Monday, 12 April 2021

SOCIETY, SOCIETY: Colin Hylton’s passing … The Bert Rose factor … Toasting Koffee and Olive Senior

>> Colin Hylton had immense passion for food and food preparation. That’s why he became one of our leading culinary ambassadors at home and abroad. The last time we bumped into Colin out and about was, unsurprisingly, at the well-attended Jamaica Food & Drink Festival Street Meets & Eats bash on the Kingston Waterfront a couple of years ago. He was in high spirits and dressed in his signature hat and scarf and a bold-print outfit – with a couple of female companions in his company. In our interview he dished about his lifelong passion for cuisine, what goes into getting the often-elusive (yet delectable) results and why he had to bid farewell to Guilt Trip, his beloved restaurant that closed down under financial strain. But Colin was undaunted about continuing the work via other platforms, often doing consultancy and serving on judging panels. We are truly saddened to hear of his passing. Enjoy your rest, Colin. 

>> The dance studio at the Edna Manley College long-ago named in his honour remains one of the most fitting tributes to Bert Rose, the founding member of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), who died last week. The tributes have been numerous, hailing Rose as a quintessential artist and educator who has now gone on to reunite with his pioneering brothers Eddie Thomas and Prof. Rex Nettleford

>> Leading Ladies: Heartiest congratulations are in order for Olive Senior, who has been appointed Poet Laureate of Jamaica. We can’t think of a more deserving literary stalwart to accept the torch from Lorna Goodison, who did a laudable job in the post, especially in spearheading a poetry competition, with prizes named in honour of Baugh and Bennett-Coverley, among others. If Senior and Goodison were British citizens they would have been granted the damehood long ago … Koffee continues her winning ways! The Grammy and recent TALLAWAH Music Awards (for Best Female Video) copped this year’s NAACP Image Award for Best International Song for “Lockdown.” 

>> Questions of the Week: 
1) How much can the people of St. Vincent bear? Battling COVID-19 and a suddenly active-again volcano. 
2) Are the PEP and CXC/CAPE examinations still on for this year?

Friday, 9 April 2021

ON THE RADAR: Jamaica ranked among world’s happiest countries…. Press Association installs new executive…

>> The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has officially welcomed its new executive, led by George Davis, who is kick-starting his second consecutive term as President, after being re-elected unopposed. He is being assisted by Gillian Haughton (First Vice-President), Khalilah Reynolds (Second VP), Kimberly Hibbert (Secretary), Jovan Johnson (Treasurer), and Damion Mitchell (Asst. Treasurer). The five elected directors are Dionne Jackson-Miller, Khadijah Thomas, Giovanni Dennis, Sharlene Hendricks and Archibald Gordon.

>> Jamaica is still one of the happiest places on Earth! Up from 60th last year, the Caribbean island has come in at number 37 on the latest World Happiness Report rankings, sponsored by the United Nations. Some 149 countries participated in the global survey. The top four countries (aka the happiest countries in the world) are Finland, Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland. Afghanistan has the dubious honour of being ranked as the unhappiest country in the world. 

>> PM Andrew Holness recently broke ground in Olympic Gardens for the construction of the Andrews Mews Health and Recreational Centre, a $16-million facility, which will benefit residents from the corporate-area community and its environs. The work is expected to last six to eight weeks.

>> Mark your calendars! This year’s (virtual) staging of the Kingstoon Animation Festival takes place April 21-25. For details visit

Thursday, 1 April 2021

THE BEAUTY PAGE: Beauty chat with Mary White / How olive oil can transform blah hair / Get your fix at The Beauty Nest

FACE VALUE: White, who favours high-end beauty products, says recycling fruit peel/skin is among her top DIY tricks. 

GRAPPLING with the economic fallout from COVID-19 while running a business and trying to maintain one’s peace of mind can take its toll. The signs can manifest physically. Author and businesswoman Mary White can relate. But thanks to her disciplined beauty regimen, these days she’s looking fabulous and stress-free amidst a sea of challenges. Here, she dishes on the go-to products and resourceful tips and tricks that never let her down. 

>> FACE: “I love the Oil of Olay face wash and moisturizer. I use it twice daily as part of my regimen. I also use a lot of natural stuff, like fruit peels, on my skin. Once I finish eating the fruit, like an orange of watermelon or papaya, I’ll recycle the skin and use it as a kind of facial scrub.” 

