts being pushed through the market streets, the people riding bicycles through the market, the jokes being given as these friends meet up after not seeing each other since the last market days the week before.

If you manage to get used to the sounds, you will then have to deal with the smells, and being a market of fresh produce and numerous other items this can confuse your nose as well. Oranges, Banana's, Melons, Coconut, Ground Provisions, and Spices are some of the items that are bound to fill your nostrils with their wild fragrances. However these are only the good smells which waft through the air. The bad smells can sometimes be quite overpowering, the smells range from the rotting fruit and vegetables, to the sweat dripping off the bodies of the numerous sellers who have had to sit in the overwhelming heat for the entire day, fish and meat are other smells which you may happen to come across as well, because you can literally get everything you can think of in the market.

Market Woman

An artist looking for inspiration will find that there is much to see in the market, however he can only hope that his pallette has all the colours which he/she will need to properly fulfill the requirements of a market scene. The variety of fruits can certainly number in the hundreds as even things which I originally thought could not be grown in Jamaica (such as strawberries, and grapes), somehow make their way into the market in a local variety.

I've always had a love hate relationship with the market. I love it because I always admire the comraderie with which everybody treats each other in the market setting. Even people who seem like the worst enemies in one week can be seen the next week exchanging pleasantries as if they grew up together. On numerous occasions I have seen people leave their bags filled with fruits and come back to find them, and even seen sellers leave their goods behind and another person sell it for them with no charge for that service. I however hate it at the same time because the smells and the noise can get frustrating, even to a veteran like myself... and to a lesser extent because I'm always walking around with my mother's findings for the day (a service that I guarantee you is not easy).

In the end there are so many things that happen in our markets that I can in no way fully justify it all with one single post. I however hope that you all take the time to go visit a market though, just for the experience.

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