Saturday, 4 July 2020

MAN IN THE MIRROR: David Tulloch steps into the political ring fuelled by hope and ambition

THE CANDIDATE: “I’m not going to let my inexperience cloud my judgement,” says the 39-year-old contender.

FOR the last ten years, David Tulloch has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to enter the world of political representation. His time has come. But, interestingly, for his first assignment, the rookie politician (freshly minted PNP caretaker for North East St. Andrew), is going up against a juggernaut of Jamaican politics. “Delroy Chuck is a veteran, and he’s had the constituency for the last five elections,” Tulloch points out, speaking with TALLAWAH in New Kingston.

What Tulloch has in his arsenal is that famous blend of drive and determination, reliability and a willingness to go the extra mile for a cause he wholeheartedly believes in. “I’m not going to let my inexperience cloud my judgement,” he says. “People and progress is what I love. And win or lose, I’ll still be the party’s caretaker for the constituency, and that’s a responsibility to be taken seriously.”

Besides, Tulloch feels the people of North East, largely comprise of middle-lower income families, are ready for new representation. And he’s the man for the job. “I think, generally, people are ready for a younger and more innovative approach to the job of MP,” he notes, highlighting such communities/areas as Grant’s Pen, Constant Spring, Standpipe, Barbican and Shortwood, which have no shortage of socio-economic woes.

“The youth need to be engaged more. A lot of them are unemployed and that can lead to miscreant activity. Also, a lot of the residents are business people but most of those businesses are located outside the constituency. That is something I’m very passionate about changing.”

Passion has always been a driving force in David Tulloch’s life, charting his journey from academic standout at Wolmer’s to multi-award-winning thespian and show producer to his current perch as a second-generation politico. (David’s father, Francis, now 80, served constituencies in Hanover and St. James back in the day.)
This fresh chapter is utterly time-consuming and has him keenly focused on his next moves, not to mention the needs of the constituents. Even so, Tulloch is smartly making adequate time for himself – to remain whole and sane. “At this age, you don’t have time for mistakes. Things have changed. I’ve been praying a lot, thinking a lot, and just being grateful for this opportunity,” says the multi-talented go-getter (and father of two), who turned 39 in late April. 

Compiling material for a couple of book projects and working on new plays have not exactly taken a backseat, but Tulloch is clear as to what his immediate professional priorities are. What’s more, there’s been widespread talk, especially in recent weeks, that Jamaicans could go to the polls later this year, though the next General Elections are constitutionally due in 2021. “I’m now putting together a campaign team,” he reveals, “and raising funds to sustain the work that I plan to do.”

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

SOCIETY, SOCIETY: Juicy Derrick Smith memoir on the way … Mr. Chuck regrets … Vasciannie returns to Mona Campus …

>> Some people were just born to teach and that, unequivocally, includes Dr. Stephen Vasciannie, who has, according to the press, returned to the Mona Campus to serve as Professor of International Law. As we all know, Vasciannie was President of the University of Technology (UTech) for the past few years, but his trek back to the other side of Mona symbolizes a return to his roots. 

>> We are calling this one The People vs. The Justice Minister! Delroy Chuck has done the sensible thing by issuing an eloquent apology to victims of sexual harassment. After coming under fire for comments he made (about #MeToo and the time period within which non-criminal sexual harassment complaints can be made) during a sitting of the Joint Select Committee on the Sexual Harassment Bill last week, Chuck is asking for forgiveness. “I unreservedly apologize to anyone who found my remarks inappropriate, as I never intended to disrespect the #MeToo movement or to diminish the seriousness of the emotional trauma caused by sexual harassment,” he offers. “On reflection I understand the concerns raised by members of the public.” The Caribbean Women Theologians for Transformation were among those who took Chuck to task, arguing that his comments made light of the challenges that attend victims of sexual abuse and harassment. 

>> Derrick Smith is whetting appetites for his forthcoming autobiography, Turning Points, in which he’s spilling the beans about his vast and myriad experiences in politics and public service, including his stint as National Security Minister under then Prime Minister Bruce Golding. According to an Observer sneak peek, one very vivid chapter of the tell-all book (which is now about 98% complete) is titled “Humiliation,” and chronicles “the embarrassment that engulfed Smith’s family” when they discovered, through a newspaper report (!) that he’d been fired from the Golding Cabinet as Security minister less than a year after the JLP took office in September ’07.. Sound like Mr. Smith could have a hot bestseller on his hands. 

