Tuesday, 28 November 2017

REAL TALK: Where is the ‘Love’? Star-studded hurricane-relief concert shows it’s still alive and well

STRONGER TOGETHER: Singers Chris Martin and Romain Virgo make a show of brotherly unity while sharing the concert stage.

LAST Wednesday night, the Caribbean Love Now fundraising concert took over the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston. It was a resounding success, complete with a first-class entertainment package. It just goes to show what can be accomplished when hearts and minds come together for a supremely worthy cause. 

Joe Bogdanovich is fast becoming one of our favourite people – and is certainly one of the most intriguing Jamaicans of the year. He’s a businessman who has amassed considerable wealth and influence over the years, and what he’s making abundantly clear is that he’s committed to using that clout to do transformative work, not just in Jamaica but across the region. But, when all is said and done, it’s Jamaica that gets the credit. And I’m sure he’s cool with that. He doesn’t strike me as the fussy type. 

Meanwhile, I’m certain several of those reggae and dancehall megastars who gave of their time, talent and treasure to make the show the big success it was, had packed schedules but opted to make the extra effort to lend their support. In other words, we still have good people in the industry, in spite of the mass commercialization of the music. 

During the early hours of the concert on Wednesday night, the crowd was barely trickling in. But by the time the clock hit 9:00pm, and the likes of Carlene Davis, Toots Hibbert and Kevin Downswell graced the stage, there was hardly room for pedestrian traffic. That gave an awesome feeling. Everybody was there – from the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and other public officials to public sector leaders, ballers and shot callers, and ordinary Jamaicans who wanted to be a part of this extraordinary moment. 

Those terrible hurricanes claimed numerous lives, destroyed homes and infrastructure, and forced many of our Caribbean brothers and sisters – some entire families – to start their lives all over again. We have a responsibility to help. As Bogdanovich said, we must help them rebuild. Fast. The Caribbean Love Now ‘Jamathon’ fundraiser and star-studded concert offered a sharp reminder that there’s life-changing power in team work – and what the world really needs now is ‘love’.







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