Capleton goes to work for St Mary
Hundreds of schoolchildren are set to benefit from the return of popular charity show 'A St Mary Mi Come From', which takes place on Friday, August 5, at the Gray's Inn Sports Complex in Annotto Bay, St Mary.
Along with other contributions to the parish, reggae performer Capleton, who will be staging the show for the 12th time, has pledged to use proceeds from the event to host a back-to-school treat at the same venue on Wednesday, August 24.
Over the past 15 years, the concert has generated funds in excess of $8 million, which has been used to upgrade and purchase equipment for dozens of beneficiaries throughout St Mary, including both of the parish's hospitals, the local infirmary, six schools, and numerous community groups. Speaking last week at the event's launch, Capleton, whose real name is Clifton Bailey, urged all St Mary natives to come together, support the show, and help refashion the parish.
Power of unity
He told Rural Xpress: "It's all about unity because that is the ultimate power. We have to know and understand that unification is the key, and if we can't unite, nothing is going to happen for us.
"When we first thought about doing this show, my aim was to keep something more like a home grown event that would bring out entertainers such as Beres Hammond, Ninja Man, Lady Saw, and then have [radio presenter] Barry G, another St Mary man, as the MC.
"That didn't manifest, and at one point I wanted it to be a pre-independence celebration, but that didn't work either, and so eventually we came up with idea for a charity event."
He continued: "Other people and artistes are supposed to know that if they see someone doing something positive, they should lend a hand to strengthen him. As long as it's meaningful, uplifting, and something positive in terms of education and health, I don't see a problem in you playing a part and having some input."
Following an upsurge in violent crimes in St Mary in recent months, including the murder of two US missionaries, Capleton noted that greater focus would have to be placed on engaging, uplifting, and enlightening the parish's young people, if the trend is to be reversed.
He said: "Always try to set a positive mark or foundation for the youths to see and follow because people do live what they learn. We try to tell them to stay focused and away from crime, injustice, and drugs.
"We always preach that you should never let anyone tell you that you cannot make it. Just know who you are and what you want. Reach for your goals, and know that you don't have to live for money. At the end of the day, you need money because the bills have to be paid, but you don't have to sell your soul or look down on your brother and sister because of money."