Access Jamaica Newsroom

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Major Tourism Attraction to be developed around birthplace of Jimmy Cliff


MONTEGO BAY, St. James; March 29, 2019: Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett has indicated plans to fully develop the community of Somerton in St. James, where cultural icon Jimmy Cliff was born, as a major tourism attraction. 

 “The town of Somerton holds the rich cultural history of some of the most celebrated Jamaicans such as former Prime Minister PJ Patterson, former Governor General Sir Howard Cooke’s family, Lennie Little-White, renowned film maker, Ms. Violet Neilson former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Bishop Herro Blair.

 Perhaps the most celebrated of all is Grammy award winning singer Jimmy Cliff who still lives in Somerton and even filmed some of his greatest work here. We are excited about this history that has helped to fashion the community and can be positioned and leveraged as a major tourism attraction and generate economic growth,” said Minister Bartlett. 

 Minister Bartlett made the announcement at the official ground breaking for the Somerton to Fording road rehabilitation project yesterday [March 28, 2019]. The project will see restoration work on the roadway from fording to the Somerton square which will be named the Jimmy Cliff highway. The general scope of work will include road signage, construction of drains and asphaltic concrete repairs and overlay.

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“Mackie Conscious Follow Your Dreams" Inspiration & Motivation School Tour


Entertainer Mackie conscious (Dennis McKay) who is currently climbing the charts in the USA thinks it better to give than to receive. Before receiving a Dollar from his pending hit single he is embarking on an Inspirational and motivational School tour all across Jamaica and around the World.

This tour is free to all schools and will take not more than 15 minutes of their devotion/assembly time for the Artiste to give a word of motivation and present the lyrics inspiring them to do as the song says: “Follow your dreams, believe in yourself, your goals you must achieve”.

Mr. Conscious believes bending the tree before they grow is the solution, hence he will be taking the message to the children to make the difference Jamaica needs. For too long the youth have been negatively influenced by some of the music, now it’s time to shift the focus to have them believing that they can be spoken about in the next 40 years in the same way we speak about  Marcus Garvey our national hero.

He hopes Sponsors can come on board so he will be able to give T-shirts with inspirational quotes, copies of the song, etc to the children.

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Marcus Garvey Restoration Project will Soon be a Reality

Theo Joomaay

Editor's Commentary: Caribnewsroom (PositiveTourism) recommends that the Ministry of Culture, Gender Affairs and Sports hold Town Hall sessions in the Ocho Rios Community to properly educate the community and share responses from Garveyites from across the world who would support the building of such a museum to honor our First National Hero and Saint, revered across the globe. The benefits to the community should be stressed and the persons who would be relocated should be reassured that they will be honored and properly compensated.


Minister of Culture , Gender Affairs and Sports,  Hon Olivia Grange, says she and the Ministry are doing their best to have residents of 32 Marcus Garvey Way, in St Ann’s Bay, re-settled in an appropriate location soon.

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Meet the New British Virgin Island Minister of Tourism

Hon. Andrew A. Fahie Minister of Tourism, UVI

Road Town, Tortola, March 12, 2019….The British Virgin Islands has new leadership in the pivotal Tourism sector with the recent election of Premier and Minister responsible for Tourism, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie and Territorial At-Large Representative and Junior Minister for Tourism, Hon. Shereen Flax-Charles.   The British Overseas Territory of the Virgin Islands held elections on Monday, February 25th.  Under Fahie’s leadership, the Virgin Islands Party took eight of the 13 seats held by elected members of the Territory’s House of Assembly.  He was sworn in as Premier by Governor Augustus Jaspert on February 26th.  Mrs. Flax-Charles was subsequently named Junior Minister for Tourism to assist Premier Fahie in handling the tourism portfolio.

A veteran legislator, Hon. Fahie has served in the House of Assembly (previously called the Legislative Council) for the past 20 years as the representative for the First Electoral District.  He served as Minister for Education and Culture from 2000-2003 and again from 2007-2011, and as Leader of the Opposition from 2017-2018. Hon. Fahie is a former educator and businessman. 

Mrs. Flax-Charles has been involved in the tourism industry from childhood, having worked at the Fischer’s Cove Beach Hotel in Virgin Gorda, which is owned by her parents.  The first-time legislator is a business woman who worked full time at the BVI Tourist Board in the capacities of Sister Islands Tourism Development Manager and Projects Manager for almost 20 years.  She is well known as a singer with her band “It’s a Secret” and as calypsonian Queen Shereen.