>> HAIR: “Albert V05 shampoo and conditioner is my go-to. I leave the conditioner in my hair and then brush it. I like my hair to feel soft and wavy.” 

>> BODY: “Johnson’s Baby Lotion, the pink one. It softens your skin. And I love the smell. Very sexy and comforting.” 

>> FRAGRANCE: “Red Door by Elizabeth Arden. It’s like an extension of my personal scent. It meshes with my natural body odour.” 

Revive lacklustre hair with olive oil! 
From the editors of Family Circle magazine: Massage about half a teaspoon of olive oil into the scalp for at least two minutes, then brush it through the hair. Then wrap the hair up in a turban or sleep on a towel-covered pillow. Shampoo it out in the morning. Enjoy the results! 

Hot Spot: Located at Shop #5 in Liguanea’s Lane Plaza, The Beauty Nest is your new one-stop shop! Carrying an impressive assortment of grooming and personal-care products, glossy packaged hair, a range of accessories (including a treasure trove of designer bags), it has the goods to make every woman look great and feel special.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

NEW MUSIC REVIEW: Turn up the volume on these hot-hot tracks from Chronixx, Etana, Usain Bolt’s A-Team, Chris Martin, Popcaan and Beres

“If the World was Ending” – Chris Martin & Lia Caribe 
If the world was indeed coming to an end who better to warn us than this talented twosome who bring undeniable chemistry to their harmonious duet about holding on to that significant someone especially in a time of crisis. Our world needed this cool song. B+ 

“God is Love” – Popcaan feat. Beres Hammond 
Beres is the truth! The living legend proves he’s still at the top of his game vocally, on this powerful, uplifting two-hander, alongside the dancehall superstar. A solid Jukeboxx production, it’s certainly headed for the top of the chart.

“Say Less” – Usain Bolt, NJ, Bibi and Kamal 
After setting clubs and part dancefloors ablaze with 2019’s Olympe Rosé medley, Usain Bolt and the A-Team are back for more with this fiery, attitude-laden rocker that’s whetting appetites for what they have planned for the summer. B+ 

“Proppa” – Etana feat. Stonebwoy 
Gearing up to drop another sizzling solo project, The Strong One takes ‘em to school on this sassy, infectiously groovy number, on which the African soldier Stonebwoy proves that he’s more than up to the challenge. Brothers, take notes. B+ 

“Safe N Sound” – Chronixx 
People say Chronixx has been showcasing a mellower side in recent times, but on his latest single we catch glimpses of that fearless, militant side, as he assesses the socio-economic status quo while mixing commentary with his hard-hitting lyrics. A-

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Olive Senior is Jamaica’s new Poet Laureate / Leon Bailey teams up with Food for the Poor / Laura Heron takes over as NEHRA Chairman

>> WOMAN OF HER WORD: Celebrated author Olive Senior is the new Poet Laureate of Jamaica (2021-2024). Her ceremony of investiture took place last Wednesday, conducted by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. Senior takes over from Lorna Goodison, whose tenure came to an end at the close of last year. A multi-prize-winning scribe (the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Musgrave Gold Medal, the OCM Bocas Literary Prize, the Jamaica Centenary Medal for Creative Writing), Senior says her plans include the promotion of eco-poetics, in a bid to encourage Jamaicans “to protect and celebrate the environment.” 

>> GOOD SPORT: Reggae Boy and international soccer star Leon Bailey has signed on as the newest ambassador of Food for the Poor Jamaica. “His intention, through the foundation, is to give back to the people of Jamaica, especially the children who are in need,” says manager Craig Butler. “We thank Food for the Poor for the opportunity to support their cause this way.” The moment also ties in with the launch of the Leon Baily Dare to Care Foundation, which will construct a state-of-the-art facility in Mona, complete with medical clinic, classrooms, stadium seating and artificial turf field. Bailey will represent the charity while promoting Food for the Poor brand awareness.

>> THE ADVOCATE: “The most important thing is to try and get the country back to a position where people can get back to work, in a very significant way,” says recently appointed Chairman of the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), Laura Heron. She succeeds the late Tyrone Robinson, who died in January. Heron comes to the post with a wealth of public- and private-sector experience. At present, she is Director of Guardsman Group Ltd, Deputy Chair of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo.) and a director at Jampro. But Heron’s primary focus is on marked improvement to the hospitals and health centres in her jurisdiction (St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland). “We have some significant work to be done,” she says, “in terms of improvement of facilities that I’m trying to spearhead as well.”

