Wed | May 27, 2020

Jahmiel talks about giving back amid coronavirus - Urges youth to look to a better tomorrow

Published:Saturday | March 28, 2020 | 12:11 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Jahmiel
Jahmiel

Despite not being able to visit the area, reggae singer-songwriter Jahmiel on Wednesday donated snacks, non-perishable food, diapers, and other needed supplies to communities in Bull Bay. The area was declared a quarantine zone by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Friday, March 13, after contact-tracing concerns linked with the first confirmed case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jamaica.

The Strongest Soldier artiste said it was important for him to reach out, especially to the youth of Bull Bay, because it meant giving back to the citizens of Jamaica who cannot fend for themselves.

“I know what it feels like to not have something and getting a helping hand …, so being that I’m in a better place right now, I wanted to help out. The most challenging thing, for me, since the pandemic is me seeing so many persons around the world sick and me not being able to fix it,” Jahmiel shared.

He added: “I am encouraging others to do the same because unity is strength, which means more people in need would benefit from our contributions. Sincerely, it felt great to make others smile.”

Though restrictions for persons in Bull Bay are expected to be lifted this weekend, Jahmiel thought it better late than never.

He said, “My team and I thought of the things that the youths normally enjoy on a daily basis but would have been unable to attain because the people can’t leave their community or go to the shop. We also thought of things that were quick for the parents to make, especially when so much is on their minds.”

Being in quarantine is not the easiest thing for a child to understand, and like the opening statement of his A Better Tomorrow track, released two years ago, “This is life, you know. Me tell you nothing no easy ‘bout it, but fi real, me no quit.” He was not going to abandon the idea to give back.

Similarly, songs like Strongest Soldier, Gonna Be Alright from his debut album Great Man, Struggles, and the recently released Shepherd from Jahmiel’s catalogue have motivational lyrics that push persons to carry on.

A Better Tomorrow is a song of good hope, and I suggest all those mentioned to be added to a playlist, and, like in Shepherd, we’re gonna make it out of this,” he told The Gleaner.

Adding to that, he said that no matter the motivation, there is no way people can stop thinking of ways to feed their families, as is the case for entertainers who, like him, have seen bookings cancelled and tours and road promotions come to a standstill. “Knowledge is never too much, so we can also use this time to enlighten ourselves with new ideas and master our craft,” he said.

“Stay safe, have faith, and let us all go through this together. Let’s be our brothers and sisters’ keepers through this perilous time. Give a helping hand, if you can, to the ones in need, and, in the meantime, we all have to hope and pray for things to get better,” he continued.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com