In a statement from the Premier’s Office today, Hon. Fahie said, “I am a proud product of the First District which has always been a major hub of tourism activity in our Territory, with several hotels and villas, yacht charter companies, boat and vehicle rentals, marinas as well as one of the primary ports of entry at West End. 

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Jamaica is PATWA’s Destination of the Year


KINGSTON, Jamaica (March 07, 2019).  Jamaica was today presented with the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association’s (PATWA) International Travel Award for Destination of the Year, in Berlin, Germany.

Speaking at the ceremony, Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett said, “Jamaica is truly honoured to once again receive a prestigious award from the internationally recognized PATWA organization.

Our country has been continuously creating innovative initiatives aimed at improving the destination, as well as bolstering our marketing efforts in new and emerging markets. I am very happy that we have been recognized for our hard work, during this event, among other leading destinations.”

The Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA), a professional organisation of travel writers, which was founded in 1998, organizes the event. The awards recognize individuals and organisations that have excelled and/or are involved in the promotion of tourism from different sectors of the travel trade and service providers related directly or indirectly to the industry.

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Negril Education Environment Trust Consistent in Sustaining its Mission

Students Media

Education Environment Trust (NEET) is consistent in sustaining its Mission of a crime-free Jamaica with a tablet in every child’s hand and a computer in every classroom. During its tenure since 2003, NEET has graduated approximately 1000 students from the tablet classes; graduated 2000 students & awarded 2000 computers, donated 4 million books, constructed over 20 libraries, including containers libraries in Western Jamaica. The Tablet programme (Amazon 7” Tablet) is sustained by NEET Foundation and gifts from volunteers and Travellers Beach hotel guests.

NEET aims to provide educational resources to underprivileged youth in Jamaica. One of the main aims is to have ALL NEET graduates attend college. The organization’s reason for being is to manage crime through education and ultimately provide opportunities for youth to achieve their dreams.

For 50 aspiring children and their parents, Saturday mornings are spent in the Tablet programme at Travellers Beach Resort, the foundation home of NEET.  It is an eight-week course repeated three (3) times a year. It is an “incentive programme” for children accompanied by their parents where they participate in educational programmes and learn the four Pillars of Success (Punctuality, Honesty, Discipline and Great Attitude). In an interview with Access Jamaica, NEET Chairman Winston Wellington describes the programme. He said “Saturday mornings, children learn the four pillars of success. Those who do well can earn a day pass with participating hotels, including Travelers Beach Resort.”

“High Achievers, receive a visa and travel in April to Epcot Center, Disney World and the University of Florida. This will be the third trip to Disney World; the April trip is repeated in August. Some of our students and parents are going to Canada for the Jamaica Jerk Festival, Centennial Park, Toronto. High Achievers also qualify for the Big Trip in August to Tottori, Japan for the NEET Japanese/Jamaican Cultural Exchange programme. Jamaican students learn Japanese; Japanese students learn patois, and take reggae music dance classes. We are very excited about these opportunities. Travel has really opened the mind of our children.”

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New Spiritual Wellness Book Teaches Sacred Lifestyle Practices


March 5, 2019 (Negril, Jamaica).  Living Life as a Sacred Practice: Discover Yourself as a Source of Creation authored by Sharon Parris-Chambers is now available online at, and  It is the long-awaited second publication since her 2011 book, excerpts of which has been shared with audiences on Social Media over the past year.

There is a buzz surrounding the book reviewed by Queen Mother Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah, author, film maker and former senator who shares her convincing perspectives with discerning readers on the merits of Living Life As a Sacred Practice. She states 
“Thoughtful people who seek answers to the mysteries of living life fully, often turn to books of sacred wisdom and advice. Whether it be the holy books such as the Bible, Koran or books by modern gurus like Iyanla Van Zant, the desire for spiritual guidance occupies a major part of many.  For those who thought such wisdom only came from ancient sages or well-promoted American, European or Asian gurus, it is a welcome surprise to find that our friend, cultural Sister and PR practitioner Sharon Parris-Chambers has given us such an excellent tome of spiritual healing.”

From beginning to end the author seeks to establish an inner vision into spiritual development of the self as a Divine being. The book is beautifully laid out in clear typesetting, with each chapter prepared as a daily teaching complete on its own. The reader has only to turn to a chapter to find an introspective meditation, sacred practice and affirmation to be used as a daily spiritual cleansing and healing ritual. Sample topics such as: “Pacify your restless mind”, “Let the Real you Stand Up,” “I live my Dream,” “Stop Suffering,” and “Insource before you Outsource” can be found and savoured in the way one enjoys a feast. The key to the exercises is journaling, which requires mindfulness meditation. When this is done, it is more likely that something profound will be left with the seeker more than just merely reading passages within the book.

