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Perspective: No Festival Song for 2017 … Why?

breaking Jamaican News

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, addresses the launch of the Jamaica Independence Festival at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on June 14. (File)


Perspective: It is no secret that matters cultural have my fancy.  As a poet and artiste in my own right of the performing arts, such is my forte.  For our Festival Song Competition to have not produced any material worthy of showcasing to nice up 2017 Festival is very sad indeed.  It is nothing for any of us to be proud of.  Hon. OLIVIA GRANGE, MINISTER OF CULTURE must be a very sad person today. She is very culturally aware. How could this have happened?

Festival Song Competition

We have long been held captive by the fine lyrics of our festival songs … they have been well crafted and have brought out the meaning of our Independence Celebrations each year.  In short these songs have been a rallying cry used to “nice up” the place. Songs like Cherry O Baby” by Eric Donaldson and “We are 21” by Roy Ryan readily come to mind.

Jamaica 55

This is no ordinary festival celebrations, it marks the 55th year of our attainment of Statehood.  This year has been marketed as a legacy event and one naturally expected a splash not a cultural emptiness or a flop.  An event to showcase and let us all as Jamaicans feel good … irrespective of the colour of the political shirt we wear or the lack thereof … whether at home or in the diaspora. We are supposed to be proud to be the masters of our own destiny as a nation state called Jamaica.

Festival Song Competition plays an integral role in this regard.  It is like the national anthem of festival.  We all know the value of our respective National Anthems. So its absence is well missed.

We have heard the explanations and sympathize, but there is a saying “half a loaf is better than no loaf at all”.  Standards are vital but common sense should have been used and early intervention could have saved the day. What is your perspective?  Not an easy call … but who promised anyone a rose garden, any way?

Dr. Delroy Gordon

We are aware of the death of Executive Director Dr. Gordon, his loss must have impacted negatively at the state run JCDC, but one swallow does not make for spring … we must plan for contingencies. Full stop!

Buck Stops …

We are not beating up on anyone, least of all Minister Grange where the buck stops in her culture ministry, but this is a big let down and we cannot and should not hide our displeasure.  This is a Big Deal!  Ultimately the Prime Minister Holness cannot escape the wrath of our displeasure. The buck really stops at the Office Of The Prime Minister (OPM). Full stop!

PERSPECTIVE is written by Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie who is Senior International Correspondent & photojournalist for Vision Newspaper.

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