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ONLINE READERS COMMENT: We need to develop a long term cultural strategy

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I've always believed in the power of culture to take Jamaica to another level. There is so much talent on the rock, but it's rarely shared and appreciated enough. If there were any questions about the power of reggae music, Buju's "Long Walk to Freedom" which packed the National Stadium to capacity and brought people from all ages, backgrounds and continents together, showing the effects and magnitude of our music and talent and its potential.

We need to develop an effective long term cultural strategy and stamp our ownership on reggae music. Government should invest more in culture, which could help to solve many of our lingering development and social problems.

We can use culture to our full advantage and protect the rights as ours. Once we can stage outstanding performances, others will be drawn to Jamaica, not just as a tourist spot, but as a major cultural Mecca. This can be a huge boost to tourism and our development, which can also help to unite us and instil a greater sense of national pride.

We welcome the news from Culture Minister Grange of plans to develop a Performing Arts Centre in Kingston and Montego Bay, and plans to expand the National Stadium, providing more shelter and 10,000 more seats. The stadium can be used to host other major events in the city, and there are other suitable venues around the island that can be tapped.

I recall in 1999 there was the “One Love Bob Marley All stars tribute" in Oracabessa Bay, which was another memorable event of epic proportions, featuring an outstanding line-up of performances by well known local and foreign stars, including the Marley clan and I-Threes.

I have seen some of Jamaica's biggest stars like Chronixx perform in concerts overseas and can attest to the quality of the production and talent, which appealed to thousands of non Jamaicans as well.

Back to Buju, his time away might've been a blessing which allowed for personal growth and meditation and stronger sense of spirituality which he channelled into his performance. The entire line up was outstanding. We do need more of this in our capital, music soothes the soul and provides options for many who might otherwise be inclined to be unemployed and idle, or turn to crime.

P Chin


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