Leave it to Basillia Barnaby-Cuffe (right) to take the lead in ushering in a brand-new awards show that puts the spotlight on the gospel scene and the tireless efforts of local gospel musicians, many of whom have been doing outstanding work for years with little or no recognition. Introducing the Sterling Gospel Music Awards, which had its inaugural staging on March 26 at Heritage Hall in Mandeville, where Barnaby-Cuffe (concert emcee, fashion entrepreneur, journalist and on-air talent) works as a presenter at NCU FM. Among the top honorees were Kevin Downswell, who copped Album of the Year (All the Way), among other prizes; the buzzworthy trio I-Worshipp, who won Best Group, and Love FM’s Nadine Blair (above), who was presented with a special Icon Award.
> BIG SHIP: World’s largest book fair returns to J’ca in May
Book lovers, rejoice! The MV Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair, is scheduled to return to Kingston and Montego Bay from May 12 to July 2. With over 5,000 different books for sale, all below market prices, the Logos (last seen in Kingston in 2010) will dock at the Caribbean Cement Company (Rockfort, Kingston) from May 12 to June 11 and at the MoBay Cruise Ship Terminal from June 15 to July 2. “We are looking forward to returning to Jamaica. We cannot wait to welcome on board the thousands of Jamaicans, who we will invite to meet our international crew,” says Captain Tom Dyer. “The visit to Jamaica will be a memorable and enjoyable experience for all who come aboard.”
When PM Andrew Holness promised “jobs, job, jobs” on the campaign trail that led to Jamaica House, he had the nation’s young, vulnerable and unemployed in mind, and the recently launched Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (H.O.P.E) programme signals a move from promise to “prosperity” plan in action. “It is estimated that there is a pool of approximately 120,000 to 130,000 young persons, between 15 and 24 years of age, who are not in school, not in a programme of training and are unemployed,” PM Holness recently told Gordon House. “Under the employment stream of H.O.P.E, we have already identified approximately 15,000 real opportunities for work. Our target for this year is to reach 25,000 work opportunities aligned with national priorities.”