>> Milestones: Congratulations are in order for Pearnel Charles Sr. and Gloria Charles, who are celebrating 50 years of marriage. Here’s to another half-a-century and more… Big Ship maestro Freddie McGregor just turned 64, marking his earthstrong recently with a musical feast and virtual concert, alongside family, friends and well-wishers. 

>> Question of the Week: It’s been reported that Chris Gayle will not be suiting up for the St. Lucia Zouks after all, opting to sit out the 2020 Hero CPL tournament to spend more quality time with the family. Will he be back next year – or is this retirement?

Saturday, 27 June 2020

NEWS & NOTES: PEP results released / Carlo Redwood leaving Flow / Noted decrease in number of missing-children reports

>> 80% of successful PEP candidates get placed at school of choice 
The results of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations have been released, and the Education ministry is reporting that 80% of the 39,689 Grade Six students who sat the exams were placed at one of their preferred high schools. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced schools to close their doors and give lessons online, not all components of the PEP exams were administered. The sixth-graders were assessed using the Grade Four Numeracy and Literacy tests done in 2018, the Grade Five Performance Tasks exams in 2019 and this past February’s Ability Test. In the end, students were placed based on a grading system that weighs 30% for Grade Four, 20% for Grade Five and 50% for Grade Six.

>> Carlo Redwood set to depart Flow on June 30 
What’s next for Carlo Redwood? The industry veteran is stepping down from his post as Flow’s marketing director at the end of the month. The telecomms company made the announcement via a press release on Wednesday. Prior to his eight-year stint at Flow, Redwood (who is credited with refreshing their brand strategy and significantly expanding their mobile subscriber base) served in several other marketing capacities in the corporate world, including at Pepsi-Cola Jamaica. Working at Flow, Redwood says, was super-productive for him because of the overall team effort. “It was packed with career-defining milestones and filled with great memories,” he says. “I would like to acknowledge the local and regional leadership of the business, the many external partners and stakeholder groups and, most importantly, the Jamaica marketing team for their tireless support.”

>> Authorities see downward trend in number of kids reported missing 
There has been a noteworthy decrease in the number of Jamaican children being reported missing. According to the National Children’s Registry, the latest figures released represent the lowest they have been since the May 2009 launch of the Ananda Alert system. As the new statistics (supplied by the National Intelligence Bureau) reveal, between January and June of this year, 516 children were reported missing. Of that number, 387 have returned home, leaving 129 kids still to be found. For the same period in 2019, some 836 kids were reported missing. Of that amount, 740 were reunited with loved ones. “We have seen for the past two years a real reduction in the number of reports for missing children,” NCR Deputy Registrar Warren Thompson noted during a recent online child-protection forum. “We are coming down from figures of around 2,000 per year. For 2018/19, we were in the 1,500 region.”

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

NEW MUSIC REVIEW: Hot new tracks from D-Major, Squash, Popcaan, Alkaline and Dre Island

Dre Island feat. Jesse Royal
“Be Okay”
Off one of the most buzzworthy reggae albums of the year (Now I Rise, out now), Dre Island’s captivating collaboration with fellow messenger Jesse Royal brings a timely social message backed by impressive vocal work and haunting melodies. [Take a listen] A-

He’s been keeping a low profile lately, but Squash proves he’s still a leader in dancehall’s new school. He scores a touchdown with this slick, swagger-drenched track, which references everything from success to fast girls to side-stepping the playa-haters. [Take a listen] B

D-Major feat. Busy Signal
“Something New”
Singer-songwriter D-Major (né Damian Codlin) has been crafting some of the smoothest, sexiest songs in modern/contemporary reggae for years. He gets a solid assist from Busy Signal on his latest, a repeat-worthy late-night jam sure to put her in the mood. [Take a listen] B+

Teeming with his signature fusion of attitude, clever wordplay and energy to spare, the prolific dancehall hitmaker continues his winning streak with this slim but memorable tune. [Take a listen] B

The Vendetta boss has a lot on his mind. He puts his rivals on notice with this fierce, take-no-prisoners number, laced with the kind of grit and bare-bones honesty that has come to define his best work. [Take a listen] B+

NEWS & NOTES: Japan makes $262M donation to boost Jamaica's fight against COVID-19...

>> The government of Japan, through its Economic and Social Development programme, has granted Jamaica funding of approximately $262 million to purchase equipment and supplies in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Says Foreign Affairs minister Kamina Johnson-Smith, “The supplies will, undoubtedly, make a sustainable positive impact on our public health infrastructure.” For his part, Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki, says his country remains committed to working with countries around the world in the fight against the disease. “The goal of the Government of Japan,” he says, “is to enable all the people in the world to enjoy greater opportunities afforded by a safe and secure environment.” 

