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Artistes give St. James High a musical boost

Published:Thursday | March 3, 2016 | 11:49 PM
Photo by Okoye Henry Reggae artiste Nature shares his performance with a student of St. James High School.during a recent concert at the institution.

In a bid to strengthen its links with the school and provide much-needed inspiration to the current student population, the St James High School Past Students' Association (StJHSPA) staged a motivational concert at the institution last Tuesday to mark Peace Day 2016.

Down Sound Records' hottest commodity, recording artiste Nature, whose given name is AndrÈ Ellis, led the impressive list of past students entertainers, who included Mackie Conscious, Sonny Ranking, King Chavez, Ignite and Satta Ranks, Ranking Bagga, and Myco Wave (formerly Mickey Ranks), who dazzled with solid performances.

"When it came to Peace Day, we figured that we should have got the artistes who passed through the school and are doing well in the business to come back and perform at this concert," said Mackie Conscious, who serves on the StJHSPA executive.

Mackie Conscious explained that the StJHSPA had been playing an active role in the school over the years. He said that the organisation was assisting the school through cash donations and other gifts as part of its mandate to boost student development, raise self-esteem, and change the stigma that once tarnished the school.

"Lots of students feel that they are nobody because they were selected to attend this school. So our duty is to come here and inspire them so that they can become the best they can be in life," said Sonny Ranking, another executive member of the StJHSPA.

Sonny Ranking, who is also an established player in the Montego Bay transportation sector, said that the StJHSPA has implemented several programmes in the school, inclusive of the innovative 'Adopt a Child' initiative.

Under the Adopt a Child initiative, less-fortunate students' needs are met via the donation of school supplies and equipment, payment for CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) subjects, and assistance with other forms of educational needs

"Every first Monday in each month, we as past students, be it doctors, nurses, police - you name the profession - come here and do motivational speeches at devotions just to let the children see that we are from St James High, and if we can do it, they can do it, too," said Sony Ranking. "We live in perilous times and kids can be hard, but we can't give up on them. If we have 10 students here and one leaves with the message, it is a job well done because it starts with one."

- O. H.