THREE'S COMPANY: Dr. Brown-Burke (right) having a moment with PNP comrades Dr. Peter Phillips and Portia Simpson-Miller; Watkis Jr. (below).
A great magazine issue, working with a theme like 'Work & Wealth', must have the requisite blend of fascinating characters, inspiring narratives and supporting stories to give it compelling currency. For this September issue, we opted to profile intriguing Jamaicans who are going through moments of change in their professional (and personal) lives.
The story I am happiest to have been able to include is our exhaustive sit-down interview with Dr. Angela Brown-Burke, who the people of St. Andrew South-West have elected to replace their beloved and long-serving champion Portia Simpson-Miller as MP. As you will read in "The People's Choice," a foray into central government and representational politics was always on the cards for Dr. Brown-Burke, but she got that extra encouragement and push from well-wishers in her corner and from Mrs. Simpson-Miller herself, who has long been a mentor.
For the record, we wish the former Kingston mayor all the luck in the world as she embarks on this exciting new phase of her journey.
Debbie Bissoon ("Strength of a Woman"), the former host of TV-J's E-Prime, now Brand Manager for the Bob Marley Group, has added supermom to her long list of accomplishments. Sharee Elise ("Artist Spotlight"), actress, chameleon, fashionista, has a debut solo album in the works and is busy discovering new talents (including a love of painting!). And former Miss Jamaica World, Gina Hargitay, all grown up, is heading to Vienna's Sigmund Freud University to commence studies in Psychotherapy Science, with plans to come back to Jamaica to work with inner-city youth and children with autism.
As for our cover star, Donovan 'JR' Watkis may be a fresh face to TALLAWAH readers, but when it comes to making serious moves in business and other areas, he's no rookie. As he observes in "Putting in Work,” the greatest achievers in the world are the early birds intent on getting the worm. And, at age 32, he's certainly not squandering any time — from raising his four darling kids to giving wing to his mogul ambitions through initiatives he's convinced will change lives.
We all feel the winds of change moving across Jamaica, and there's never a better time (in spite of whatever challenges, financial and otherwise) to take that bold step toward fulfilling a lifelong dream or to simply try something inspiringly new. After all, as PM Andrew Holness has counselled us on numerous occasions in the past, great work can lead to wealth, but there's certainly no legitimate wealth without work.