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Q-&-A: Fresh face Rudyard Mears talk about his acting debut, societal change and what he’s most looking forward to

READY FOR HIS CLOSE-UP: "Every time I think I've found my niche, something new becomes a passion," says Mears, 28.

DON’T be fooled by Rudyard Mears’ soft, gentlemanly exterior. At heart, he’s a tough kid who keeps his goals in sharp focus. That’s partly why he’s ideally cast in Ashé’s new web drama series Chill, as Jevaughn (aka Jevie), an ambitious, family-oriented go-getter who finds the inner strength to cope with the myriad domestic and other real-life problems he encounters. A 28-year-old UWI Mona undergrad (pursuing a Bachelor’s in Management Studies), the acting newbie threw himself into the meaty role and, by his own admission, has been transformed by the process. Here, he chats with TALLAWAH… 

TALLAWAH: Congrats on landing such an intriguing role for your acting debut. How did you prepare? 
Rudyard Mears: [Director] Michael [Holgate] encouraged me to watch a lot of movies, and he would send me some links as well. I had to learn about responding to the camera and how to articulate in a scene. It was a real learning experience for me. 

TALLAWAH: You have a kissing scene! How did that go down? 
RM: It wasn’t in the script, but on-set Michael saw the chemistry between me and Ackera. I was not prepared for it, honestly; it was a little awkward at first. And the funny thing is, Ackera and I are actually really good friends. 

TALLAWAH: On a heavier note, Chill touches on some pretty important themes and explores sobering societal issues. 
RM: I feel like it is something that hasn’t been done before in Jamaica; we’re always addressing the [usual] stuff, but Chill looks at some controversial subjects, like reproductive health, HIV and STIs and the issue of LGBT rights and identity. I feel like as a society Jamaica is too afraid to take on some of those issues. 

TALLAWAH: Do you think that will change? 
RM: I believe it will change. Now is the right time to address them. The minds of Jamaican people have been prepared for it.

TALLAWAH: Now that you’ve been bitten by the acting bug, what do you see in your future? 
RM: I’ve never given it any real thought, but after going through the process I feel like it is something I want to do more of. I want to explore my artistic side more. It’s like every time I think I’ve found my niche, something new becomes a passion. I mean, the acting really came out of nowhere. 

TALLAWAH: So how do you spend your time when you’re not studying or working on the series? 
RM: I’m business-minded. I run two supermarkets [in St. Catherine] with my brother and a bar with my mom. I like hanging out with my friends. I love the outdoors. Card games, barbecues. We have a lot of fun.

Friday, 5 March 2021

ONE YEAR LATER: A father’s desperate search continues – Is Jasmine Deen still alive?

WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER? Deen's father, Lloyd, says he's living every parent's worst nightmare.

JASMINE Deen would have celebrated another birthday on November 28, 2020. The party went on without her. Her father, Lloyd, her siblings and other relatives gathered at the family home to mark the occasion, holding on to the hope that she was alive out there somewhere. 

As the public is now well aware, Jasmine, a visually impaired 23-year-old UWI Mona student, vanished without a trace. According to reports, she was last seen alive on February 26 at the university’s Irvine Hall gate waiting on transportation. 

Last April, two men were arrested in connection with her disappearance after being found in possession of her ID, bank cards and other personal items. The men were subsequently charged with illegal possession of identity information, simple larceny and unauthorized access to computer data. 

By December, as the investigation wore on, the police said more evidence would be needed for additional charges – such as murder – to be laid against the men. Now, a full year since his daughter’s disappearance, Lloyd Deen remains determined to find out what happened to the promising young woman who was like his “best friend.” 

In the absence of hard evidence that his daughter is dead, he is holding on to the glimmer of hope that they will be reunited; that one day she will return home. “As long as mi live and mi nuh see her, mi ah guh look fi her every day, and mi will keep anything [mi have] fi her same way,” he told the Observer. It’s been the most stressful year of his life, he admits. “One year after, [it’s] like mi shoulda find her already… Mi cyaan rest… It just ah stress me out more and more. The longer it takes, it gets worse for me. But mi cyaah stop… Even if ah 100 years later, mi nah give up.” 

Since last year, more than 50 search operations have been carried out islandwide. Last weekend saw the premiere of the documentary Missing Without a Trace. In the television feature, senior policewoman SSP Stephanie Lindsay reiterated that at this stage of the investigation only a presumption of homicide is possible. Without the irrefutable evidence, no murder charges can be laid.