Dr Glenville Ashby, Religion & Culture editor, The Jamaica Gleaner, penned the forward wherein he takes note of the author’s maiden voyage to Africa. “The author returned to her roots in Gambia 2012 which unveiled her calling and sealed her mission as a veritable messenger of Spirit. It is in Gambia that she was grounded and initiated into the innermost mystery. It is there that she drank from the well of the First People and was handed the fabled Philosopher's Stone.”

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Top Influencers to be Recognized at the Caribbean Travel Media Awards

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 March. 2019) – For the first time since its introduction in 2003, influencers will be able to compete for an award in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) travel media awards programme this year.


In keeping with social media trends and the organisation’s objective of recognising all media, the CTO has added the ‘I Have Influence’ award to the contest in recognition of the growing number of influencers who contribute to telling the Caribbean’s story.

The ‘I Have Influence’ award will be given to the influencer judged to have executed the best campaign that has delivered results based on agreed objectives. Entrants will be required to submit a summary of the brief, the objectives and goals of the campaign or activity, any key performance indicators agreed to measure the success of the campaign,  how the campaign was planned and what collaboration took place, any research undertaken, tools and technologies used and challenges that were overcome, the methodology used use executing the campaign, and how it satisfied the performance indicators.

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Jamaica’s Cruise Tourism earns J$22.6Billion


KINGSTON, Jamaica; Thursday February 28, 2019:   Preliminary data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica shows that cruise tourism has seen an almost 300% increase in earnings over the last ten years. In 2008, the sector earned J$7.5Billion and in 2017 cruise saw earnings of J$22.6Billion.

Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, who made the announcement at Jamaica Vacations’ (JAMVAC’s) Cruise Council cocktail yesterday, said, “Cruise tourism for Jamaica has been a long journey of growth and development over many years and it began much like all other industries with a small beginning then mushroomed into proportions that today we can regard as an integral part of the fabric of our economy.

What we recognize as well is that cruise provides the best and most immediate form of conversion of wealth into the pockets and economies of the local destination. The impact of this sizeable earning therefore has been instantaneous in the communities across the country.”

JAMVAC Limited, an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, has direct responsibility for cruise. JAMVAC has since been an important player in Jamaica’s growing cruise industry which last year received a significant boost with vessels including Marella Cruise, Carnival Horizon and Ms Sirena arriving in Jamaican waters for the very first time.

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South Beach Food and Wine Show to showcase Jamaica as a premier Gastronomy destination

Min Ed Bartlett and TLN

KINGSTON, Jamaica; February 20, 2019: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (centre) engages Chairperson of the Tourism Linkages’ Gastronomy Network Nicola Madden-Greig (left) and Analyst of Tourism Networks at the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Simone Harris in conversation, ahead of their departure to Florida for the annual South Beach (SOBE) Food and Wine Show.

The Tourism Enhancement Fund and the Jamaica Tourist Board are providing financial support for Jamaican chefs Gariel Ferguson and Colin Hylton to participate in the 4-day food festival, which begins today.  The Tourism Linkages Network is also using this opportunity to have their first ever gastronomy activation outside of Jamaica.

The Minister hopes that by participating in this event, it will showcase Jamaica as a premier Gastronomy destination in the Caribbean.  It will also create an opportunity for food Ambassadors to both integrate and be exposed to the wider chef/culinary community.


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Jamaica a preferred Caribbean destination for the Chinese Traveller

Dr-Wu-at-Marketplace-2019-1 Left to Right: CHTA Marketing Exec.; Dr Wykeham McNeill, Shadow Tourism Minister; Dr Adam Wu, CEO, CBN; Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism; Patricia Alfonso Dass, Pres, CHTA and Frank Comitoano, CEO & Director General

Chinese tour operators buyers1

Lt. to Right: Sharon Parris-Chambers (Caribnewsroom), Dr. Adam Wu, Benson (Seasonal), Delegate, Marlina Charley (Interpreter)

China’s presence in the Caribbean is expanding significantly and has made a strong showing with twenty delegates at the recently held Caribbean Tourism Marketplace held January 29-31, 2019 and staged at the Montego Bay Conference Centre.

Our AccessJamaica representative met several Chinese delegates on the Marketplace floor, some were engaged through a Jamaican interpreter, while others like Benson, owner of Seasonal Company, from Chengdu, Sichuan ventured to speak directly about his interests as a delegate and as a potential investor.

