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Rest like a Champion

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor ---
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

DESPITE numerous calls for live shows, impresario Tommy Cowan believes Buju Banton should not rush to start doing the rounds.

“Before he makes that decision, he needs to be at peace with it — whether it be recording or concert,” Cowan told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Buju Banton was released from federal prison in the United States on Friday after serving a near 10-year sentence for drug-related charges. Before his release, a concert date of April 22, 2019 was confirmed in Trinidad, with a Jamaican leg pending.

Cowan, a former member of The Jamaicans, was also part of Bob Marley's management. He was in Marley's team after the reggae king was shot by gunmen in December 1976, he went to England to recoup, and returned to Jamaica triumphantly in April 1978 for the One Love Peace Concert.

With regards to marketability, Cowan said Buju Banton has no difficulty in this area, given his impressive catalogue.

“He has the attention of everyone... He is seen as the victim; he has the sympathy and support of most people. All the attention is coming his way. He has an amazing track record — songs that are an important part of the musical landscape, as we know it,” he said.

“But first he needs to lift himself out of the level of his circumstance. He needs to take a leaf out of the book of Nelson Mandela,” Cowan continued.

Mandela served 27 years in a South African prison during that country's apartheid years. He eventually became the country's first black head of state.

Cowan believes Buju Banton will reclaim his spot at the top of reggae's totem pole.

“His gift has made room for him and will continue to do so,” he said.