Wednesday, 24 October 2018

2018 NATIONAL HONOURS & AWARDS: Catching up with Yellowman, Alia Atkinson and Barbara Blake-Hannah

>> Yellowman still hopeful for a Grammy win 
For living music legend Winston ‘Yellowman’ Foster, being honoured with the National Order of Distinction is a welcome achievement, especially in the absence of that elusive golden gramophone. “We grateful for this one because we never win no Grammy,” he told TALLAWAH, mere moments after his appearance at the podium with Sir Patrick Allen. At 62, Foster says copping a Grammy for Best Reggae Album is still on his to-do list. “We’re still hoping for it because the work continues.” So what’s next for him professionally? “Right now I have a tour coming up,” he shared. “We’re going to do the US, Europe, some parts of the Caribbean and then Australia.” 

>> Alia Atkinson cherishes her blended family 
 Few things matter more to Alia Atkinson than spending quality time with her loved ones. “Usually my family is all over the world, so to have them all here feels pretty cool,” said the record-breaking swimmer, rocking aviator shades, a sleeveless peach top, pencil skirt and heels at King’s House, while surrounded by relatives from as far as Florida and Texas. What is she most looking forward to now? “Now it’s about popularizing the sport of swimming across Jamaica and spreading awareness and watching the new swimmers emerge,” she told TALLAWAH. Of course, she also wants to break more long-standing records. “Hopefully,” she said, with a tinge of modesty. “That’s always the plan.” 

>> Barbara Blake-Hannah at work on first essay collection 
Dawta of Jah is the working title of Barbara Blake-Hannah’s forthcoming book. “It’s a collection of essays on topics I’ve been exploring over the years – Rasta, reparations, ganja, societal issues. Essentially what I’m doing is compiling some of my best essays and blogs from over the years,” explains the iconic journalist and activist, whose previous releases include Joseph: A Rasta Reggae Fable and Growing Out: Black Hair and Black Pride in the Swinging Sixties. “I haven’t sought a publisher for it yet, but it could still be done this year.” What does this moment mean to her – receiving the National Order of Distinction among some of her most distinguished peers? “I’m kinda speechless, said Blake-Hannah, pictured above with Hubert and Jean Lowrie-Chin. This is a high honour. In my life I’ve received a few accolades, but this one, this occasion, is really humbling.”

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