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Kingston the Caribbean’s next big cruise destination?


The number of cruise tourists to Jamaica over the last decade has been growing as fast as Usain Bolt can run.      

This is because the demand for Caribbean cruises has been increasing in recent years, due to, among other things, massive medias promotions.  As more vessels expand their voyages to cover Caribbean islands far beyond the Bahamas, cruise tourists now have the opportunity to see many islands within a short space of time, as they spend their vacation on a luxury ship, with all the trappings of a holiday village.

For Jamaica, the Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Falmouth cruise ports are equipped to handle the largest cruise ships, while picturesque Port Antonio caters to boutique cruise ships and megayachts. 

Kingston, by way of the historic Port Royal, is touted to be the site of the island’s next major cruise destination and a proposal is on the table for the development of a cruise shipping port accompanied by the revitalisation and restoration of Kingston’s downtown and harbour-front areas.

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JTB ramping up marketing to African American and Japanese tourists


Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) board chairman, Godfrey Dyer, says the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is ramping up its marketing efforts to re-attract some of Jamaica’s former key markets particularly the African American and Japanese to the island.

Mr. Dyer, who is a former president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), told Access Jamaica that there are signs of improvement in the number of African-American market visiting the island, though not to the extent of arrivals more than a decade ago.

“The Tourist Board is working at it.  It’s not the easiest market, but they are working at it and we have started to see some movement.  Many years ago in the 70s, we used to have in summer a lot of black Americans…we need to get back to that.  Steady work is being done and give it another year or two, we will see a resurgence in that market,” Mr. Dyer said.

In mid-2016 Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett announced his intentions to go after the African American market.  At the time he said the JTB would be using social media and other promotional means to go after the 35 million strong African-American market.

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Cybersecurity must be key focus of tourism dependent nations, says Jamaican Prime Minister


Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Governments of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as those in the Caribbean, must be prepared to implement measures to mitigate against Cyberattacks, which pose a big threat to tourism dependent destinations.

Holness was speaking at the speaking at the official launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Wednesday (January 30).     

“The safety of the destination comes down to many threats: local crime, global terrorism, the threat of war, pandemics - but one that is emerging in a serious what and to which we have to pay attention, which many Caribbean countries may not be totally prepared, is that of Cybersecurity,” Holness stated.

“The Cyberspace and the Cyber frontier is one that we have to pay very close attention to.  Because the truth is that global travel, is so much dependent on the whole business of the exchange of information.  So the data of the travelling person is vitally important.  It is vitally important to the efficient operation of the ports; vitally important for the operation and the provision of services and if that data is not protected and gets into the wrong hands or is stolen or used in nefarious ways then it could virtually cripple the industry,” the Prime Minister added.

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Caribbean should invest heavily in proper health response systems says Jamaican Prime Minister


PHOTO CAPTION: Right to Left: Mr. Jaime Cabal, Deputy Secretary-General, UNWTO; Minister Edmund Bartlett, CD, MP, Minister of Tourism; Mr Andrew Holness, Prime Minister;  Juergen Steinmetz,CEO, eTurbo News News

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has cautioned the Caribbean region to not take lightly its absence from a major pandemic. 

According to Holness, the Government of Jamaica is spending significant resources to ensure the country is able to respond to, and prevent diseases and health threats from morphing into pandemics, which, he says on many occasions, have had major effects on travel across the world.

“The challenge with pandemics is not that people will get sick and won’t be able to function. The real challenge is that some people will hear there is something in this region; it doesn’t even have to be in this country, there is something in (one country) and the region is avoided,” the Prime Minister said.

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Caribbean Marketing Fund in the making says St. Lucian Tourism Minister


The establishment of a marketing fund to promote the Caribbean as a premier tourism destination, is being explored by tourism ministers in the region.

St. Lucian Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Caribbean Council of Ministers, Dominic Fedee, says he will be leading the charge, in collaboration with his Caribbean counterparts.

“So I think a major priority for the Council of Ministers now, in the short run is to make sure we put in a framework that will ensure a sustainable marketing fund for the Caribbean,” Fedee told Access Jamaica in an interview at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace Trade show at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Thursday (January 31).

“For some reason this has eluded us, for many, many years, as jurisdictions and destinations in the Caribbean.  What is important now is to make sure that we bring everyone together, that we establish ourselves as a strong Caribbean brand.  I think it is one of the strongest travel brands in the world, notwithstanding our ability to come together and in a strategic and deliberate way, ensure that we promote the Caribbean brand,” the Minister added.