>> Countless university-bound students will be relieved to hear that the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) is waiving all application and loan processing fees for the 2021 academic year. Making the announcement in the House, Finance minister Dr. Nigel Clarke said tertiary education must remain “affordable and accessible” to all Jamaicans. “It has never been more affordable to [receive] loans through the SLB,” he noted. “We want our students to be able to access and continue their education.” 

>> To allow residents the ease of purchasing locally sourced ground produce and at a “much more reasonable price” than at the markets, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries will be establishing food marts at strategic locations across the country. On Friday, June 26, residents in and around Lacovia in St. Elizabeth will have the opportunity to make their purchases at the mart being set up at the Lacovia Community Centre.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

THE E-BUZZ: Another theatre space gone / Festival Song top 10 selected / Tuning up for Buju’s Upside Down

>> New Kingston’s popular Centrestage Theatre is closing down
Say it ain’t so! Centrestage Theatre is closing down its New Kingston playhouse, located at Cinema 2 on Dominica Drive. TALLAWAH got the scoop on Saturday afternoon as workmen carried out major removal work at the premises. When TALLAWAH arrived at the scene, seats, props and stage woodwork were being removed. According to an inside source, Jambiz International, operators of the Centrestage Theatre, have been given notice by the owners to vacate the property. Said source also revealed that the multi-award-winning team (including Admin Director Lenford Salmon, co-directors Trevor Nairne and Patrick Brown and veteran leading man Glen Campbell) will be on the hunt for a new home in the Corporate Area to mount their annual productions.

>> Stephen Marley, Pharell and John Legend score collabos on Buju’s new album
Scoring a guest spot on one of the most hotly anticipated reggae albums in modern history – Buju Banton’s comeback record, Upside Down – is certainly a hot ticket. As expected, the Gargamel meticulously selected his creative collaborators for the project, opting to work with fellow Grammy winners Stephen Marley, Pharell Williams and John Legend and hot British newcomer Stefflon Don. Due out on June 26, it’s Banton’s first album in a decade and the follow-up to Before the Dawn, which copped the Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Dave Kelly, Donovan Germaine and Banton himself are among the producers featured on the disc, which will also mark his first major project since being signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label.

>> Big names bring major star power to J’ca Festival Song finals
“When that [winning] song is selected, we want to hear that song on the lips of every Jamaican,” says culture minister, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, making refrence to the finalists vying for top honours in the 2020 Jamaica Festival Song Competition. The competition got a mjpr dose of (super)star power this year. Among the top 10 contenders are Buju Banton (“I Am a Jamaican”), Toots & the Maytals (“Rise Up Jamaica”), Freddie McGregor (“Turn up the Sound”), LUST (“Wave the Flag”) and Sakina Deer (“We Are Jamaica”). Rounding out the list are Shuga (“One People”), Papa Michigan (“Jamaica Dance”), Radix OD (“Place to Be”), Xtra Bigg (“Jamaica Ah Paradise”) and Oneil ‘Nazzle Man’ Scott (“Jamaica Nice”). The grand finale is slated to take place in mid-July. The overall prize package amounts to a $3 million purse.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

THE BEAUTY PAGE: Expert tips to treat pool hair, freshen your strands – and serve great face

THE FIXER: After a dip in the pool, getting the chlorine out of your hair can be a hassle. What are the best products to turn to? For starters, Woman’s World highly recommends that you reach for a shampoo made with sodium thiosulphate. “It helps eliminate all traces of chlorine, copper and oxidized metals,” the magazine advises, “while restoring your hair’s vibrant colour.” 

IN TREATMENT: For countless ladies, a sweaty scalp and the regular use of styling products that cause buildup leaves hair looking dull and dirty. What’s the solve? “A scalp scrub is a great way to detoxify strands,” one editor recommends. “It removes residual product and lifts away dead cells so your strands look and smell fresh again.”

>> Try this pro tip! 
When blow-drying your hair, tip your head upside down and gently lift the roots to add instant airiness to your hair. 

>> This week’s hot pick: Olay’s Tone Perfection Serum
“It’s brightening, protective Vitamin C is a proven skin-care hero. I use it every morning. This serum also has anti-inflammatory niacinamide,” raves Brian Underwood, O Magazine beauty director