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Negril Entertainment Association president bats for official entertainment venue


Negril, Jamaica. Negril Entertainment Association (NEA) President Ryan Morrison, says even though the resort town gained prominence as a global brand partially due to a robust nightlife, characterised by live reggae music performances by some of Jamaica’s top acts, the town may lose its spirit if it does not get its own entertainment venue.

According to Morrison, many promoters of events are unable to book top flight international artistes to perform, as there is no venue in the town with the enough capacity to hold an audience large enough to make undertaking such a venture, profitable.

“We need an entertainment park, something that is very much close to the town centre, has adequate parking, bathroom facilities, all the modern amenities, but not a white elephant.  We don’t want any more buildings to lock up.  There is a part of Jamaican entertainment, the outdoors, there is nothing like it.  You can’t just talk about going to clubs; people don’t want that.  People want outdoor venues,” Morrison said.

Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, which was commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in 2002, also recommended the development of a venue for the performing arts, such as an amphitheatre, may well prove a viable venture in Negril.

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Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre launched in Jamaica


Montego Bay, Jamaica. Jamaica has made history on January 30, 2019 in being the first destination to conceive and host the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRC) housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

The initiative is the result of one of the key deliverables of the Montego Bay Declaration from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Government of Jamaica, World Bank Group and Inter-American Development Bank conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism held November 28, 2017 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The Hon. Prime Minister Andrew Holness was the keynote speaker at the well-anticipated event staged at the Montego Bay Convention Centre January 30, 2019. He said “of the major industries globally, arguably none faces greater exposure to disruptive forces than the hyper-connected tourism sector. The irony of the tourism industry is that the tourism sector has also displayed the uncanny ability to recover. So, there is something about tourism that is resilient. It is the most exposed but has also demonstrated the greatest ability to recover.”

Mr. Peter Greenberg, Award-winning Journalist and Travel Editor for CBS news was the Master of Ceremonies.

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TEF Chairman forecasts robust 2019 for Jamaica’s tourism arrivals


Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Godfrey Dyer says he has high expectations that the presence of the security forces in St James will remain strong and there will be no fallout in tourist arrivals subsequent to the end of the State of Emergency in the parish.

“Bookings still look great.  And it’s going to be great,” and upbeat Dyer told Access Jamaica.  “There are a number of things that will make it great.  Great promotions, but it doesn’t matter how much you promote you need seats, you need air seats.  We have air seats, more than adequate air seats, thanks to the Jamaica Tourist Board and JAMVAC.  They have made those provisions and with willing people to come, safe destination, all the seats you require, we can only go up.”

According to Dyer, who is a veteran hotelier, and a former police officer, he had hoped the yearlong enhanced security measures in the parish which ended on January 31, would have been extended for another three or six months. 

“One year ago, Montego Bay was becoming the murder capital; one year later Montego Bay is regarded as the safest resort town.  The State of Emergency worked,” Mr. Dyer said.

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Bobi Wine Uganda Reggae Artiste Captivates Rebel Salute Audience

Bobby Wine Rasta at Rebel Salute 300x2503

St. Ann, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. During the height of Rebel Salute’s unfolding, Mutabaruka took the microphone and introduced Bobi Wine (Robert Kyagulanyi, pronounced Cha-gu-la-nyi) a young freedom fighter, reggae singer and member of parliament. He represents a New Africa Young Africa and Free Africa from Uganda. Time stood still, the audience stopped to listen with rapt attention, one eye witness said.

Mutabaruka welcomed Rebel Salute’s selection of Bobi Wine an entertainer influenced by Reggae music and veteran Jamaican artistes, to Jamaica to share his liberation message with our people.   When he took the microphone, after his preamble, he transformed the audience with a sense of empowerment and Black liberation not ever seen at any Rebel Salute show. He opened his set with a song called “Born to Sing”.  He dedicated his performance to those watching live in Africa.

He told the audience he came from the ghetto, he was born in Kampala, Uganda.  He chose reggae music as a liberating force and began to speak out against oppression, which attracted thousands of youth. As a result, he has been beaten, tortured and hospitalized under a government exerting 33 years of political oppression. Bobi has become a symbol of Liberation for people under oppression, inspired by the music videos of Sting and especially Rebel Salute, as well as, the music of Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Anthnoy B, Buju Banton, Capelton and the Reggae Warriors.

Wine performed Reggae and African Dance Hall in English and his language to an accepting audience.

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